Skip to main content
The Public Domain
Public domain works are not restricted by copyright and do not require a license or fee to use.
- Facts and Ideas
- Works created by the federal government and federal employees working within the scope of their job
- Work informational in nature with no original authorship
- Works in the public domain
Open Access Journals
Open Access titles are still copyrighted materials either owned by the publisher or the author. You should treat them the same way as other materials.
Creative Commons is designed to facilitate the sharing of materials, especially those on the Internet. The Creative Commons "contracts" allow you, the author, to retain copyright while giving permission to others to use the material for non-profit purposes.
The Digital Public Domain by
Publication Date: 2012-03-01
Open Source Software Law by
Publication Date: 2003-12-01
Currently, the default term is life of the author plus 70 years.
- All works published in the U.S. before 1923
- All works published with a copyright notice from 1923 through 1963 without copyright renewal
- All works published without a copyright notice from 1923 through 1977
- All works published without a copyright notice from 1978 through March 1, 1989, and without subsequent registration within 5 years
Finding Public Domain Works
In the Public Domain
- Copyright has expired
- Copyright owner failed to follow renewal rules
- Copyright owner deliberatly places the work in the Public Domain
- The type of work is not protected
The advice and information on copyrighted materials provided by the library is not intended to substitute for and is in no way legal advice.