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Is there a standard statement that should appear when a document that is public domain is used? All the articles we use for which we have copyright permission include a copyright permission statement from the publisher. I'm not sure what to do about documents from the public domain.

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First, make sure that the documents that you are referring to as being in the "public domain" are truly public domain items in the legal sense of the term. There is a common misconception that anything that is available publicly (such as on the internet) is in the "public domain." This is simply not true and you should assume that every work is protected by copyright unless you can

establish that it is not.

Works enter the public domain because their copyrights have expired. To determine whether a work is in the public domain and available for use

without the author's permission, you first have to find out when it was

published. Then, apply a series of rules based on the date of publication. For example, all works published in the United States before 1923 are in the public domain. To see the full set of rules, look here:

If the document you are using is truly in the public domain, then there is no need to get permission to use it and, therefore, no need to state any kind of permission.

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