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Public Health 302

This guide is to work alongside and guide students through the research journal for students enrolled in Public Health 302

Fair Use

There are certain ways that Copyright Law is flexible in an educational setting or for other purposes of creative expression.

If you're unsure about how you plan to use a copyrighted work, consult this Fair Use Tool.

How do I know what's Public Domain?

Starting in 2022 anything created in 1926 or earlier is in the Public Domain and should be freely available to reproduce, publicly display, distribute, etc.

Understanding the Basics

Copyright Law in the United States

The basis for our current copyright laws in the United States came about under the Copyright Law of 1976, and has been amended several times--including as recently as June 2016. 

Copyright law protects origial published works--including articles, artwork, songs, films, books, musical scores, and more--from being reproduced, performed, displayed, and/or distributed without permission and prohibits the creation of derivative works (such as the usage of an original fictitious character by an unauthorized author or artist) for a variable amount of time. The length of copyright depends on when the work originated, but for most works by an individual, it is 70 years after the death of the creator, and for corporate entities 95 years from creation or 120 years from publication--whichever comes first. For more specifics on copyright duration, please consult this chart.

Public Domain

Public Domain are works that are legally defaulted to no longer being under copyright law.

This means that works in the public domain may be freely reproduced, performed, displayed, distributed, and remixed to form new derivative works without special permission.

Many online archives, historical collections, and more contain public domain works because of the historical nature 

Other works are intentionally placed in public domain, such as those created or published under Creative Commons licenses 

Other works may enter Public Domain because they have ben orphaned or the copyright owner failed to renew copyright.

There are also certain types of things--such as ideas, titles, common sayings, etc--that are not covered by copyright and cannot be enforced and are therefore part of the Public domain.

Public Domain works still need to be cited when used in research papers and projects though. The work of the original creators deserves credit where credit is due because the ideas matter.