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What is Public Domain?

Public Domain (often abbreviated, "PD") is a body of intellectual material which is not under copyright and may be used without permission. This includes:

  • Works which the owner has explicitly moved into the public domain
  • Works in which copyright has expired
  • Works in which copyright has lapsed due to failure comply with necessary formalities such as renewal and notice
  • Works created by the United States Government (see 17 U.S.C. §105), as well as the works of many state and local governments.

see Public Domain Slider, and Cornell's Copyright Term and the Public Domain table