What does public domain mean?

Definitions for public domain

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word public domain.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. public domain(noun)

    property rights that are held by the public at large


  1. public domain(Noun)

    The feature of intellectual property being not protected under patent or copyright, i.e. no person or other legal entity can establish proprietary interests.

  2. public domain(Noun)

    Open land such as unowned prairie in the western and southwestern United States. Space not subject to a land patent.

  3. public domain(Noun)

    Information about a subject which is accessible to anyone

  4. public domain(Adjective)

    Not subject to any copyright or patent restrictions.


  1. Public domain

    Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. Examples include the works of Shakespeare and Beethoven, The King James Bible, most of the early silent films, the formulae of Newtonian physics, and the patents on powered flight. The term is not normally applied to situations where the creator of a work retains residual rights, in which case use of the work is referred to as "under license" or "with permission". In informal usage, the public domain consists of works that are publicly available; while according to the formal definition, it consists of works that are unavailable for private ownership or are available for public use. As rights are country-based and vary, a work may be subject to rights in one country and not in another. Some rights depend on registrations with a country-by-country basis, and the absence of registration in a particular country, if required, implies public domain status in that country. Public Domain is one of the traditional safety valves in copyright law.

Suggested Resources

  1. public domain

    Song lyrics by public domain -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by public domain on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of public domain in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of public domain in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Images & Illustrations of public domain

  1. public domainpublic domainpublic domain

Translations for public domain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for public domain »


Find a translation for the public domain definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these public domain definitions with the community:

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:     


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"public domain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 17 Dec. 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/public domain>.

Are we missing a good definition for public domain? Don't keep it to yourself...

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for public domain:

Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.