Public Domain Books

The Public Domain by James Boyle

The Public Domain by James Boyle

Is your work in the public domain? What is public domain? And why should you care?

As a writer you automatically own the rights to your work*. Your work is NOT in the public domain unless you put it there, through Creative Commons for example.

For more details on this issue, see the Library of Congress Copyright office. For a list of books on this topic, go here

Author James Boyle of The Public Domain (Yale University Press) offers an interesting point: older works – books, films, for example – from the 1930s and before should be put into the public domain so that current and future artists can benefit, building our current art upon them.

I agree. And I also enjoy the fact that he is putting his book in the public domain by distributing it for free online. If you want a hard copy, you can buy one here: The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

I’m all for benefiting financially from my creative work, and I also agree that older works, where the copyright older has long since died, should back in print for the benefit of the public domain.

One such site that is helping with that is the Gutenberg Project. I read the Declaration on Independence there. The works of Shakespeare are available and many others books from across the ages. All the works at the Gutenberg project are uploaded by volunteers, and are mostly available for free.

As an artist and a writer, the issues of the public domain affect each of you. What do you think about it? Do you offer your work up through Creative Commons, and if so why? I look forward to hearing what you think.

Tell us what you share for free and what you sell. For example , I share information freely through my blog and other article sites, while I sell my e-book, e-course, and other services.

*Legal disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is offered with the understanding that the publisher of this blog is not engaged in rendering legal services. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent attorney should be sought. While every attempt is made to provide accurate information, the author or publisher cannot be held accountable for errors or omissions.

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