Domain Sniper: Public domain work can help you build a publishing empire without ever writing a single word, taking a single picture, or recording anything. And best of all, it’s free!
Public Domain is the vast body of material that includes books, photos, music and information that is available for the public to use and republish…free.
All of this is normally protected by copyright laws, but copyright protection is not forever. Intellectual property that is not covered by copyright laws belongs to the public domain. Therefore, it is open to everyone who wants to use it. And that can mean serious financial gain for you.
How Do You Know If a Work is Public Domain?
Copyright laws vary from country to country. In the United States, there are three general rules that you need to follow to help you assess potential public domain works.
Where Can You Find Public Domain Work?
There are two basic methods for finding public domain work.
The first is classic DIY or do-it-yourself. This method is not very fast and will probably not yield that many results, but it will cost you virtually nothing. The other method is the paid way, wherein you pay a third party to do the research for you.
Whichever you prefer, you may still want to know how to locate public domain work on your own.
Start by searching for keywords and phrases like:
public domain music
public domain images
search public domain books
public domain movies
public domain works
search public domain library
public domain software
A word to the wise — Don’t trust everyone
Information from the Library of Congress is reliable. If you’re doing the research yourself, it’s in your best interest to contact a copyright lawyer before you publish the work, just in case it falls outside the copyright laws.
Talk it Out
Besides regular websites, public domain works are also available in boards with public posting access, e.g. forums, message boards, and e-groups. Just do a search for “public domain forum,” substituting “forum” with message boards, list, group, news, community, etc.
**Just remember: Before you join any group, forum, or community, browse through the forum posts and member profiles first to determine if the members are easy to talk with and are not averse to answering questions (okay, a lot of questions) from newbies.
Go Right to the Source
When you do your search for public domain works, you will find that many libraries and groups offer you a wide range of creative work in the public domain. Countless copies of work without copyright protection are digitized, archived in online databases, and made freely available to the public.
According to them, this helps ensure the information is freely available to scholars, educators, students, and the general public.
And much more…