Public Domain & Copyright

Public Domain
A public domain work is a creative work that is not protected by copyright any longer and which may be freely used by everyone, copying and selling it. Proper attribution to the author or source of a work, even if it's in the public domain, is still required to avoid plagiarism.

Definition of Public Domain (USA)

- Work published in the U.S. before 1923

- Work published in the U.S. after 1922 through 1963.
   Initial term of 28 years. If not renewed during the 28th year,
   the work falls into the public domain.

- Works published in the U.S. after 1922 but before March 1, 1989.
   Generally, if a work is published without copyright notice under
   the authorization of the copyright owner and the law does not
   provide an exception for the omission, the work is in the
   public domain.

Copyright is a property right over work produced by an author or creator. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. No publication or registration or other action in the Copyright Office is required to secure copyright. Copyright law doesn't cover ideas or techniques, it only protects the particular way an idea is expressed. In most of the world, the default length of copyright is the life of the author plus either 50 or 70 years.

See also
Copyright Term and The Public Domain in The United States
See also
List Of Countries & The Length Of Their Standard Copyright

Knitting Patterns for Sale
Generally all patterns are protected by copyright, as long as they don't belong to the public domain. Purchasing a pattern does not remove the copyright of the pattern, but it gives the right to reproduce the designer's copyrighted work for your personal or charitable use, not for selling.

Free Knitting Patterns
Free patterns also have a copyright protection as long as they are not in the public domain.

Techniques & Ideas
Copyright does not protect techniques or ideas. You can use abbreviations, technical ideas or an underlying theme, but not copy the particular and unique way an idea is expressed.

Knitting Guidelines