How Do Works Enter Public Domain ?
Work in public domain signifies information that can be freely accessed by one and all. Such work is not bound by the restrictions of the copyright law and therefore, falls under no individual authority.
Work is slotted under public domain due to various reasons.One prime reason could be expiration of the term of copyright. All creative property can be safeguarded against replication by the original source through the laws of copyright. However, all copyrights have a stipulated time period that needs to be renewed. In absence of that, such matter falls under public domain. Secondly, certain legalities need to be followed to place any work under copyright. Work could fall into public domain incase the original producer was unable to satisfy the norms concerning the same. Lastly, all work produced by the United States Government is part of public domain.
The laws governing public domain are not standardized internationally. Work accredited as public domain in one state or country may not hold the same validity in another political boundary. In accordance to the US law, work published anywhere in the world before the date January 1, 1923 is legally in public domain. However, since there is no international code of law binding the issue of public domain, this date holds no significance for the rest of the nations. Thus, owing to the disparity in law, it becomes vital to ensure the laws of the nation in which the work has been published, before considering it public domain and using it freely.
Creative Common License is the best solution to establish work in public domain at par all over the world. Once a copyright holder withdraws all authority with the aid of this module, then work can be utilized as public domain universally. A Creative Commons public domain certification aids in identifying work that can be legally used by every individual in the world. Another novel form of this tool by the name of public domain assertion tool is underway.
Since there is no international law governing copyright, there is truly speaking no public domain on the Internet. Websites abide by the laws of the nation they are established in. For instance, the Wikipedia with its headquarters in Florida subscribes to the US law of copyrights. Therefore, all users of the Internet should check with the laws of their respective states and better still provide citations to ensure no issues of plagiarism or copyright infringement.
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