public domain

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Related to public domain: Public domain software

public domain,

in law, legal availability for public use, free of charge, of materials, processes, devices, skills, and plans that are not protected by copyright or patent, including those on which copyright or patent has lapsed. Historically in the United States, the term has been important in reference to public landpublic land,
in U.S. history, land owned by the federal government but not reserved for any special purpose, e.g., for a park or a military reservation. Public land is also called land in the public domain.
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 under the administration of national or local authorities.

public domain

(PD) The total absence of copyright protection. If something is "in the public domain" then anyone can copy it or use it in any way they wish. The author has none of the exclusive rights which apply to a copyright work.

The phrase "public domain" is often used incorrectly to refer to freeware or shareware (software which is copyrighted but is distributed without (advance) payment). Public domain means no copyright -- no exclusive rights. In fact the phrase "public domain" has no legal status at all in the UK.

See also archive site, careware, charityware, copyleft, crippleware, guiltware, postcardware and -ware. Compare payware.

public domain

The jurisdiction of the general public. It refers to intellectual property that has either been voluntarily placed in the public domain by its author or that has passed its copyright, trademark or patent expiration date. However, rights in one country do not necessarily apply to another. International property rights is a complicated subject, as each country has its own statutes.

Certain property is automatically in the public domain, such as non-classified publications of the U.S government. This is not the case in Canada and other countries, although certain material is made publicly available. See public domain software, copyright and trademarks.
References in periodicals archive ?
I will now argue for the recognition of three types of common property: a privately created commons, public property, and the public domain.
The reason why open source software is not simply donated to the public domain by the creators is that it would then be possible for someone else subsequently to take it out of the public domain by claiming intellectual property rights in it.
work, which is in the public domain, but no one has yet calculated it in
input (think of Disney's use of public domain stories and
Even before 2019, the public domain has been growing--not with new material that is entering the public domain for the first time but with material that is already in the public domain through the determined efforts of libraries, museums, archives, governments, nonprofits, and companies that are digitizing collections.
Therefore, those later changes to the character would be protected even after its initial appearances fell into the public domain.
Online public domain resources for vocal repertoire fall into two distinct categories: those that are free and those for which a fee is charged for access to scores.
rejected the studio's claims that a video firm which repackaged a World War II documentary series that had fallen into the public domain violated the Lanham Act--the principal federal statute that spells out what constitutes trademark infringement--even though the video company passed off the project as its own.
Processes for establishing the common law public domain and public processes
Golan argued that Congress couldn't take works in the public domain and put them under copyright protection.
Part I of this Article examines scholarship theorizing conceptions of the public domain and its relationship to patent law.