Copyright: Public Domain

A Libguide to inform faculty about copyright

What is Public Domain?

A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright and which may be freely used by everyone.

 Works fall into the public domain for three main reasons:

• Term of copyright for the work has expired;
• Author failed to satisfy statutory formalities to continue copyright;
• Work is a product of the U.S. Government.

Most works enter the public domain because of old age, including any work published in the United States before 1923.

The Copyright Slider Tool  can determine if a work is still protected by copyright.