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Public Domain Media

What Is Public Domain?

Public Domain

Public Domain means that the material is no longer under copyright and can be used freely by the public.  Please note that many of the websites listed here make a distinction between public domain and flexible copyright.  Many newer websites are posting material under a Creative Commons License, and may carry restrictions such as non-commercial use only, or require a note of attribution. 
For a guide about what constitutes public domain, see Cornell's Public Domain page .

Who Owns What?

How do you find who owns the copyright to a work?  Here are a few websites to check.  Remember, researching copyright can be time consuming. And if you don't find the copyright owner there is no guarantee that the material is copyright-free.
Copyright Office Public Catalog (1978-)
Selected Copyright Renewal Registrations (1950-1977)
Copyright Renewal Database (U.S. Books from 1923-1963)

Citing Images:

Whether you're writing a paper, preparing a presentation, or creating a web page, you should cite image information to the best of your ability. Here are a few sample websites which show different styles for image citation:
Citing vs. Attribution (from University of California, Irvine)
    Attribution Best Practices
Citing Images:  (Cornell University Libraries)

Use the tabs at the left to browse through sources of public domain or creative commons images, audio, video and scores.



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Jenny Richards