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Public Domain Myths

From Yanik Silver, author of Public Domain Riches:

Myth #1 - Everything on the Internet is free to use and is already in public domain, right?
Wrong! Some people mistakenly believe if something is published online it is free for the taking. No sir! There are very stiff penalties for violations of copyrights.

Myth #2 - Nothing good is in the public domain: That's definitely not the case. First off, you should understand all works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. You'll find timeless works from this period including classics by Shakespeare, the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and much, much more…

However, even more exciting is that anything published from 1923 - 1963 (and not renewed) has fallen into the public domain. In fact, copyright experts believe 85% of these works were never renewed (source: "The Public Domain" by Stephen Fishman, Esq) so you're looking at an incredible bonanza of free material.

Heck, the film "Little Shop of Horrors" is a quick example of just the kind of gem I'm talking about that is now freely available in the public domain.

Myth #3 - Nobody would pay for public domain information since it's available for free: Not so. Every year bookstores sell hundreds of thousands of copies of works that are public domain and simply reprinted. In fact, entire companies exist that publish almost all public domain material. As long as the information you find is still relevant and there is a market for it you will find plenty of people willing to pay for this.

Okay now with that out of the way let's quickly talk about…


What Exactly Is Public Domain?

First off, you need to know I am not an attorney so I am giving you this information as I understand it. (As with any business dealings it's a good idea to get appropriate professional advice.)

Public domain is quite simply material the public (that's you) can use (or exploit as the case may be ) anyway they want. Public domain falls into 4 main categories:

A. Generic information like facts, numbers, ideas, titles, blank forms, etc.

B. Works granted or donated to the public domain. (Yes, in some cases copyright holders will simply make their work available to anyone to use. Just one example is P.T. Barnum's autobiography.)

C. Works by the government or its agents. (This is an amazing archive by itself!)

D. Formerly copyrighted works that have fallen into public domain or lost their copyright due to a number of different situations.

Quite simply, when you add all of this up it comes a veritable mountain of incredible information (millions and millions of pages) sitting right under your nose - all free -- and all yours for the taking!

But the BIG problem is finding this stuff…

Where do you find high quality public domain information
that you can package together for free?


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