Copyright for the Fine & Performing Arts: Determining Copyright & Public Domain

This guide gives faculty and students--as practitioners of the arts--a working knowledge of their rights and responsibilities when it comes to copyright, and the fair use of copyrighted materials and others' works of art.

What is "Public Domain"?

"A work of authorship is in the public domain if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner." --

Public Domain & Permission-free Resources

The following resources point toward arts-related works that may be in the public domain. Always use the Public Domain Calculators to make your own determination that a work is in the public domain.

Public Domain Calculators

Use these tools to help determine if a work is in the public domain.

Copyright Registration and Renewal Databases

Head of Fine Arts & Architecture Library

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Greg Hatch
Office: MLIB 2200J
Office Hours: Schedule a one-hour consultation.
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