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What is the public domain?
Works in the public domain (PD) are not protected by copyright. Attribution is not a legal requirement, but scholars traditionally cite PD works to avoid plagiarism.
What's in the public domain?
- Most works published in the U.S. in 1923 or before.
- Works with expired copyright.
- U.S. government works
- Works that can't be copyrighted (ideas, titles, something without minimal creativity such as the white pages telephone directory)
Locating works in the public domain
There are thousands of places to locate PD content. Since much of the content ends up in the PD due to expired copyright, archives are generally a good place to look. Also, try your library catalog, or locate newer content through websites with U.S. government publications or websites that let you filter to CC0 or public domain content. Here's a list to get you started. Be sure to check each item for copyright restrictions as most websites contain a mix of copyrighted content alongside PD or CC works.
Read more about the public domain...
The Public Domain by Find free content and save on permission fees! Millions of creative works--books, artwork, photos, songs, movies, and more--are available copyright-free in the public domain. Whether your tastes run more Jane Austen or Jane Eyre, Beethoven or Irving Berlin, Edvard Munch or Claude Monet, you'll find inspiration in The Public Domain. The only book that helps you find and identify which creative works are protected by copyright and which are not, The Public Domain covers the rules for: writings music art photography architecture maps choreography movies video software databases collections The 8th edition is completely updated with hundreds of new online and digitized public domain resources. The book covers the latest legal developments regarding copyright and the public domain--from state copyright policies to free and low-cost legal advice for creative types to copyright issues regarding photos lacking human authorship, and much more!
Publication Date: 2017-05-29
How to tell if a work is in the public domain in the U.S.
This work contains links to content in the public domain and content with a variety of licenses or copyright restrictions. Additionally, the uploaded items under examples are in the public domain.