What is the Pond5 Public Domain Project?
Pond5 is thrilled to begin representing public domain content on our Website through the Pond5 Public Domain Project. We are making this content available to our customers and contributors without any charge, so they can rediscover part of mankind's history and build upon it in their creative projects. We have designated Content on the Website as being “Public Domain Content” when we believe that it is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, meaning there are no copyright restrictions over that content.
What Is Copyright Law? Does it apply to Public Domain?
Creative works - what we call "Content" - are generally protected by copyright law, which means that anyone who wants to copy, distribute, publicly perform or display, synchronize with another work, broadcast, stream or prepare derivative works based on the Content needs a direct or indirect license from the copyright owner - unless one of the exceptions allowed by the copyright law (e.g., "fair use") apply. Public Domain Content, however, is content that is not protected by copyright law and therefore belongs to the public.
How does something enter the public domain?
Public domain content generally falls into one of three categories:
- Works created by the United States government and some state, local and foreign governments.
- Works which have been dedicated to the public domain by the author or other copyright owner - either by a conscious affirmative action or by a failure to take an action which would have been required by copyright law to maintain the copyright.
- Works which were at one time protected by copyright, but in which the copyright has lapsed by the passage of time.
What are Pond5's sources of Public Domain Content?
We have generally obtained our public domain content from three categories of sources:
- U.S. government repositories of creative works.
- Other online and offline collections of public domain content that we believe are reputable.
- Content that our curators or contributors have reviewed, and based on that review, believe are in the public domain.
Want more information? Read more articles about the Pond5 Public Domain Project on our Help Center, visit the project's Main Page, or watch our "Public Domain 101" video below. You can also Click Here to read the Pond5 Royalty-Free License Agreement and our full Public Domain Disclaimer.