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.
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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.
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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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
(115) 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.
[t]hough journalists frequently and mistakenly claim otherwise, neither "free software," nor most "open-source software" is in the public domain. After all, the thing that makes open-source software work is the General Public License.
definition of the public domain: (1) works whose copyright term has
work, which is in the public domain, but no one has yet calculated it in
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.
Klinger felt that, since a majority of the Holmes stories are in the public domain, he should not have to pay a licensing fee.
In our case, although, I am not certain it will only be a single child who will be killed here, nor am I so sure that we are curing the world's diseases; however, one thing is clear: the public domain will remain open.
Ken Basin of Greenberg Glusker notes that a new project based on a public domain property that has already been adapted must be careful to draw from the original work and not the adaptation.
In order to have a clear understanding and for a better structure of the notions, the doctrine defined the public domain of the state and of the administrative-territorial units as the total amount of goods found in public property, and the other goods that belong to the same holders are in their private property and form the private domain of the state and the administrative-territorial units.
In a 6-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress did not violate the First Amendment by taking works in the public domain and placing them under copyright protection.