Author talk:Robert Frost

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[1] states that "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" was first published in 1923, so I shall add in to the article as a public-domain source. --Ardonik 05:24, 10 Aug 2004 (UTC)

If the copyright was properly renewed this work would still be protected. Only works published before 1923 may be assumed to be clearly be in the public domain. Eclecticology 08:11, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
With this known, would you recommend removing all the works from New Hampshire, and Hardwood Groves which was added to A Boy's Will in 1930?
At the risk of seeming equivocal, I would say "probably". It would not be unusual for poems from this period to have been published in magazine form before they were collected in a book. If these individually came out before 1923 we should be OK. Perhaps someone more familiar with Frost can research this. Eclecticology 21:49, 21 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I propose this... 2005 is rapidly approaching (10 days from this writing) and it would be a waste of time to delete then readd. The poems (excepting Hardwood Groves which probably should go up for deletion) will fall into the public domain. At that time I will add all of New Hampshire. --Khaldei 14:29, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't see how the onset of 2005 would be relevant. Assuming that proper renewals were done, works first published in the US in 1923 would remain copyright until the end of 2018. Check the renewal records. I'm sure that collections of Frost's poems are available at a reasonable price on the open market so the archive exception is not applicable. As for Hardwood Groves my Googling suggests that it was written in 1915, so that it may be OK. A boy's will dates from 1913, so the inclusion of a specific poem in a 1930 re-issue does not mean that that poem was written in 1930. Although, I would not be in a hurry to delete the New Hampshire material, neither would I recommend adding any more of it until the copyright status of the individual poems has been resolved. Eclecticology 19:15, 22 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You're right. I'm fairly new to this and just assumed that (before 1923) - 2004 meant (before 1924) - 2005. A closer look at copyright law has corrected that. Ignore the previous comment.

Nothing was done at the time of this 2004 conversation. The discussed works were later listed as possible copyright violations at Wikisource:Possible copyright violations/Archives/2007/05#The Silken Tent, etc. and deleted. I have de-linked them on the author page to discourage recreaation.--BirgitteSB 17:57, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

So, when will Stopping by Woods become public domain? At the end of 2018 (95 years from publication)? Because I found a site that mentions year 2038: [2]
“After a LONG legal battle (many letters, many representatives), the estate of Robert Frost and their publisher, Henry Holt Inc., sternly and formally forbid me from using the poem for publication or performance until the poem became public domain in 2038.” SyaWgnignahCehT (talk) 17:16, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It's at the end of 2018.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Is this the case if the copyright has been renewed? Wiki says that A Witness Tree had the copyright renewed, but so did New Hampshire (see here: ). 18:00, 18 June 2015 (UTC)
All works first published in 1923 will leave copyright 95 years from first publication, rounded up through the end of the year, thus leaving copyright at the start of 2019.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:14, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

Stopping by Woods: copyright status[edit]

The Robert Frost poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" was first published in the March 7, 1923 issue of The New Republic (copyright registration date March 8, 1923). Frost also included the poem in a book titled New Hampshire that he published later in 1923 (copyright registration date November 15, 1923).

Under the U.S. copyright law in effect for June 3, 1949 to October 30, 1951, "publication date" was defined as:

In the interpretation and construction of this title “the date of publication” shall in the case of a work of which copies are reproduced for sale or distribution be held to be the earliest date when copies of the first authorized edition were placed on sale, sold, or publicly distributed by the proprietor of the copyright or under his authority…

So, the date of publication of the poem "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" was determined by the date of publication of that issue of The New Republic, circa March 7, 1923. As for the term of copyright and its renewal,

The copyright secured by this title shall endure for twenty-eight years from the date of first publication … [Provided] That in the case of any other copyrighted work, including a contribution by an individual author to a periodical or to a cyclopedic or other composite work, the author of such work … shall be entitled to a renewal and extension of the copyright in such work for a further term of twenty-eight years when application for such renewal and extension shall have been made to the copyright office and duly registered therein within one year prior to the expiration of the original term of copyright: And provided further, That in default of the registration of such application for renewal and extension, the copyright in any work shall determine [i.e., terminate] at the expiration of twenty-eight years from first publication.

Frost did not renew the copyright of "Stopping by the Woods" in 1950 or 1951 (nor was the copyright of the magazine issue renewed). He did renew the copyright of the book New Hampshire on September 20, 1951 — by which time the copyright of the poem had already expired on March 8, 1951. The copyright act in effect in 1951 did not place the expiration of all copyright terms at the end of the calendar year. Instead, a copyright terminated on the anniversary date of the work's "date of first publication". Not until the Copyright Act of 1976 did all copyrights terminate at the end of the calendar year. — Walloon (talk) 07:49, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

If this is true, Walloon, then how come that Eric Whitacre had trouble when he wanted to do a choral interpretation of Stopping by Woods? Here is a quote from Wikipedia: “Another choral interpretation, titled Sleep, was written by American composer Eric Whitacre. Due to copyright, the text of the composition was re-written by Charles Anthony Silvestri to comply with the wishes of Frost’s estate.” SyaWgnignahCehT (talk) 16:36, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
It cost Leslie Klinger $70,000 to dismiss the Doyle estate's claim to control Sherlock Holmes. Yes, one court has already awarded him attorney's fees for their part of the case, but he still had to come up with $70K to make the argument. That's why estates get as far as they do on simple threats. I don't know if Walloon is right, but that is a more complex argument then Klinger had to make, and Whitacre may not have wanted to gamble tens of thousands of dollars to try and make it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:41, 26 January 2015 (UTC)