Yes, you read correctly…. millions of books are available in the public domain where you can legally download and read them for free.
Prior to 1964, books had a 28-year copyright term, which authors or publishers had to request to extend. Many people didn’t end up doing that, so now those books are available copyright-free.
Thanks to a massive effort by the New York Public Library, the old copyrights are now searchable and it is possible to find out when, and if, they were renewed. It turns out that around 80% of all books published from 1923 to 1964 are now in the public domain and available free online.
So, how do you go about downloaded these free eBooks? Well there are a few options.
The Hathi Trust is a digital library and they have already uploaded some of the newly free books.
Project Gutenberg, which offers over 59,000 free eBooks which can be downloaded or read online. They have thousands of volunteers who have digitized and proofread the eBooks for everyone’s enjoyment and education.
Read more in the article “Millions of Books Are Secretly in the Public Domain. You Can Download Them Free“, by Matthew Gault, 06/08/2019