Did you know that literally
millions of pages of content exist out on the
Internet that you can legally use (some would even
say "swipe") to put content on your
In fact, "public domain" material can form
the basis for ebooks, articles, blog content and
even autoresponder email messages.
So if you need content for your website, this
article may hold the key to discovering an avalanche
of available material requiring you to write very
little (if any) of it yourself.
"Public Domain" refers to any intellectual
work that does not carry copyright protection.
Works like books, magazines, articles, music, and
film fall into the public domain in one of several
ways: their copyright expired; they were donated to
the public domain; they are not eligible for
In the United States, that means any work published
before 1923 falls into the public domain.
Any work published between 1923 and 1963 that did
not have its copyright renewed in the 28th year
falls in the public domain.
So the copyright owner of a work first copyrighted
in 1950 would have had to renew that copyright by
1978 in order to retain their rights.
Some legal experts estimate that as much as 80% of
works published in the period between 1923 and 1963
never renewed their copyright.
Now, you may wonder, "What does this have to do
with me?" Well, in a nutshell, it means you can
get access to an avalanche of content without
creating it yourself or paying someone else to
create it for you.
Check out these websites for additional information
on how and where to find public domain material.
- Offers an entire course on how to identify, use,
and profit from works in the public domain. The
creator of the course specifically teaches how to
find and repackage public domain information for
profit on the Internet.
- A website dedicated to public domain music topics
which offers a number of resources, a list of 3,500+
songs in the public domain, and a brief tutorial
specifically on using musical works in the public
- Offers a concise summary chart of the dates
involved with determining if a work falls into the
- the U.S. Government site that offers a complete
guide to copyright and copyright issues. Also
includes a searchable database to determine if a
work's copyright was renewed.
Using public domain materials does not, however,
come without a degree of risk.
If you choose to use a public domain work in your
writing, website, blog, autoresponder or other work,
you must ensure that the work does fall into the
As with any matter involving the law, consulting an
attorney if you are at all unsure about whether a
work falls into the public domain rates an excellent
idea to avoid trouble.
But, if done correctly, the use of public domain
materials creates an excellent opportunity to share
valuable information with a worldwide audience using
the new communication mediums only the Internet can