Every so often I’m asked about the copyright status of Hodgson’s works. Now, I’m no copyright expert or lawyer but this is something that, as a publisher of works by/about Hodgson, I am understandably curious about.
Recently I found an online search that presents copyright information on writers, artists and their copyright holders. Here’s what they had to say about WHH:
Contact for William Hope Hodgson 1877-1918
William Hope Hodgson was killed in Flanders on 17 April 1918 and his estate passed by his will (probate London, 30 August 1918) to his widow Bessie Gertrude Hodgson. The will of Bessie Gertrude Hodgson (probate Manchester, 12 November 1943) bequeaths all her husband’s copyrights to his sister Lissie Hodgson. Lissie Sarah Hodgson died in Barnstable, Devon in May 1959, and her estate passed (adminstration London, 14 September 1959) to Arthur John Alfred Dudley. The will of Arthur John Alfred Dudley (probate Bristol, 30 July 1971) can also be consulted in the London Probate Office. All of William Hope Hodgson’s writings, published and unpublished, are out of copyright in the USA from 2003, but his unpublished manuscripts will remain in copyright in the UK until 2040.
This would seem to state that anything written by WHH (published or unpublished) is out of copyright in the US. Interestingly, the unpublished material is still in copyright in the UK until 2040. Anyone able to clear up why that is? And does that mean that a US publisher cannot distribute the unpublished material in the UK?
For those interested, the information for this came from the WATCH file at: