Watch and Read Classics for Free


It’s easy to accumulate a hefty bill when you’re forced to rent or buy entertainment while staying at home. But luckily, there’s a much cheaper alternative: new releases from public domain!

Items in the public domain are creative materials, such as books, movies, and musical pieces that are no longer protected by intellectual property laws, which means they are now offered online for free. Earlier this year, on January 1, works from 1924 entered the public domain. This includes the first film adaptation of “Peter Pan,” mystery writer Agatha Christie’s “The Man in the Brown Suit,” the first volume of Ford Madox Ford’s “Paradise Lost” tetralogy, “Some Do Not…” and songs composed by Irving Berlin and George Gershwin. 

You can download these works by searching for them via your favorite search engine, but be sure to choose carefully from the results to make sure you’re getting the free downloads. If you’re not looking for a specific title, visit The Internet Archive at to find films, books, plays, music, websites and even software that is available for free. In addition, HathiTrust offers academic texts for free here

It is important to note that it is possible other works from 1924 may have already entered the public domain if owners did not renew their copyrights correctly according to past copyright laws. An example of this is the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Some other popular titles already available for public consumption are Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Links” and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s “The World Crisis.”

Whether you need a cheaper entertainment alternative or seek to read classic literature, now’s your chance.  For more information on works available in the public domain and to download some of this year’s newly available releases, you can visit Duke Law’s Center for the Study of Public Domain website at


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