The How and Where for Finding Public Domain Material
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Finding Free Material
So, first things first, what should you look for to
determine whether or not a work is in the public domain? Well, as I said
above all works created in the United States before 1923 are by default,
now in the public domain. Also Government forms and documents are not
subject to copyright law, which means you can use them as you wish,
without any concern for copyright laws.
Another large group of works that are in the public domain are
those that were published before 1964 and the copyright was not renewed.
Copyright renewal was a requirement for works published before 1978. A smaller
group of works fell into the public domain because they were published without
copyright notice as a proper copyright notice was necessary for works published
in the United States before March 1, 1989. There are also some works that are in
the public domain because the owner has indicated a desire to give them to the
public without copyright protection. The rules for establishing the public
domain status for each of these types of works are different and more details
are provided throughout this ebook.
Once private works that have entered the public domain, can be
found everywhere, but of course we are trying to make this a profitable venture,
so the easier we can find them, the better off we will be. This is not to say
that you should not consider sourcing your own material, should you be the
first, or one of the first few to recreate or refuse a work, you will stand a
much better chance of realizing higher profit margins. Now, there are a few
places on the web that have created large scale databases of work that has
entered the public domain and they are worth a look, as there are some great
gems to be found. Below is a list of just such web sites, for you to find, use
and profit from publicly owned, copyright free material:
holds some interesting public domain material you may
consider using in your projects.
The reports and publications section of the
has some great documents.
We of course can not forget the home of facts and statistics, so make sure
you take a look at the
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
has a fairly extensive publication
library on their website, it includes a lot of the information and
material they have released over the years.
Fine Literature, Children's Books, Images and More
is an online database that has tons of digitally reprinted fine literature
works that are found within the public domain.
is the website of
nonprofit organization interested in art and literature. On their website
they offer public domain sounds, images and texts.
has a list of public domain music in mp3 format
available for download.
home of public domain comedy videos. You can find greats like The Frank
Sinatra Show, Charlie Chaplin, Daffy Duck and the House on Haunted Hill.
Catalogue of Electronic Texts
has a searchable database of over 14,000
classic public domain literature works. You can find everything from
classic children's books to copyright free images.
online column featuring poems, short stories, essays and other literary
works in the public domain.
takes classic literature found in the public domain, records and then
re-releases them to the web. They have a searchable catalogue with tons
of works including children's books.
public domain books from a variety of different authors.
tons of classic literature, that is freely available in the public
domain. Some examples are Peter Pan, Hamlet, Julias Caesar, Tarzan and
has a great list of classic feature films like Night
of the Living Dead and Charlie Chaplin.
Other Places for Finding Public Domain Material
Check out your local library for classic literature and other books that
have entered the public domain. I will tell you how to use them later on
in this ebook.
The search engines hold thousands of web sites that contain or provide
links to sites where you can find additional public domain material.
Start with Google
searches for "public domain literature" or whatever else you may be in
search of. Make sure you include the quotation marks to get the most
specific and accurate results.
Your local and state colleges and universities have extensive libraries
that often contain historical and classical works.
Court houses and Government institutions often have documents and
resources available to the public, being that they are Government
documents they automatically fall into the public domain.
Book stores, antique stores and thrift stores are all great places to find
vintage and classic literature. Obviously finding these works in thrift
stores would be a great find and you would likely be able to pick them up
at very bargain prices. Book and antique stores will probably charge more
for these items, but if used correctly your profit margins will be much
higher than your costs.
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