Happy Public Domain Day 2020!

Each year on New Years Day since 2019, previously copyrighted works fall out of copyright protection after 95 years! In honor of Public Domain Day 2020, please enjoy this copy of the western comedy short “The Cowboy Sheik”, featuring cowboy humorist Will Rogers, found in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, specifically in the records of the Central Intelligence Agency.

You might ask why the CIA was interested in this cowboy comedy, copyrighted in 1924, to which I can only answer “that information is available on a need-to-know basis!” The National Archives holds the records of U.S. Government agencies, which are often ineligible for copyright protection as “U.S. Government works”, but also contains copies of privately produced content, which retains the copyright of the creator(s), as in this case, at least until January 1st, 2020.

Don’t depend on your intern or production assistant to find the perfect footage or stills for your project. Hire a professional archival media researcher!

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