Help:Public domain

This page helps users determine whether a given work is in the public domain, and which template to use.

Criteria

These tables summarise the conditions a work must meet in order to be safely considered public domain.[1][2]

Not public domain

Conditions Date PD
unpublished works created before 1978 and published 1977–2003 2048–2073[a]

Public domain

Corporate authorship

'Corporate authorship' refers to works written for hire or in the name of a corporation.

Date of publication Conditions Public domain Template
none. unpublished Works created 120+ years ago (1894) {{PD-US-unpublished}}
1923 through 1977
  • published outside the US and copyright in its home country
works created 120+ years ago (1894) or published 95+ years ago (1919), whichever is earliest. none.
1978–1 March 1989
  • no notice, but subsequent registration
  • or with notice
works created 120+ years ago (1894) or published 95+ years ago (1919), whichever is earliest. none.
After 1 March 1989 none. works created 120+ years ago (1894) or published over 95+ years ago (1919), whichever is earliest. none.

Unpublished works

An unpublished work is one that has never been published in any form, or which was first published after 2003 but created before 1935.

Note for the European Union: If a previously unpublished work is published first time ("editio princeps") later than 70 years after the death of the author, then it is no more public domain but it is granted a copyright for 25 years (Council Directive 93/98/EEC, see here)
Type of work What is public domain Template
  • Most works (except those below)
  • or created before 1978 and published after 2002
works of authors who died 70+ years ago (1944) {{PD-US-unpublished}}
  • anonymous or pseudonymous
  • or author's date of death unknown
Works created 120+ years ago (1894) {{PD-US-unpublished}}

Published in the United States

Date of publication Condition[3] What is public domain Template
Before 1923 none. all works. {{PD-1923}}
1923–1963 with notice, no renewal[b] all works. {{PD-US-not renewed}}
1923–1963 with notice and renewal[b] Works published 95+ years ago (1919) none.
1923–1977 no copyright notice all works. {{PD-US-no notice}}
1964–1977 with notice Works published 95+ years ago (1919) none.
1978–1 March 1989 no notice or subsequent registration all works. none.
1978–1 March 1989
  • no notice, but subsequent registration
  • or with notice
works of authors who died 70+ years ago (1944) none.
After 1 March 1989 none. works of authors who died 70+ years ago (1944)
Any time prepared by an on-duty officer or employee of the United States Federal Government all works. {{PD-USGov}}
Any time official documents of the United Nations[4] Official records, UN documents issued with a UN symbol, and not-for-sale public information materials designed primarily to inform the public about United Nations activities {{PD-UN}}

Published outside the United States

Note: Foreign works published after 1923 are likely to be still under copyright in the US because of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, even if they briefly entered public domain before the agreement[5]. Only unambiguous conditions are listed below.

Date of publication Condition What is public domain Template
Before 1 July 1909 none. all works. none.
1 July 1909–1922 in compliance with US formalities all works. none.
1923–1977 public domain in its home country as of 1 January 1996 all works. {{PD-1996}}
After 1 January 1978 copyright in its home country works by authors who died 95+ years ago (1919)
Published in Greater China
Condition What is public domain Template
Works ineligible for copyright in Mainland China Laws; regulations; resolutions, decisions and orders of State organs; other documents of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature; and their official translations. {{PD-PRC-exempt}}
Official works of Macao Official works, in particular the texts of treaties, laws and regulations and those of reports or decisions by authorities of any kind, and translations thereof. {{PD-MacaoGov}}
Works ineligible for copyright in Taiwan The constitution, acts, regulations, official documents (including proclamations, text of speeches, news releases, and other documents prepared by civil servants in the course of carrying out their duties), and their ranslations and compilations by central or local government agencies. {{PD-ROC-exempt}}

Miscellaneous

Condition What is public domain Template
No creative content Some works (vague) {{PD-ineligible}}
Copyright released by holder All works {{PD-release}}

Copyright terms by country

These tables outline the estimated length of time of copyright per country.[6][7][8] Laws regarding anonymous works, corporate-authored works, or non-literary works vary per country. This is not intended to be used as a legal guideline since it cannot reflect the complexity of the copyright laws in effect at any one time and since copyright laws are changing continuously; this section simply provides a useful summary as part of a more in-depth research.

