The public domain refers to all creative works not covered by copyright. Generally a work enters the public domain in one of three ways:
- When copyright expires
- When the work is so old it was created before copyright protection existed
- When the copyright owner chooses to put a work in the public domain.
Public domain works must still be cited properly, but they can be copied, used, or modified in any way without asking for permission. Although the majority of materials held by the Dalhousie Libraries are copyrighted or under some kind of license, there is a small but growing body of materials entering the public domain. The guide provides resources and information to help you determine the copyright status of a particular work. Over time, we’ll be adding examples of items held by the Dalhousie Libraries that are in the public domain.
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