Warning! Publicly available is not the same as Public Domain!
Many items on the internet are still protected by copyright, so don’t assume online works are free to use just because they are free to access.
"Public domain" is a class of intellectual material that is NOT protected by copyright or any other intellectual property law. These resources are free to use and may be copied, shared, modified, reused or adapted without permission or payment of royalties.
|No original or creative input by the author||
Verbatim copies: reprints of older publications. Collection of facts: telephone white pages listings.
|Not fixed in a tangible form||
Includes: improvised speeches or performances which are never recorded.
Copyright is granted for a limited amount of time. Once copyright expires it cannot be reinstated! *
|US Federal documents||
Works created by federal employees as a part of their official job duties: Presidential speeches, judges’ opinions, and official documents or images.
|Facts and data||
Dates of events, scientific formulae, statistical data, discoveries.
|Ideas and concepts||
A description of an idea can be protected but the idea itself is not.
|Information that is “Common Property”||
Rulers, height & weight charts, or tables found in public documents.
|Words, names and short phrases||
Brand names, slogans and taglines.
|Processes & procedures||
A description of the procedure can be protected but the procedure itself is not.
Also, a work which appears to be in the public domain because it is older or predates the existence of copyright, may actually be protected. This occurs when a work has been altered from the original to the extent that it is considered a new or different work, qualifying it for protection. Translations and adaptations are good examples of these types of works: