public domain


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Related to public domain: Public domain software

Public Domain

Land that is owned by the United States. In Copyright law, literary or creative works over which the creator no longer has an exclusive right to restrict, or receive a royalty for, their reproduction or use but which can be freely copied by the public.

Cross-references

Public Lands.

public domain

n. 1) in copyright law, the right of anyone to use literature, music or other previously copyrighted materials, after the copyright period has expired. Although the copyright laws have changed several times, a rule of thumb would be that the last possible date for copyright protection would be 50 years after the death of the author. Thus, the works of William Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Jack London, and other classic writers are in the public domain and may be published by anyone without payment of a royalty. 2) all lands and waters owned by federal, state and local governments. (See: copyright)

public domain

noun available for use by the public, creative work freely usable, dominion to use, free to all, freely used by the community, invention freely usable, logo freely usable, not private, open for the community, permitted, publicly accessible, publicly obtainable, publicly usable, unreserved, unrestricted, within the province of the public
Associated concepts: patents, promietary rights

public domain

1 (US) land owned by the government.
2 property rights not attached by anyone. In the UK so far as heritable or real property is concerned, almost anything that is not owned by someone is owned by the Crown or inherited by the Crown. The main practical use of the phrase in contemporary.
References in periodicals archive ?
t]hough journalists frequently and mistakenly claim otherwise, neither "free software," nor most "open-source software" is in the public domain.
Because I will argue that materials in the public domain are not owned by anybody, I think that this is a mistake.
8) but disentangling the public domain inspiration to those
while public domain advocates fight back with anecdotes and intuition.
When combined, digitization and global distribution networks work to impact the scope, the range, the diversity, and the accessibility of these digitized works, making public domain materials even more valuable and essential for the growth of the innovative and creative, the scientific and entrepreneurial, the artistic and the scholarly.
Further, the 7th Circuit ruling confirms that when a work with a copyrighted character falls into the public domain, if that character is featured in subsequent works not in the public domain that include traits that are sufficiently distinctive, those new traits are protected and cannot be copied.
Schubertline and Sheet Music Archive are two examples of online libraries of public domain scores that are available for a fee.
The studio largely prevailed in a 2011 8th Circuit Court decision, which held that even though the publicity material a merchandiser used to create a line of "Wizard of Oz" products had fallen into the public domain, it still infringed on the studio's copyrights in some instances because it evoked the film.
3) In order to understand the way in which the incorporation is made, it is necessary to make the distinction between the natural public domain and the artificial public domain.
Even if the 1994 law were consistent with Congress' copyright power, it violated the First Amendment, Golan argued, by removing works from the public domain.
Part II then presents an alternative conception of the public domain as situated public domains.