Skip to main content

Unprotected Subject Matter

Copyright protection does not extend to the following works; therefore, permission is not required for you to use them:

1. Works for which the copyright has expired.

2. Works produced by federal government employees acting within the scope of their employment.

3. Works clearly and explicitly donated to the public domain.

4. Works that have not been fixed in a tangible form of expression (for example, choreographic works that have not been notated or recorded, or spontaneous speeches or performances that have not been written or recorded).

5. Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring; mere listings of ingredients or contents. (Many of these works may be protected by trademark law under certain circumstances).

6. Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, discoveries, or devices, as distinguished from a description, explanation, or illustration (Many of these works may be protected by patent law under certain circumstances).

7. Works consisting entirely of information that is common property and which contain no original authorship (for example, standard calendars, height and weight charts, tape measures and rulers, and lists or tables taken from public documents or other common sources).