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Continuing the list of famous writers and books in the public domain. This is by no means a complete list, merely a starting point for entrepreneurial screenwriters and filmmakers. Please remember that this list is for the original stories by these authors. Many of these works have already been produced for film and television and contain famous story elements particular to that adaptation that are not in the original works. Those story elements are not in the public domain. Only the original story from the original work by these authors.
For example, the original story of Snow White by the Brothers Grimm differs greatly from the story in Walt Disney’s more famous animated version. If you were to adapt a version of Snow White and used elements from Disney’s version like the Prince waking Snow White up with a kiss, then you would be in violation of Disney’s copyright. Another example is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which is in the public domain. If you’re adaptation includes a version of Frankenstein’s monster with bolts in his neck, then you would be in violation of Universal’s copyright of Frankenstein with Boris Karloff.
If you know of other famous books and writers in the public domain, please let me know and I will update this list.
Rudolf Erich Raspe
All of his works are in the public domain including his most famous story The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
Robert Louis Stevenson
All of this amazing American literary genius’s work is in the public domain. His most famous stories are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
All of this entertaining French writer’s work is in the public domain. His most famous works include Journey to the Centre of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, The Mysterious Island and Around the World in Eighty Days.
Johann David Wyss
This writer’s most famous story The Swiss Family Robinson is in the public domain.