Where To Find Public Domain Works
The third most popular question about the public domain (what is the public domain and
how can I make money from the public domain are the top two) is:
Where do I find public domain works?
As you know by now, the public domain is essentially a huge network of copyright-free
resources that are literally at your disposal to use as you wish (within the bounds of law, of
course). The real kicker comes in when some newbie first hears about the public domain,
fires up Google (insert your choice of search engine here) and types in ‘Public Domain’ (or
the more refined searcher may type in: ‘where to find public domain works’). The answer?
I’ll save you the trouble. A jumble of listings that tell you bits and pieces of the story. Most
of them don’t have any public domain materials in them at all.
When searching for public domain materials to use in your business, try using the
following top 10 internet resources for this task:
1. The Library of Congress - http://www.loc.gov/
The Library of Congress is perhaps the greatest reference resource on the Internet,
and as such is a goldmine for public domain works.
2. Free Online Books from UPenn http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/ - A large
collection of free online books that you can use immediately.
3. Virtual Theater http://www.vl-theatre.com/list4.shtml - An online repository of free
plays that you can use.
4. Literature.org http://www.literature.org/ - THE literature website on the Internet. You
can find all sorts of classics here. Who knows, maybe you could open a publishing
house for old philosophy texts.
5. The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/ - A digital library of Internet sites –
includes audio and video resources as well.
6. Ibiblio.org http://www.ibiblio.org/ - A self-proclaimed public’s library and digital
archive. Links to other public domain resources as well as an excellent collection of
resources as varied as Arts, Geography, History, Language, Science and a lot
more. A must-visit public domain resource.
7. The Internet Public Library http://www.ipl.org/div/books/ - A virtual library on the
Internet. Very extensive public domain resources.
8. Project Gutenberg http://www.gutenberg.org/ - A de facto leader of the public
domain movement, this is a huge collection of online public domain works. The
books can be easily downloaded, and despite what Internet marketers might tell
you, this is a top-notch resource.
9. Wikipedia – Public Domain Resources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Public_domain_resources - Wikipedia is free,
reader-maintained encyclopedia. As such, it has a fantastic list of public domain
resources (And I’m indebted to this list to help provide many links in this book).
10. SearchGov.com http://www.searchgov.com/ - Helps you search all .gov
(government) websites for the topics of your choice.
About Ian del Carmen:
Ian del Carmen is the president and CEO of Fireball Planet Corporation.
Check out his blog at http://IanDelCarmen.com. Or visit Fireball Planet at http://FireballPlanet.com
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