Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: May 19, 2023     Views: 19


What is the Public Domain?

A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright, which means it’s free for you to use without permission. Works in the public domain are those for which intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable.

Here are some examples of works in the public domain:

  • Material created by the US Government, such as pictures taken by NASA
  • Materials for which Copyright Protection has lapsed, such as “New Hampshire” by Robert Frost
  • Works released to the public domain when they were created, such as images on Pexels

Determining if a work is in the public domain can be difficult because the terms of copyright protection in the United States have changed over time. The Cornell University Library Copyright Information Center is a useful tool for understanding what works might fall into the public domain.

From this chapter of the Getting Started with Pressbooks at TCC book.

See the links below to more information!