With the wide spread reading of both Chandler and Hammett I have to wonder at what point will more of their work be in the public domain. I have searched in vain to find early stories to record for podcasts only to find that their stories are still under copyright.

So, how do you find public domain stories? Has anyone come across any of Chandler or Hammett?

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I think their estates have them locked up pretty tight, but I'm no legal expert.
I believe the U.S. copyright is 75 years beyond the passing of the writers (I can't remember if they tack on extra years for their immediate heirs). An example of what happens when works do become public domain was the movie studios run on Jane Austen and the Brontes, a decade back.

I do know that Hammett's daughter gave Joe Gores permission two or three years ago to write the prequel to "The Maltese Falcon." It's highly unlikely that either author has any stories in the public domain, but it couldn't hurt to write Vince Emery Publications to ask if the Hammett Estate would allow you to use one of "The Lost Stories of Dashiell Hammett."


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