Anonymous documents published in Japan before January 1st, 1946 are in the public domain in the following jurisdictions:

  • Japan, where the copyright for an anonymous or corporate work expires 50 years after its first publication;[1]
  • the European Union, where the "shorter term" rule applies to foreign works, and a foreign document which is already in the public domain in its home country is not protected;[2]
  • the United States, where a foreign work already in the public domain in its home country as of January 1st, 1996 is not protected.[3]

Advertising material published by a company follows the same rules as an anonymous document, unless it is explicitly signed by an individual or some individual later claims to be the original author.

  1. Copyright law of Japan (from the CRIC website), chapter II, section 4.
  2. Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonizing the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, art.7.
  3. Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, 1 January 2007, by Peter B. Hirtle.
Community content is available under GFDL unless otherwise noted.