WikiEducator:Public Domain

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Whereas the WikiEducator Community subscribes to free cultural works licensing as a matter of policy, the following procedures apply to hosting works in the public domain on WikiEducator:

  • Works in the public domain meet the essential freedoms and requirements of the free cultural works definition
  • We respect all works in the public domain and the rights and intentions of authors to dedicate their creative works to the public domain with worldwide application.
  • The public domain grants any entity the perpetual right to use these works for any purpose, without any conditions.
  • WikiEducators are responsible for consulting their respective national copyright legislation when dedicating their creative works to the public domain, including national legalisation relating to their moral rights.
  • In respect to works already in the public domain, WikiEducators are strongly encouraged to retain the public domain acknowledgement for the reuse of substantive works already in the public domain and should release derivative works within the public domain (see: Adding pages to the public domain below).
  • In the case of reusing less substantive components or citations from the public domain within other licensed works in WikiEducator users are strongly encouraged to clearly indicate which citations or extracts were sourced from the public domain in the references or bibliography of their creative works.
  • Should users wish to dedicate their creative works to the public domain, please refer to adding pages to the public domain below.
  • We request authors to add their public domain pages to their watch list to monitor contributions and edits to their public domain pages. Collaborators will need to dedicate their edits to the respective pages by adding a subsection on their user page: "Pages containing edits I dedicate to the public domain", with a list of these pages. Alternatively these editors will need to include the template for dedicating all WikiEducator contributions to the public domain. This is required because the default position in most countries assumes copyright of creative works. Should you notice that a collaborator on your page has not waived their rights as indicated here, please contact the author directly.

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Copyright is a legal concept which grants creators (authors, musicians, artists and other creators) the rights of ownership and protection against unauthorised uses of their works for a fixed period. Copyright may provide protections for personal interests called "moral rights" and attempts to balance exclusive rights of copyright holders with the interests of society at large by providing a number of exceptions and limitations.

Public domain

The public domain refers to creative works which are not protected by intellectual property rights at all and available for use by all members of the public. Works enter the public domain when the intellectual property rights have expired or the creator donates work to the public domain by forfeiting all intellectual property rights (including moral rights insofar as recognised by national copyright legislation). Because copyright law is different from country to country, the recognition and meaning of the public domain will vary across national boundaries. Some countries may limit the use of public domain works or may not acknowledge public domain works at all.

Adding pages to the public domain

The default license for WikiEducator pages is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

If you would like to start a page that is meant to be in the public domain rather than licensed under WikiEducator's default license, then users have two options:

  1. Add the page to the Public Domain category by adding the following wiki text to the bottom of the page: [[Category:Public Domain]]. This is recommend for reusing works already in the public domain.
  2. Dedicate your work using the Public Domain Deed (CC0) available from Creative Commons. Do not use the Public Domain Deed CC0 deed if you do not own the rights to the work or if the work is already in the public domain. To use the CC0 deed, add the following wiki text to the bottom of the page: [[Category:CC0]]

Note that you can only do this for a new page. You may not add this category to a page after someone else has contributed to it because their contribution is copyrighted and licensed and the default license.

The WikiEducator site will replace the display of the default footer with a Public Domain icon and link to the public domain explanations on this page.

Dedicating all your contributions to the public domain

If you would like to dedicate all of your WikiEducator contributions to the public domain, then add this to your user page:

{{User pd}}

This will place a cool little box on your user page, and add your page both the the Public Domain category and to the Users whose contributions are dedicated to the public domain category. It will not automatically add the Public Domain category to new pages you create because you might be editing pages from other editors who are not yet liberating all of their contributions.

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Web Resources

Useful links