1 January 2013 marks the end of the seventy-year period in which inherited copyright laws applied to the works of Bruno Schulz. On this day his works have passed into the public domain.
Entering the public domain means that, from this moment, on copyrights no longer protect the work of a given author, and it becomes “public property.” It is available to everyone who would like to use it for whatever cause.
1 January is Public Domain Day around the world. Every year works by authors whose copyrights have expired enter the public domain on this day. This year the list includes authors such as Franz Boas, Léon Daudet, Mordechai Gebirtig, Daniil Kharms, Wojciech Kossak, Bronisław Malinowski, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Robert Musil, Ostap Ortwin, Vladislav Vančura, Debora Vogel, Alexander von Zemlinsky, Stefan Zweig, and Bruno Schulz.
The last heir to Schulz’s work is Marek W. Podstolski – Bruno Schulz was his mother’s uncle. Bruno Schulz (1892-942) had two older siblings: a brother, Izydor (1881-1935) and a sister, Hanna (1885-1942). Izydor had three children: Wilhelm (1910-1943), Ella (1914-1996), and Jakub (1915-1997). Ella Schulz-Podstolska was the mother of Marek Podstolski.
Below we have published a letter from Marek Podstolski, written on this extraordinary occasion.
„Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is year 2013 and the works of Bruno Schulz are no more under copy rights law,
now Schulz is „free”!
For me the matters will be much easier, I shall not busy myself with copy right laws.I would like to thank all Schulz fans for the support they gave me in the last 16 years. In that time I have learned a lot and gathered positive and negative experiences. Well, one learns the whole life, but honestly, did I really want to know the meanders of publishing industry?
I have met many fantastic people. If I wanted to mention them all here, the list would be very long, and then I would probably miss somebody.
So, I simply thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Unfortunately, I have also met some „characters” that I would rather not mix with.
Now, I ask you all to protect the works of Bruno Schulz, gard them from so called experts, who use his name to their own purposes.
What is my real aim? I am simply pushing a part of my duties onto you, because I will always keep an eye on Schulz´s heritage, I will correct untruths concerning his family life and straighten out some fantasy „facts”.
But, it is the fans of Bruno Schulz who should protect his art.
Marek W. Podstolski