Public Domain

Public Domain

Being in the public domain encompasses a range of things. These are commonly referred to as intellectual property but not being owned or controlled by a person or organization. .

These materials are then public property available for anyone to use for any purpose. By law most original works of literature, music, art, etc. are covered by copyright from the time of their creation for a limited period of time. When copyright expires, the work enters the public domain. This varies by country and content.

In some ways, patents are like public domain. There is a time limit under which such are "owned". After that time, unless otherwise handled, these too become public.

It is always best to get legal counsel for usage of any such materials. However, there are many sites that make very clear which content, if any, is in the public domain.