If a work is in the public domain, it means that it is no longer under the jurisdiction of any copyright or licensing agreements (Butler, 2014). Works in the public domain can be altered, recreated for profit, copied, or used in any way without the authorization of whomever originally possessed the copyright (Butler, 2014). After a period of time, works that enter the public domain allow for new and creative takes on material. They provide a wealth of classic information and entertainment, as well as an inexpensive way to gather stock material that can be utilized however a person sees fit.
Because copyright laws have changed, when and how something can enter public domain has changed. It can be difficult to determine if something is truly in the public domain. Generally, these document are considered to be public domain:
This is just a general guideline. Never assume that a work is public domain unless explicitly stated. Best practice is to verify with the source if there are any copyrights or licensing agreements before attempting to use the work in question.