Public domain material is anything that no longer has any copyright legal notice attached to it meaning that anyone can technically take that product and use it however they fancy.
The public domain is full of books, films, photos, cartoons, software and music that are available to use. Many of the cards in the high street card shops are made by adapting free to use public domain photos.
Much of it is old and the original copyright notice has finished and not been renewed, some might have been made and simply added into the public domain by choice.
Other things such as government reports and footage cannot be copyrighted and are free to use by the public as they themselves are publicly owned and funded. For example, all photos by NASA are free to use.
Pictures of planet Earth, the Moon, and astronauts etc make great mugs, mouse mats, T Shirts, postcards, calendars and prints.
Can you see why the public domain is great for anyone wanting to start a home based business and wants to increase their yearly income when they have very little capital to get started?
Public Domain Is CopyFRIGHT Free!
Copyright can scare people but here is one great item that is around us daily that cannot be copyrighted and that is ‘FACT‘. Anything that is factual cannot be owned. So for instance, a book written about the life of President Obama and his raise to power cannot be copied because the way it is written is copyrighted, however anything factual such as his birth date, town he was born in, the school he went to etc cannot be copyrighted.
Technically you can legally steal information from books and re write it, it is called research. Take two or three books, take notes from them and write it in your own words and you have your own book.
However, the public domain has books that you can use as is from the start. Simply make a few changes to it and you then have your very own copyrighted product. There are thousands of great books in the public domain.
All books by William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens are in the public domain. So is Bram Stocker’s ‘Dracula’ and H.G.Wells’ ‘War of The Worlds’ along with these classics ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lewis Carrol and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen.
You are free to sell these without paying anyone royalties or licensing fees. (As long as you format them as your own)
Disney has built an empire and huge fortune taking stories by Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm and turning them into very successful films.
Making Products From Public Domain Material
Anyone can make a product from any public domain items and their product will under new laws have a copyright attached to it automatically which will cover them for many years.
This means that their own product which was derived from a public domain source is owned by them and copyrighted to them; no one else can take and use their version without the owners say so.
The great thing about public domain stuff is that it can save you a lot of work especially if you wanted to just ‘re publish’ classic works under your own company name. Many people have taken classic books like the popular ‘The Science Of Getting Rich’ and published it themselves to give away for free or to use as content for other products.
Personally I think it is best if you take an old book and reuse the information but rewrite it so that it is in your name as author and also that it covers modern life. For example, P.T. Barnum wrote the excellent book ‘The art Of Money Getting’ which many class as a modern classic, yet P.T.Barnum died in 1891.
The world has changed a lot since he wrote the book, in fact I remember reading about taking a horse pulled carriage to another town and that it took several hours for people to reach their destination which was just a few miles away.
Who uses a horse pulled carriage these days to get to a town just up the road? A car or bus will have us there in a matter of minutes not hours.
No matter how good the book is, most people cannot relate to it if it uses old technology and situations as examples… but if you took the information within those pages, the really important psychological and spiritual teachings but added them to a modern world where the people of today can relate to then you are creating a brand new product using other peoples work.
Public Domain Business Success Stories
This is an old business model which has been used very successfully by many people, too many to mention but here are some successful public domain stories.
Russell Brunson had a membership site where paying customers could download public domain books that he had located, re formatted and had lawyers check the copyright status. They came with pre made sales materials written by professional copywriters for his members to start selling.
Matt Furey an American who was passionate about wrestling found a home study course on catch wrestling along with other men’s health books in the public domain and had them turned into his own products which he sells for hundreds of pounds each, resulting in him earning millions.
Ted Turner makes millions a year in advertising revenue from his T.V. channel TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and yet he pays far little than other channels in viewing and royalty fees because most of the films he shows are from the Public Domain. He realised that he could make money from the ad breaks and yet broadcast classic free to use films that a new generation of retro and B-movie lovers would enjoy.
There is one company in the UK who sells live recordings of mixes and performances by DJs and musicians; these are not studio recorded albums that are available on commercial release. They simply record the live performance from a nightclub or venue that is simultaneously broadcast over the radio or internet, they then sell them on eBay and their own website as mp3 files on discs. They have thousands of hours of live mixes by the world’s greatest DJs.
[PLEASE NOTE; I am not fully advised in the law regarding the recording of live radio or performances and whether they are in the public domain or not. I always believed that the radio company owned the copyright for what they broadcast but it is an outside broadcast coming from a public venue that has paid all royalties to the Performing Rights Society so it maybe is in the public domain. This company say they are, they will have done the proper research and I am sure they are right but if you do decide you want to try that idea then please double check that wherever you are in the world you are not breaking any copyright laws.]
I mentioned the classic ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ book which was written by Wallace D. Wattles in 1910, let’s look into that book a little more.
It is the book that inspired Rhonda Byrne’s phenomenal documentary film and book ‘The Secret’
Below is a website dedicated to ‘The Science of Getting Rich’. This site offers the book as a downloadable eBook but also sells it as an audio product. They also collect emails so they can send out a newsletter where they offer other relevant products that earn them commissions. The owner of this site makes good money from this one website.
If you have seen the film ‘The Secret’ you will recognise these three men, they all feature in the film and the book.
Around the time the film was released they joined together to sell a mentoring and coaching package again based on the ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ Originally they used to sell the product for around $2000 as a physical package. It is now a cheaper downloadable package with no manufacturing or postage costs.
Bob Proctor has used and published the book ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ many times and in many ways, he has built a huge multi million pound self-help business around it and other books like Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think And Grow Rich’.
Every day he reads extracts from books many of which are in the public domain to keep himself focused. Not only have the teachings in these books motivated him into making lots of money he has sold them and built an information publishing business based around them.
There are many great books in the public domain. Many have been used to make hundreds of thousands of dollars.
‘The Secret’ has made Rhonda Byrne a multi-millionaire. Several public domain books have been used when she made ‘The Secret’ yet Rhonda didn’t just re publish these books, she read them and then re wrote them quoting them as sources and also interviewed people like Bob Proctor for her final books. She created a ‘new’ product from using the public domain materials. She has several books out now.
I mentioned earlier Bob Proctor has used and also reads daily Napoleon Hill’s ‘Think and Grow Rich’ This is another public domain book which was used to create a public domain website package that the English information publisher Jon Street and Canonbury Publishing sold, they say it earned him a staggering £30,000 in 24hrs when the product went live.
‘Think and Grow Rich’ is a fantastic book that I read regularly. A lot of my favourite books are in the public domain.
Another great book that has made a lot of money for many people and was used by those mentioned above is ‘The Master Key System’ by Charles Haanel. This book has been used by many information publishers either ‘As Is’ or re worked into a new style book, monthly email home study course or audio products.
Could You Create A Profitable Business Using Public Domain Material?
So if you are looking to make money online but have no idea how or what to use, the source of a profitable idea could be right under your nose, there are public domain items being used daily around you.
Your birthday card or even the coasters you sit your coffee cup on might have public domain images on them, the book you are reading on your Kindle could be from the public domain. There is a lot of stuff that can be used and it is easy is to make a product to sell from the public domain these days.
It is just up to you what you use and how.