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Making Your Fortune With The Public Domain

Aug 17, 2007
Did you know that you could boost your income or even create an income just by utilizing the public domain? Maybe that term is vague or unfamiliar. Simply stated, the public domain refers to the status of certain types of creative material that may have once been copyrighted or patented. That material, though created by other people, belongs to the public. The 'public', which includes you, can then use this material in any way they see fit.

Some examples of material that could be in the public domain include music, books, audio recordings, artwork or unclassified material created by the U.S. Government. Yes! Even if the U.S. Government created it, you can use it to your benefit. That includes Government forms, white papers, photographs, broadcasts and other literature.

All of this material which may have been created by experts, professionals in their field, who pulled together years of struggle and research, now belongs to anyone who can put it to good use. It's a completely legal process that companies have used for years.

HOW MATERIAL BECOMES PART OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

Now don't think that if you spend years of research and labor to produce a book, a report or an audio recording, that it can just suddenly not belong to you anymore. There are ways to protect your material, but, of course, it is up to you to take the necessary actions to actually do it. Let's go through the different ways that material can become part of the public domain.

The first way something enters the public domain is by virtue of the fact that it was created by the U.S. Government. Though people sometimes get confused, it is the Government that works for the people and not the other way around. So when the Government conducts a study and publishes its findings, it's like telling an employee to gather information and report back to the company. The 'company' in this analogy is THE PUBLIC!

The second way a copyrighted or patented thing becomes part of the public domain is if the copyright or patent has already expired. Supposing a person creates something that can be copyrighted or patented, that ownership is for a limited period of time. For a copyright, the length of time is generally the duration of the author's life plus 70 years before it becomes part of the public domain.

A patent's lifespan is only 20 years, but it can be renewed. Also, material that was created before copyright laws were in place is now part of the public domain and that includes anything created before 1923. The bible and the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci are therefore part of the public domain.

A third way material enters the public domain is if it is a fact. However, there is a stipulation. If you were to come up with a new mathematical formula, that would become part of the public domain. You can't own facts.

On the other hand, if you were to use that formula in conjunction with other formulas to create a new kind of computer program, that program could be owned by you, protected and, therefore, NOT enter the public domain. So facts belong to the public, but if you creatively organize and/or present those facts, that can be copyrighted or patented by you and thus would not enter the public domain.

You should now have a fair understanding of how material becomes part of the public domain. All you need to do is find it and use it creatively to profit from it. For instance, maybe you could take the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci, recreate the blueprints and build a best-selling novel around them.

Perhaps you could search for and gather, Government Reports on a specific topic and then provide your own analysis on how to interpret them. Everyone knows Government documents can be difficult to understand! It's possible that some Government Studies support and give credibility to your business or invention.

In that case, publish the Studies on your website, in your newsletter or in a Press Release. Your options are unlimited in the ways you can use material found in the public domain to your benefit.

It's important to note that the copyright and patent laws can get extremely complex, therefore only use this information as a solid foundation. After all the technicalities of Law jargon, the U.S. Governments, all 50 State Governments, the European Union and other countries get factored in, it can quickly become an overwhelming task to understand it. That's why it's always a good idea to check with your local governing bodies to make sure you are following the law of the land.
About the Author
Omar Johnson is author of the home study course "How to Make Money On the Internet While You are Asleep" Get your Free Report
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