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The Public Domain

               Work falls in the public domain when it is not protected by intellectual property  laws. There are different types of laws used to protect property. For instance, work can be protected using copyright. Copyright is a set of rights that are given to an author of  an original  work. The rights include right to copy their work and also  right  to distribute his or her work. Another right given to the author is the right to adapt the work. Copyright does not protect someone ideas, but it protects  the expression of the ideas  and  their fixation. This gives the author permission to protect his or her work  from exploitation.

         In addition, one can protect property using trademark and patent laws. A trademark is a unique sign used by businesses, people to identify their products and services. Trademark helps people distinguish their work from other peoples work. A patent is a set of rights given to an inventor by  a state for a given time. This allows the inventor to disclose his or her work publicly. Work that is not  protected by the laws above is considered to be in the public  domain  as  people can use  it  freely. People  can  use  books, songs and other work  that  is  not  protected  by  the  laws (, 2007.

              Most works entered the public domain because they were published before 1923 and others were published in 1964, but the copyright was not renewed. Others were published without any copyright. Some authors have given their work without any copyright restrictions. The work  in the  public domain is free and any one can use it without permission. People are only allowed to use limited parts of work without getting any permission. For example, one can copy someone’s work to use in a play or news. One can adapt someone’s work to play music and write a book (, 2007).

 Reference 8. The Public Domain. Retrieved  from On 6/09/2010.


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