The various creative works are subject to what we call copyright. When a novel , a musical score or any other creation is not protected by copyright, it is customary to say that it is in the public domain. It should be noted that copyright exists to protect intellectual property. In this way, intellectual property allows access to and use of these products to be reduced and protected in some way. When we talk about the public domain, we must not forget that there is the opposite concept, that is, the private domain.
Various Causes Why a Private Domain Becomes a Public Domain
In all national laws, it is stipulated that a property in private domain ceases to be in the hands of the State after several years after the author’s death (the number of years depends on the legislation of each country).
In some cases, the authors themselves cede their rights to the public domain in a disinterested and altruistic way.
The public-domain and private-domain dichotomy are based on the principle of intellectual property, which can be defined as a right that projects an individual , an organization or a state over a work that requires creativity to be carried out.
Intellectual property has two modalities: industrial property that protects trademarks and patents and copyright that protects artistic creations. Laws protect the creation by acknowledging the author and respecting the integrity of the work. All rules or principles designed to protect copyright are known by the term copyright. In this sense, this concept exists for an obvious reason: to prevent someone from profiting from something they did not produce.
Goods in the public domain understood as public service or public use
The services offered by the city, as well as the streets and rivers are not owned by anyone in particular, as they are part of the public domain. Thus, everything that is built by the state or is part of a nation ‘s heritage is in the public domain. Consequently, everything that is not in the state is privately owned.
Finally, something is part of the public domain when it is addressed to the entire community as a whole, whether in the form of public use or public service .
Assets in the public domain are subject to a legal regime for their legal protection and are inspired by three basic principles: inalienability, imprescriptibility and disembargo. The first means that these goods cannot be traded, the second involves the continued use of these goods and the third means that goods in the public domain cannot be embargoed.