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Copyright Best Practices

What is Public Domain?

A work is within the public domain when there are no ownership rights associated with it. A work may be in the public domain because its copyright has expired or it failed to meet copyright protection requirements.

Anyone may reproduce, redistribute, or adapt the work and there is no longer a need to seek permission for its use.

This particular statute does not define public domain, but does explain the conditions necessary for copyright protection, the types of works that are eligible for protection, the rights of copyright holders and the exceptions to these exclusive rights.

Relevent U.S. Code