In the case of CHARLEY'S AUNT, copyright protection commenced upon publication as opposed to performance. As the play was not published until 1935, it will not enter the public domain in the United States until January 1, 2031. Until that time, licensing fees are required for performance per our contracts with the author and their representation.Fees are calculated like other licensed titles, with ticket prices, number of performances, venue size, etc. factored in. If you ever have questions about licensing fees for Samuel French titles, please email us at K12@samuelfrench.com. As we've discussed in other threads, we're always happy to see if you qualify for a rate appeal.
The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School's website is a great resource for public domain topics, and discusses why some intellectual property isn't in the public domain even though we might expect it to be.They're also have a graphic novel that chronicles the history of musical borrowing/theft.(I'm a super nerd and find all of this fascinating!)