How to determine whether published material is copyrighted

A work first published after March 1,1989, receives copyright protection whether or not it bears a notice of copyright, but almost all published materials include this notice. It usually appears on the back of the title page. In fact, this is often called the "copyright page." If a book was published after January 1, 1978, the term of the copyright is for the author's life plus 50 years. If it was published before 1978, the first copyright term covers 28 years, but it is renewable for an additional 47 years.

All publications created by US government agencies are in the public domain. That is, they are not copyrighted, and may be used freely.

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