We call works 'public domain' if their intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable. As rights are country-based and vary (and in some places, non-existent), a work may be subject to rights in one country and be in the public domain in another.
To learn about the length of copyright in different countries, check this website. Some countries have different regulations for books that are already public domain in their original country. For more information, check this link. You can publish public domain books that are not yet public domain worldwide if you select the correct territories upon upload.
PublishDrive only accepts public domain books in certain cases. We accept public domain content if it is unique:
- A new, unique translation - new translations are usually copyrighted and not public domain.
- Contains at least 10 illustrations. The illustrations have to be either public domain, or new (in which case, the book won't be public domain). The illustrations have to be related to the book's content.
- Contains important, unique annotations. We don't want to give a limit here, but annotated books often contain endnotes explaining difficult words or historical context if necessary.
- Is a new edition: If the text of a public domain book had been thoroughly edited. (Correcting spelling errors does not count as new edition.) New editions are common for translated public domain books.)
- Unique compilations, for example, bilingual editions if properly done.
- Otherwise unique content: Digitalizing out of print material is a great task. We are happy to accept public domain books that are not yet available online for free. If you're a publisher of public domain books digitalizing books and at the same time making them available for free (for example, on your website), that would also count as unique content.
Some examples of what doesn't count as a unique edition:
- New cover;
- "Clickable" table of contents and in-book links;
- "Complete works of..." an author; except if annotated.
We recommend that you publish unique content with exclusive copyrights.