The public domain is the collection of all expressive works for which no one owns the copyright—or to look at it another way, the collection of works which everyone owns. Works within the public domain may be used freely by anyone, for any purpose, without copyright permission from anyone because no one owns the exclusive rights to these works.
A work is in the public domain if its term of copyright protection is over, or if it never met the requirements for copyright protection in the first place. Here are some general guidelines to determine if a work is in the public domain:
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This website presents information about copyright law. The University Libraries make every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but do not offer it as counsel or legal advice. Consult an attorney for advice concerning your specific situation.