[UPDATE from Peter Hirtle: That didn’t take long. The authors of the handbook have responded to my specific issues below by updating and/or correcting the handbook. A new version is available at http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/FINAL_PublicDomain_Handbook_FINAL(1).pdf. A very good resource has become even better.]
Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center Advisory Board Member Peter Hirtle reviews Is it in the Public Domain?
It is very difficult to determine whether works are in the public domain in the United States. That is why I had to create my duration chart as an aide–mémoire: any time I tried to remember the various options, I got them wrong. It is also why I felt compelled to write an article highlighting some of the traps lurking within the seeming clear-cut categories. And it is why Stephen Fishman needs 700+ pages in his legal treatise, Copyright and The Public Domain. Continue reading →
The Samuelson clinic has put together what looks like a useful, thorough new handbook to help you determine if a work is in the public domain. http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Final_PublicDomain_Handbook.pdf
Most helpful is the complete FLOW CHART. We’ll put both the handbook and the flowchart in our CHARTS AND TOOLS section for your hand reference. http://www.law.berkeley.edu/files/Final_PublicDomain_Flowcharts(6).pdf