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Public Domain Day 2023

January 1st, 2023, is Public Domain Day. Copyright laws vary by country, but in the United States, works registered or first published in the U.S. in 1927 enter the public domain on January 1st, 2023!

The Public Domain and You

Did you know that copyright can expire? When the copyright of a work expires, the work enters the public domain. You are free to use all public domain works without permission. Items that enter the public domain can often be found in repositories like HathiTrust.

If you would like to dedicate your copyrighted work to the public domain before your copyright is set to expire, you can do so by using the CC0 public dedication tool designed by Creative Commons. CC0 is also regularly assigned to datasets in repositories like Dryad or Figshare.

What is Public Domain? by the U.S. Copyright Office.

Medicine-Related Public Domain Works

Several items in the Stanford Medical History Center are entering the public domain, including a book titled The Romance of Stanford by Katherine Ames Taylor. Historical Curator Drew Bourn Ph.D., MLIS, describes the book as “a snapshot of the university on the eve of the Great Depression.”

Many other medicine-related works were published in the U.S. before 1927 and are also part of the public domain. The History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has over 44,000 public domain images available online. Additionally, the NLM Digital Collections catalog lists over 500 public domain films.

Learn More

To learn more about copyright and the public domain, visit the Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center or contact Sam Wilairat, Research Communications Librarian at Lane Library. 

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