Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

U. S. Copyright Issues

When does a (printed) published copyrighted work enter the public domain? by SlideRuleEra
Posted: 27 Apr 09 (Edited 11 Jan 23)

United States copyright law has changed numerous times. Here are brief, general guidelines that cover the majority of published copyright issues:

1. A printed copyrighted work (book, pamphlet, document) published in the U.S. in 1927, or earlier, is in the public domain.

2. A work, copyrighted in 1964, or later, is still copyrighted and will remain so for decades to come.

3. A work copyrighted between 1928 to 1963 (dates inclusive) had to have the copyright renewed in the 28th year after the original copyright date. If the renewal was NOT made, copyright protection expired at the end of the 28th year and cannot be restored. If the copyright was renewed, copyright protection extends for a total of 95 years from the original copyright date, then expires.

There are various ways to check to see if a 1928 - 1963 copyright was renewed, these include:

Stanford University Copyright Renewal Database

The Copyright Card Catalog & Online Files of the U.S. Copyright Office

U.S. Copyright Office Circulars

University of Pennsylvania Copyright Registration & Renewal Records

Note: Other works such as sheet music, sound recordings, and motion pictures have different copyright requirements that are typically more restrictive than those for printed works.

Back to Engineering History FAQ Index
Back to Engineering History Forum

My Archive


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close