public domain

Definition

Openly available to everyone and not subject to copyright protection. Public domain often refers to software, but it can also refer more generally to any work of intellectual property.

Use public domain in a sentence

If Jim isn't careful enough to use public domain photos in his PowerPoint presentation, he may find himself arrested for copyright infringement.

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When my boss wanted to use a piece of music from the early 20th century in a commercial, we had to hire a lawyer to see if the music was still covered by copyright or if we could freely use it from the public domain.

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Since all the classics of nineteenth-century literature are in the public domain, it is easy to form your own digital "library" using Google Books and other similar archives.

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