Definition of public domain in English:

public domain

noun

  • 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’
    • ‘This legislation would strengthen the public domain without burdening copyright owners.’
    • ‘Otherwise, the work dropped into the public domain well before the copyright term would have elapsed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If some work becomes famous enough, it becomes part of the public domain, and loses copyright protection.’
    • ‘The vast majority of the source material is readily available in the public domain.’
    • ‘By placing the tape in the public domain, legal experts say, network execs pulled off a neat trick.’
    • ‘Copyrighted works enter the public domain only when they grow old and the copyrights expire.’
    • ‘They have been giving away public domain books available on the internet.’
    • ‘Project Gutenberg is an organisation which is committed to making available the electronic version of public domain texts.’
    • ‘The most amazing works in history are public domain but not many public domain recordings exist (even in classical music).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Purchasing DVD versions of public domain films can be a tricky business - definitely a buyer beware situation, if there ever was one.’
    • ‘These are often limited to public domain games like Chess or Backgammon, and the most common proprietary games such as Scrabble or Monopoly.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You look for as much public domain content as you can get.’
    • ‘The small graphic icons that decorate the pages are probably also public domain and can be freely used without need for any permission.’
    • ‘Gone are the crackles, pops, and extreme hiss that have marred earlier public domain releases.’
    • ‘The music is masked by a gentle rain of pops and hisses, but that's the nature of the game with public domain footage.’

Pronunciation

public domain