Public Domain media

I founded this great site/blog called Vintage Tooncast. It's a blog where visitors can watch free public domain classic animations, cartoons and other high quality short films.

Like who remembers this piece of art…

Public domain in general…

Public domain is a range of abstract materials. Commonly referred to as intellectual property which are not owned or controlled by anyone. Like the Bible is in the public domain. The term indicates that these materials are therefore "public property". The public domain is most often discussed in contrast to works restricted by copyright. Under modern law, most original works of art, literature, music, etc. are covered by copyright from the time of their creation for a limited period of time. When the copyright expires, the work enters the public domain. There are different time periods in different countries.

List of countries' copyright length...

Note that there are many works that are not part of the public domain, but for which the owner of some proprietary rights has chosen not to enforce those rights, or to grant some subset of those rights to the public. See, for example, the Free Software Foundation which creates copyrighted software and licenses it without charge to the public for most uses under a class of license called "copyleft", forbidding only proprietary redistribution. Sometimes such work is inadvertently referred to as "public domain" in colloquial speech.

Note also that while some works (especially musical works) may be in the public domain, U.S. law considers performances or (some) transcriptions of those works to be derivative works, potentially subject to their own copyrights. Similarly, a film adaptation of a public-domain story (such as a fairy tale or a classic work of literature) may itself be copyrightable.

So, when copyright expires, public domain begins… but where do they all go?

Internet to distribute material…

Many people are using the Internet to contribute to the public domain, or make works in the public domain more accessible to more people. For example, Project Gutenberg and LibriVox coordinate the efforts of people who transcribe works in the public domain into electronic form. There are hundreds of movies, cartoons and television shows that have entered into the public domain.

There's a great site for watching or downloading public domain material (mostly old movies and ebooks):

Distributing other media…

Wikimedia commonds is a media repository that is created and maintained not by paid-for artists, but by volunteers. Its name "Wikimedia Commons" is derived from that of the umbrella project "Wikimedia" managing all Wikimedia projects and from the plural noun "commons" as its contents are shared by different language versions and different kinds of Wikimedia projects. Thus it provides a central repository for freely licensed photographs, diagrams, animations, music, spoken text, video clips, and media of all sorts that are useful for any Wikimedia project.

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