Answered By: Melissa Huffman
Last Updated: Sep 23, 2021     Views: 42

If  a published work is in the Public Domain it means that it belongs to the public and is free to use.

Public Domain items include:

  • works whose copyright has expired
  • those that never had a copyright
  • works created by the U.S. government.


  • The  U.S. Constitution is in the public domain, but Westlaw’s KeyCite and Key Number system is copyrighted by West.
  • Shakespeare’s  plays are in the public domain, but a book about the plays published last year may still be protected under copyright.
  • Stock photographs are copyright protected, but millions of images from the British library have been released to public domain.

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