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Open Educational Resources: Public Domain

A "getting started" guide overviewing open, editable, and lower-cost textbooks and open teaching & learning resources for faculty, students, and librarians.

Public Domain: What it is and what it's not

The term "public domain" encompasses materials for which:

  • The copyright has expired;
  • The copyright owner has intentionally and explicitly"dedicated" it to the public domain;
  • The copyright owner did not follow copyright renewal rules; or
  • Copyright law does not protect (such as works created by U.S. Government employees during the course of their employment, and works that cannot by copyrighted (such as ideas, common knowledge, data points etc.))

Public domain is different than "publicly accessible" or "free online."  READ MORE ABOUT THE PUBLIC DOMAIN HERE.

Is it in the Public Domain (in the United States)?

A Selection of Public Domain Resources - Online

Finding Public Domain Resources

CC0 vs. Creative Commons "Public Domain" mark

CC0 - Creative Commons zero - donated to the public domain CC0: "No rights reserved"

CC PD. Creative Commons Public Domain mark. Identified as being in the Public Domain. CC PD: "No known copyright"

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