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Copyright Primer

Resources for users of copyrighted materials

Public Domain

Works in the Public Domain are not protected by copyright because:

  • Their copyright term has expired (e.g. U.S. works published before 1923)
  • They were not renewed or properly registered
  • Their author(s) dedicated them to the Public Domain

For a complete chart and summary of what is in the Public Domain, see Peter Hirtle's chart: Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the U.S.

Copright timeline

Creative Commons

Sources for Creative Commons Images: