Answered By: Jennifer Harris
Last Updated: Jan 31, 2019     Views: 161

Some works are not subject to copyright law because they are in the public domain. Works that are part of the public domain can be used by others without copyright clearance or any further fair use analysis.

In general, works can enter the public domain if they are assigned to the public domain by their creators or, more commonly, if the copyright on them has expired. Copyright expires on works after a certain period of time. The timeframe to apply depends upon the specific work and the circumstances surrounding its creation. However, in general, works published before 1923 are part of the public domain, other works will pass into the public domain seventy years after the author has died, and, in the case of anonymous works or works drafted by a corporation, copyright will run 95 years from the date of publication or 120 years from the date of creation, whichever is shorter. One helpful tool to aid in determining if a work is in the public domain is the Copyright Digital Slider.

SNHU has provided the resources on this page to help individuals learn more about copyright laws and issues. However, SNHU cannot be responsible for the accuracy or completeness of third party links. This page is intended to be educational in nature and is not meant to constitute legal advice.

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