Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How do you release work to the public domain?

We have all heard of the public domain.  I thought there must be some simple method to release a work into the public domain.  Some form to fill out or something simple like that to release your rights on a specific work, so I wrote to the Copyright office to find out what that form or procedure was and where to download it.

The answer I got from the U.S Copyright office is that if you wish to release anything to Public Domain, you had better get a lawyer and be prepared for a long and protracted court battle, because there is no simple way to just sign your work into the public domain.

general copyright How do I release my work into the public domain?


Thank you for your inquiry addressed to the U.S. Copyright Office. If appropr...

Copyright Information copyinfo@loc.gov

to me

However you decide to release your work is strictly a personal choice.
There are no legal restraints for you to do so. People register their
work for copyright protection as a precaution, as a means to enforce
their rights in court. If you choose not to do so, then there is no
requirement for you to do so. We are an office of record only and
prohibited from giving legal advice. If you want to explore this
subject further - we advise you to seek private legal counsel.

Copyright Office
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE
Washington DC 20559
(202) 707-3000

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