- Public domain means land that is owned by the government.
An example of public domain was the land that was not owned by private or state ownership in the 18th and 19th centuries and was controlled by the federal government.
Public domain is defined as information, ideas and creative work on which the copyright, patent or trademark is available for use by anyone for any purpose.
Facts About Public Domain
- Copyright laws protect the ownership rights for creators of tangible creative works like poetry, music, art, books, movies, product designs and other forms of intellectual property, such as computer programs.
- The protection of a piece of creative work in general is considered in effect until the first day of the year 70 years after the death of the author when it becomes public domain.
- For collaborative works, the copyright extends until 70 years past the death of the last living author before it becomes public domain.
- Any works that are created "for hire" are considered private for 95 years and then become public domain.
- Once the protection period of the copyright has expired, or if the work never had a registered copyright, it is considered public domain.
- Any works published before 1923 are automatically in the public domain.
- Books published between 1923 and 1963 allow owners to hold the copyright for 28 years. If the copyright was not renewed, the book became public domain. If it was renewed, it was protected for a further 95 years.
- Works created by an individual since 1978 are protected by copyright laws for seventy years.
- Works created by a corporation since 1978 are protected for 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation, whichever amount of time is shorter.
- The Bible is in the public domain; but, any new translation or arrangement of the books or inclusion of other information is not in the public domain. These types of changes are copyrightable and would be protected.
- All works, reports or documents that are produced by any office of the federal government of the United States are by definition in the public domain because they have been funded by the public tax dollars - they are available for the use of any citizen for any purpose.
- Items that are not coverable by copyright protection are therefore in the public domain. Mathematical expressions, ideas and expression in software are not protected but the usage of a particular algorithm can be protected.
- Any invention that existed before the creation of patent protection is also by default considered to be in the public domain.
- Most countries have copyrights that protect information for between 50 and 70 years. After that period, their information enters the public domain.
- Patented inventions are only protected for 20 years after which they are released as public domain information.
- Public domain information also includes cultural and national folklore. Any works that can be defined as pre-existing in a culture and are the basis of new literary or artistic works are in the public domain.
- Once a document has been placed in public domain, either as a result of a time lapse or by the direct action of the author, it cannot be removed.
An example of public domain works would be the works of Shakespeare, the painting of the Mona Lisa, the laws of Newton and the music of Mozart and Beethoven.
public domain definition by Webster's New World
- public lands
- the condition of being free from copyright or patent and, hence, open to use by anyone
public domain definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government.
- The status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.
public domain - Business Definition
- The status of material or products that are available to anyone because they are not subject to copyright or patent protection. Some material cannot be copyrighted, while much material now in the public domain was once subject to copyright that has expired.
- Government-owned lands.
public domain - Computer Definition
Software, or any work of intellectual property, that was never protected by patent or copyright, on which such protection has expired, or that has been declared by its creator to be released unconditionally for public use, including distribution and modification, in any manner and under any circumstances. Such work is entirely free of any copyright restrictions or any other property protections. See also copyright, freeware, intellectual property, and software.
The jurisdiction of the general public. It refers to intellectual property that has either been voluntarily placed in the public domain by its author or that has passed its copyright, trademark or patent expiration date. However, rights in one country do not necessarily apply to another. International property rights is a complicated subject, as each country has its own statutes. Certain property is automatically in the public domain, such as non-classified publications of the U.S government. This is not the case in Canada and other countries, although certain material is made publicly available. See public domain software, copyright and trademarks.
public domain - Legal Definition