Copyright and Public Domain

Copyright and Public Domain

Along with blogging comes responsibility and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Copyrightable works include but are not limited to literary works such as articles, blog posts, stories, journals, or computer programs, pictures and graphics, as well as audio and video recordings. Copyrights do not need not be applied for as they are vested in the creators of intellectual property. When we create something — we own the copyright, which is our exclusive right as the creator to control who else can use our work and in what manner.


Copyright and Public Domain

The Berne Convention (for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works) was established in 1886 and is an international agreement that governs copyright. The Berne Convention requires its signatories to recognize the copyright of works of authors from other signatory countries (known as members of the Berne Union) in the same way as it recognizes the copyright of its own nationals.

In the United States, the Library of Congress officially registers copyrights which now last for the life of the author plus 70 years.

In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not do a work for hire, the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author’s death.

In the case of works for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author’s identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.


Thanks to organizations like Creative Commons, licenses like the GNU Free Documentation License, and the public domain, there are many images, songs, movies and documents freely available for you to download and republish without fear of violating copyright.

Public domain definition: The public domain is generally defined as consisting of works that are either. Public domain sign not copyrighted ineligible for copyright protection or with expired copyrights. Public domain refers to the total absence of copyright protection for work The public domain is a range of abstract materials commonly referred to as intellectual property which are not owned or controlled by anyone. The term indicates that these materials are therefore “public property”, and available for anyone to use for any purpose.

Once in the public domain, it is always in the public domain. However, any variation on any public domain work becomes the property of the person making the variation, and it receives an automatic copyright, just as do completely original works.

When Copyright Protection Becomes Public Domain

The data below will let you know when you can safely use a piece of art or music without permission because it is now in public domain after copyright protection expiration, or how long the copyright protection will last.