Country Copyright length
Albania life + 70
Algeria life + 50
Andorra life + 70
Angola life + 50
Argentina life + 70
Armenia life + 50
Aruba unknown
Australia life + 50 if author died before 1955, otherwise life + 70
Austria life + 70
Azerbaijan life + 50
Bahrain life + 50
Bangladesh life + 50
Barbados life + 50
Belarus life + 50
Belgium life + 70
Belize life + 50
Benin life + 50
Bhutan life + 50
Bolivia life + 50
Bosnia and Herzegovina life + 70
Brazil
  • life + 70 for known authors[9]
  • first publication + 70 for anonymous or pseudonymous works (only if the author doesn't make his identity known before the expiry)[10]
  • first publication + 70 for audiovisual and photographic works[11], phonograms and transmission for the broadcasts of broadcasting organizations[12]
  • texts of treaties or conventions, laws, decrees, regulations, judicial decisions and other official enactments shall be excluded from copyright protection[13]
Brunei life + 50
Bulgaria life + 70
Burkina Faso life + 50
Burundi life + 50
Cambodia life + 50
Cameroon life + 50
Canada life + 50
Cape Verde life + 50
Chile life + 50
China life + 50
Colombia life + 80; publication + 80 for collective, anonymous and cinematic works; publication + 70 when its owner is a legal entity or an official body or any institution under government public law.
Costa Rica life + 70
Cote d'Ivoire life + 99
Croatia life + 70 (before 27 of July 1999 span of author rights in Croatia extended 50 years after authors death, after that date Croatia accepted EU laws ;70 years of author rights after authors death, works of anybody who died before 31st of December 1948, or on that day, are in PD.)
Cuba life + 50
Czech Republic life + 70
Denmark life + 70
Djibouti life + 25
Dominica life + 70
Dominican Republic life + 50
Ecuador life + 70
Egypt life + 50
El Salvador life + 50
Estonia life + 70
European Union life + 70
Fiji life + 50
Finland life + 70
France life + 70
Georgia life + 70
Germany life + 70
Ghana life + 70
Greece life + 70
Guatemala life + 75
Honduras life + 75
Hong Kong life + 50
Hungary life + 70
Iceland life + 70
India life + 60 for literary or musical works or artistic works, publication + 60 for others.[14]
Indonesia life + 50
Iran life + 30
Iraq life + 50 (imposed by occupying provisional authority)
Ireland life + 70
Israel life + 70
Italy life + 70
Jamaica life + 50
Japan life + 50 (life + 70 years for motion pictures)
Jordan life + 50
Kazakhstan life + 50
Kenya life + 50
Korea (South) life + 50 (death before 1963)
life + 70 (died in or after 1963)
Kuwait life + 50
Kyrgyzstan life + 50
Latvia life + 70
Lebanon life + 50
Libya life + 25, with 50-year minimum (as of 1968; may have changed since)
Liechtenstein life + 70
Lithuania life + 70
Luxembourg life + 70
Macao life + 50 for known authors; first publication + 50 for anonymous
Madagascar life + 70
Malaysia life + 50
Maldives none
Mali life + 50
Malta life + 70
Marshal Islands none
Mauritius life + 50
Mexico life + 100
Moldova life + 50
Mongolia life + 50
Montenegro life + 70
Morocco
  • for a work created by a known author : life + 70[15]
  • for a work created anonymously or under a pseudonym[16], and a collective or audiovisual work[17] :
    1. first lawful publication + 70
    2. if no such event occured within 50 years after the making of the work, making available to the public + 70
    3. if no such events occured within 50 years after the making of the work, making of the work + 70
Namibia life + 50
The Netherlands life + 70
New Zealand life + 50
Nicaragua life + 70
Niger life + 50
Nigeria Life + 70
Norway life + 70
Oman life + 50
Pakistan life + 50
Palau life + 50
Panama life + 50
Papua New Guinea life + 50
Paraguay life + 70
Peru life + 70
Philippines life + 50
Poland Life + 70
Qatar life + 50
Romania life + 70
Russia life + 70 (life + 50 for works whose copyright expired before July 28, 2004 1993)[18]
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines life + 50
Samoa Life + 75
Saudi Arabia life + 50
Serbia life + 70
Seychelles life + 25
Singapore life + 70
Slovakia life + 70
Slovenia life + 70
Solomon Islands life + 50
South Africa life + 50
Spain life + 80 (before 1987); life + 70 (after 1987)
Sudan life + 50
Swaziland life + 50
Sweden life + 70
Switzerland life + 70
Syria life + 50
Taiwan life + 50
Tajikistan life + 50
Tanzania life + 50
Thailand life + 50
Togo life + 50
Tonga life + 50
Trinidad and Tobago life + 50
Tunisia life + 50
Turkey life + 70
United Arab Emirates life + 50
United Kingdom life + 70
United States expired for works published before 1923; 28 or 95 years for works copyrighted 1923-1963; 95 years for works copyrighted 1964-1977; thereafter life+70.
Uruguay life + 50
Uzbekistan life + 50
Venezuela life + 60
Vietnam life + 50
Yemen life + 30
Zambia life + 50
Zimbabwe life + 50

See also

Notes

Footnotes

  • ^a  These works have copyright terms extending 70 years beyond the author's life, or until 31 December 2047 (whichever is greater).
  • ^b  The United States Copyright renewal records search engine is a useful tool for determining renewal status.

References

  1. The criteria tables are primarily derived from the Cornell Copyright Information Center's Public Domain chart, which is copyrighted by Peter Hirtle and released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License 2.0.
  2. Copyright durations, Bromberg and Sunstein, LLP
  3. Circular 15a from the United States Copyright Office
  4. As Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement for the United Nations, Public Law 80-357 applies the United States laws to the United Nations Headquarters, works published there are copyrighted in the same way as other works published in the United States.
  5. Highlights of Copyright Amendments Contained in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA). Circular 38b (Portable Document Format), Library of Congress Copyright Office
  6. How Can I Tell Whether a Book Can Go Online?, Online Books Page
  7. Summary of copyright terms The Online Books Page
  8. Collection of National Copyright Laws, United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation
  9. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 41
  10. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 43
  11. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 44
  12. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 96
  13. Law No. 9610 of February 19, 1998, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, article 8
  14. A Hand Book of Copyright Law, Government of India Ministry of Human Resource Development
  15. Copyright Law of 2000 as amended in 2006 : Loi n° 2-00 de 2000 telle que modifiée et complétée par la loi n° 34-05 de 2006, article 25
  16. Copyright Law of 2000 as amended in 2006 : Loi n° 2-00 de 2000 telle que modifiée et complétée par la loi n° 34-05 de 2006, article 27
  17. Copyright Law of 2000 as amended in 2006 : Loi n° 2-00 de 2000 telle que modifiée et complétée par la loi n° 34-05 de 2006, article 28. Ownership of rights in audiovisual works is regulated by the article 36.
  18. copyright.ru (Russian)
Last modified on 8 August 2013, at 09:31