Public Domain Works

Public domain works do not belong to anyone. No license or permission is needed to copy, sell, give away, give public performances of, or create new, derivative works. A work can be considered within the public domain if it is not eligible for copyright protection, if its copyright has expired, or if its author has voluntarily put it into the public domain.

Most creators of intellectual works, e.g., books, are entitled to copyright protection, at least for a period of time. This means that copyright owners have exclusive legal rights to distribute, sell, or create derivative works.

Copyright laws differ from country to country, meaning that just because a work is in the public domain in one country does not mean that it is in the public domain of all countries. In Germany, where the servers are located, the copyright on literary and artistic works expires 70 years after the author’s death. All of the downloadable files on the servers are in the public domain in Germany. If you are located in a country other than Germany, it is your responsibility to know and follow your country’s copyright laws.