For decades, Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan and other characters from “The Great Gatsby” have been as real to millions of readers as people in their own lives, exemplars and victims of the American pursuit of wealth and status.
Starting next January, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic Jazz Age tale will truly belong to everyone.
The novel’s copyright is set to expire at the end of 2020, meaning that anyone will be allowed to publish the book, adapt it to a movie, make it into an opera or stage a Broadway musical. No longer will you need to permission to write a sequel, a prequel, a Jay Gatsby detective novel or a Gatsby narrative populated with Zombies.
“We’re just very grateful to have had it under copyright, not just for the rather obvious benefits, but to try and safeguard the text, to guide certain projects and try to avoid unfortunate ones,” says Blake Hazard, the late author’s great-granddaughter and a trustee of his literary estate. “We’re now looking to a new period and trying to view it with enthusiasm, knowing some exciting things may come.”