Public Domain Works - Explained
What is a Public Domain Work?
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What is a Public Domain Work?
The public domain comprises every creative work to which exclusive intellectual property rights do not apply. The rights might have expired, been expressly waived, forfeited, or may be inapplicable.
How is a Public Domain Work Used?
Public domain refers to creative materials which intellectual property laws such as trademark, copyright, or patent laws do not protect. These works are owned by the public as against being owned by individual artists or authors. Anybody can make use of a public domain work without getting permission, but none can own it. There are four major ways through which works arrive in the public domain:
- Expiration of the copyright
- Failure by the copyright owner to abide by the copyright renewal rules
- Dedication: deliberate placement by the copyright owner in the public domain or
- A type of work that isn't protected by copyright law.
Copyright doesn't protect some works
There are certain things that copyright law doesn't protect. This law doesn't protect book titles or movie titles, nor does it protect short phrases like, make my day. Also, facts, theories, or ideas are not covered by copyright protection. The aforementioned things are free for everyone to use with no authorization.
Facts and Theories
Copyright does not protect a fact or a theory. For instance, the fact about a comet passing by the earth in 2027 isn't protected by copyright. If this fact was discovered by a scientist, then anyone can use it freely without seeking the permission of the scientist. Also, if an individual creates a theory that a nuclear device can destroy the comet, anyone can make use of the theory in creating a movie or book. But, the unique expression of a fact may be protected. Therefore, if a movie is created by a filmmaker about destroying a comet using a nuclear device, the exact way he portrayed the ideas in the movie will be protected by copyright. Authors of other works actively dedicate them to the public domain. Some examples include the CIAs World Factbook, reference implementations of cryptographic algorithms, and the image-processing software ImageJ which was created by the National Institutes of Health. The term is known as public domain is not usually applied to situations where the author of a work retains residual rights where the use of the work is known as with permission or under license. As rights differ from country and jurisdiction, a work may answer to rights in a certain country and be in the public domain in a different country. Certain rights depend on registrations based on the country, and registration absence in a particular country, if needed, brings about public-domain status for a work in such a country. Public domain as a term may be interchanged with other undefined or imprecise terms such as the commons or public sphere, including concepts like the intellectual commons, the commons of the mind, and the information commons. Boundaries of public domain definition in relation to copyright, or in general, intellectual property, see the public domain as negative space. This means that it comprises works which were not protected by copyright law or works that are not in copyright term anymore. Using the term public domain can become more granular, including for instance, using works in copyright allowed by copyright exceptions. A definition such as this terms work in copyright private property conditional upon fair-use rights, as well as, limitation on ownership. Lange provides a conceptual definition whose focus was on what the public domain should be: the public domain should be a place of sanctuary (refuge) for personal creative expression, a refuge conferring assertive protection against private appropriation forces which threatened such expression. The public domain was described by Patterson and Lindberg, not as a territory, but as a concept. Certain materials such as sunlight, space, life, rain, the air we breathe, thoughts, creations, feelings, words, ideas, and numbers are not subjected to private ownership. The materials which make up our cultural heritage must be accessible to all living to use no less than the necessity of matter for biological survival. The public domain may be used interchangeably with other undefined or imprecise terms like the commons or public sphere with the inclusion of concepts like the intellectual commons, the commons of the mind, and the information commons. A public-domain book refers to a book without copyright, one that was created with no license, or a book whose copyrights have been forfeited or expired. In most countries, the copyright term of protection lasts until the 1st of January, and exactly 70 years after the latest living authors death. Mexico has the longest copyright terms which comprise life and also 100 years for every death since July 1928. The United States is a major exception, where all books, as well as, tales written before 1923 are in the public domain. Copyrights in the U.S. have a lasting period of 95 years for books which were written between 1923 and 1978. The United States copyright laws set differences between musical compositions and sound recordings. While musical compositions refer to notation, melody, and/or lyrics which a composer and/or lyricist created with the inclusion of sheet music, sound recordings, on the other hand, refer to a recording which an artist performs, including an LP, CD, or digital sound file. General rules that apply to other works also apply to musical compositions and anything published before 1922 is regarded as public domain. On the contrary, sound recordings are subject to various rules and wont be eligible for the domain until 2049 to 2067, depending on the publication date and location.
A public-domain film is a film whose release was masterminded by the author or because of its copyright expiration. In 2016, there were over 2,000 films on public domain in all genres, ranging from musicals to horror, romance, animated films, and to western movies. For decades, model code publishers sample laws which a state or city can adopt have claimed copyrights. Local laws, state laws, and ordinances are all based on such codes. They include copyright notices in the name of the publisher or some other pointer the publisher claims the copyright. In a major victory for public domain exponents, a federal appellate court discovered that its when local governments enact model codes into law that they enter the public domain.
- Intellectual Property Law (Intro)
- What is Intellectual Property?
- What is the purpose in granting intellectual property rights?
- What is required to capture or secure intellectual property rights?
- California Labor Code 2870
- What are Trade Secrets?
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- Patents or patent rights?
- Letters Patent
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- What Can I Patent?
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- What is a Patentability Search?
- When is a Patentability Search Necessary?
- Why is a Patent Search Important?
- Requirements for a design patent?
- How to Do a Design Patent Search
- Cost of a Design Patent
- Requirements for a utility patent?
- Why Do You Need a Utility Patent?
- Plant Patent?
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- Patent Search
- Basics of Doing a Patent Search
- 5 Rules for Effective Patent Searches
- What are Patent Databases?
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- Understanding Patent Keyword Searches
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- Patent Attorney
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- What Does Patent Pending Mean?
- Process for enforcing ones patent rights?
- Patent Infringement
- Patent Troll
- What is a Trademark?
- Types of trademark?
- Requirements to capture trademark rights?
- Distinctiveness requirement for a Trademark?
- Determining whether a trademark is sufficient distinctive?
- What is Federal Trademark Registration?
- Conducting Trademark Search
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- Trademark infringement?
- Enforce trademark rights?
- Demonstrate infringement of a trademark?
What is a copyright?
- Digital Millennium Copyright Act or DMCA Explained
- Basics of Copyright Law
- What are the rights of a holder of a copyright?
- What are the elements of a copyright?
- How long is the period of copyright protection?
- What is the process for registering a copyright?
- Who may claim and secure copyright protection?
- What are infringement and the process for enforcing a copyright?
- What are the defenses available against a claim of copyright infringement?
- Public Domain Works
- Licensing Agreement
- End User License Agreement
- What is Fair Use of copyright?
- What is the First Sale Doctrine?
- What international protections exist for intellectual property rights?
- Paris Convention