Can Public Domain Works Be Repurposed?

5 replies
I know that you can republish public domain works, but can you alter them in any way? What are the exact rights attached to the public domain? I would think that you can do whatever you want with them since they are out of copyright, but I'm not particularly familiar with the topic.
#domain #public #public domain #repurposed #works
  • Profile picture of the author Tom Byrde
    It's a minefield.

    Different rights in different countries

    Some people do well with the stuff, but you have to be careful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alfredo Carrion
    Do you mean stuff that's in Creative Commons?
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    • Profile picture of the author truly_gifted
      Originally Posted by Alfredocoach View Post

      Do you mean stuff that's in Creative Commons?
      No, I'm specifically referring to public domain works. It has to do with materials that are no longer under copyright. So, essentially, no one owns them anymore...which means that anyone can go back and copyright them under their own name?

      Just wondering. Like I said, I'm not up to date on the stuff. Heck, I'm not even out of date on public domain. I've got no clue, lol!
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      • Profile picture of the author Drez
        If a work is truly in the public domain you can use it any way you want and (according to a lawyer I asked) with or without attribution.

        This means you can also create derivative works.

        And it's possible that your derivative works are copyright protected.

        Of course, confirm this all with your own legal experts.
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  • Profile picture of the author cage73
    With public domain works you have the rights to do anything you want with those works but you cannot take a public domain work and simply claim copyright as your own just because that particular work is in the public domain. Yes, you can alter public domain works in any way you'd like.

    When you add your own material to a public domain work, only the material you add may be protected by copyright but the public domain portion of the work is still free for anyone to use.
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