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

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Tony Tyler:

    Everything that is known should be in the public domain. If anyone has any information, they should come out with it.

  2. Malcolm Rifkind:

    That would be quite against all the standards of this country. It would be something that ought to be brought into the public domain.

  3. Bill Gates:

    It's like the IT space, some governments put the research into the public domain. Some license it. Then the start-up companies have to deal with intense competition.

  4. State Hillary Clinton:

    I trust the American people to make their decisions about political and public matters and I feel like I've taken unprecedented steps for these emails to be in the public domain.

  5. Code Pink Medea Benjamin:

    It’s appalling that this beautiful post office used to be a place of public domain and is now in the hands of Donald Trump and the one percent, in a city full of immigrants, $700 a night for a room?

Images & Illustrations of public domain

  1. public domainpublic domainpublic domain

Translations for public domain

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • domini públicCatalan, Valencian
  • Public Domain, gemeinfrei, GemeinfreiheitGerman
  • dominio públicoSpanish
  • tekijänoikeudeton, tekijänoikeusvapaus, tekijänoikeudettomuusFinnish
  • domaine publicFrench
  • पब्लिक डोमेनHindi
  • pubblico dominioItalian
  • パブリックドメインJapanese
  • 퍼블릭 도메인Korean
  • publiek domeinDutch
  • własność publiczna, domena publicznaPolish
  • domínio públicoPortuguese
  • domeniu public, de domeniu publicRomanian
  • всеобщее достояние, общественное достояниеRussian
  • عوامی ڈومینUrdu

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"public domain." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 17 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/public domain>.

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