Take these examples: Billy Bishop’s Winged warfare : hunting the Huns in the air; Ernest Bilodeau’s Autour du lac Saint-Jean; C.A. Chant’s Our wonderful universe; the Earl of Bessborough’s A week on the Jupiter River, Anticosti Island; Maurice Lalonde’s Notes historiques sur Mont-Laurier, Nominingue et Kiamika; and Mina Benson Hubbard’s A Woman’s Way Through Unknown Labrador are all in the public domain in Canada as of this morning.
Yet a March 15, 1939 letter from Billy Bishop to Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King; the papers of Ernest Bilodeau; C.A. Chant’s astronomical notebooks; Lord Bessborough’s letters and documents pertaining to his tenure as Governor-General of Canada; Maurice Lalonde’s political correspondence; and Mina Benson Hubbard’s exploration diaries; will all be protected from unfettered use by Canadians for another 42 years.
Note that through most of our collective history, copyright has been the anomaly and the public domain has been the default.