Definition of public domain in English:

public domain


  • The state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, especially through not being subject to copyright or other legal restrictions.

    ‘we only access information available in the public domain’
    ‘the case came into the public domain’
    as modifier ‘public domain software’
    • ‘The most amazing works in history are public domain but not many public domain recordings exist (even in classical music).’
    • ‘The sense of smell is an exceptionally private one, for which there is no common public domain which can be codified.’
    • ‘Project Gutenberg is an organisation which is committed to making available the electronic version of public domain texts.’
    • ‘Copyrighted works enter the public domain only when they grow old and the copyrights expire.’
    • ‘This legislation would strengthen the public domain without burdening copyright owners.’
    • ‘Older material is luckily public domain, and hence legally safer to digitally preserve, enhance, and disseminate.’
    • ‘The once rich public domain is almost a memory as copyright on new creations is commonly held for periods in excess of 140 years total.’
    • ‘By placing the tape in the public domain, legal experts say, network execs pulled off a neat trick.’
    • ‘These are often limited to public domain games like Chess or Backgammon, and the most common proprietary games such as Scrabble or Monopoly.’
    • ‘Once you've sent me your design, it becomes public domain - owned by nobody and freely available to all.’
    • ‘Most research begins in government-funded studies; the findings of which become public domain.’
    • ‘The music is masked by a gentle rain of pops and hisses, but that's the nature of the game with public domain footage.’
    • ‘You look for as much public domain content as you can get.’
    • ‘Gone are the crackles, pops, and extreme hiss that have marred earlier public domain releases.’
    • ‘But then, just as Wells's work was about to enter the public domain, the British copyright period was extended to 70 years after the author's death.’
    • ‘I don't know all the jurisdiction issues and rights on a prisoner being kept in public domain like this, but I don't want to be stepping on toes.’
    • ‘The small graphic icons that decorate the pages are probably also public domain and can be freely used without need for any permission.’
    • ‘Regardless of Crown ownership and public domain, the Government has the right to regulate and the sovereignty of Parliament is assured.’
    • ‘The service is to be launched in the first quarter of 2005 and will distribute only licensed and public domain content.’
    • ‘That system was first shown in 1967 but the patent lapsed and the technology became public domain.’
    • ‘Information which has entered the public domain is not subject to confidentiality.’
    • ‘If some work becomes famous enough, it becomes part of the public domain, and loses copyright protection.’
    • ‘Women's power enacted in the public domain constitutes the subject of several chapters.’
    • ‘Otherwise, the work dropped into the public domain well before the copyright term would have elapsed.’
    • ‘They have been giving away public domain books available on the internet.’
    • ‘Though the Spanish data are also public domain information, accessing the Spanish data has proven to be more of a challenge.’
    • ‘The vast majority of the source material is readily available in the public domain.’
    • ‘Purchasing DVD versions of public domain films can be a tricky business - definitely a buyer beware situation, if there ever was one.’
    • ‘The idea is to turn what was previously public domain into private domain, at a symbolic level.’


public domain