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Copyright: Public Domain

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Public Domain Superheroes

Fair Use...

Does Your Use of the Work Constitute Fair Use?

The more questions you answer "Yes" to from the list below, the more likely your use is fair use.


Examples (of fair use)

Are you creating something new?

Including excerpts in a commentary piece about the book vs. copying a book word-for-word

Is the copyrighted work factual?

Biography vs. work of fiction

Is the portion of the work used small in amount and significance in relation to the entire work?

Two sentences from a novel vs. a chapter of the book that goes to the heart of the story

Does your use have little or no market impact on the copyrighted work?

Excerpting from a travel book on Rome for a book review vs. copying an entire section for a new travel book on Rome

"Fair Use or Public Domain?" FindLaw. 2012. Web. 13 Nov. 2012.

...or Public Domain

Is the Work in the Public Domain?

Publication Date

Public Domain?

Works published in the U.S. before 1923


Works published in the U.S. in 1923 through 1963

Yes, if the copyright was not renewed during the 28th year after the work was first published.

Works published in the U.S. in 1964 through 1977

No. Automatic copyright renewal protects the work for 95 years.

Works published in 1978 or later

No. Work is protected by copyright for the life of the author plus 70 years. (a longer copyright term may apply)

Works published by the U.S. Federal Government

Yes, regardless of publication date.

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