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The Public Domain Review

September 16, 2011

A work is in the public domain if intellectual property rights do not apply by nature or rights have expired or been forfeited. For example, most works produced by the US government are in the public domain; so is Moby Dick. Lots of clip art images have been placed in the public domain as well. Anything that is in the public domain can be used freely by educators – without any worries about copyright.

Each week The Public Domain Review presents a different work with commentary and criticism. It also lists a selection films, audio, images and texts that are in the public domain. Launched in January, the Review is a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation, funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation.

One recent article deals with an autobiography of Geronimo. Another presents a beautiful illustrated manuscript from medieval Spain. Among the media resources listed are Frankenstein movie from 1910 and a recording of the famous Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso from about the same time.

Perhaps one the most broadly useful page on the site is the list of resources – sites which offer thousands of public domain materials.

Note: “Public domain” is not the same as “Creative commons” .

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