Works in the Public Domain Are Protected by the Copyright Law

For example, the works of William Shakespeare, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci and Georges Méliès are in the public domain, either because they were created before copyright or because their term of protection has expired. [1] Some works are not protected by any copyright by any country and are therefore in the public domain; For example, in the United States, Newtonian physics formulas, cooking recipes[4] and all software created before 1974 are excluded from copyright. [5] Other works are actively devoted to the public domain by their authors (see waiver); Examples include reference implementations of cryptographic algorithms,[6][7][8] and the image processing software ImageJ (developed by the National Institutes of Health). [9] The term public domain is not normally applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case the use of the work is referred to as “licensed” or “with permission”. Today`s theme for Copyright Week is “Building and Defending the Public Domain.” We know that the public is our cultural commons and a critical resource for innovation and access to knowledge. Copyright policy should aim to promote, not diminish, a strong and accessible public domain. Public domain works or content that are not protected by copyright cannot be protected for a variety of reasons, including: U.S. copyright law distinguishes between musical compositions and sound recordings, the former referring to melodies, notations, or lyrics created by a composer or lyricist. including sheet music, and seconds to a recording made by an artist.

including a CD, LP or digital audio file. [24] Musical compositions are subject to the same general rules as other works, and anything published before 1925 is considered public domain. Sound recordings, on the other hand, are subject to different rules and, depending on the date and place of publication, are not in the public domain until 2021-2067, unless they have been explicitly released beforehand. [25] A notable exception is the United States, where all books and stories published before 1927 are in the public domain; U.S. copyright laws apply for 95 years to books originally published between 1925 and 1978 if the copyright has been properly registered and maintained. [22] Although copyright in J. M. Barrie`s Peter Pan works (the play Peter Pan or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up and the novel Peter and Wendy) in the United Kingdom, he was granted a special exception under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (Schedule 6),[42] which required the payment of royalties for commercial performances, Publications and broadcasts of the story of Peter Pan in the United Kingdom. as long as the Great Ormond Street Hospital (for which Barrie gave the copyright) exists. The fact that a work is protected by copyright in the United States or in the public domain in the United States does not mean that the same work has the same copyright status in another country. For example, a U.S. government work may be in the public domain in the United States, but be protected by copyright in Canada.

(This sounds strange and can cause problems in practice. For example, a person in Canada may have difficulty obtaining the right to use a U.S. government work in Canada because the same work is in the public domain when used in the United States.) As noted above, federal, state, and local laws and court decisions are publicly available. (See “Are local laws in the public domain?” above.) However, legal publishers have attempted to circumvent public domain status by claiming that unique page numbering systems are protected by copyright. These publishers argued that you can copy and distribute a court order, but you can`t copy page numbering, which is crucial to the official court citation system. For many years, Lexis and other computerized legal research systems could not refer to the official page numbering system of Western publications. In a 1994 case, West Publishing Company sued when a legal publisher, Matthew Bender, integrated West`s page numbering system into a CD-ROM product. An appeals court ruled that the use of West`s pagination was not protectable and that copying page quotes was allowed as fair dealing in all cases. On the basis of this decision, you are free to copy the reproduction of an editor of the court decisions and page numbering. (Matthew Bender & Co. v.

West Publishing Co., 158 F.3d 693 (2d Cir. 1998). See also West Publishing Company v Mead Data, 799 F.2d 1219 (1986).) Under copyright laws in effect before 1978, a work published without a copyright notice has fallen into the public domain. If the work does not contain the word “copyright” or a (a “c” in a © circle) and the name of the copyright owner, the work would fall into the public domain. This rule has been repealed; A copyright notice is not required for works first published after March 1, 1989 (although works first published before that date must always include a notice).