Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Land owned and controlled by the state or federal government.
  • n. The status of publications, products, and processes that are not protected under patent or copyright.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The realm of intellectual property being not protected under patent or copyright, i.e. no person or other legal entity can establish proprietary interests.
  • n. Open land such as unowned prairie in the western and southwestern United States. Space not subject to a land patent.
  • adj. this sense?) Not subject to any copyright or patent restrictions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. the situation or status of intellectual property which is not protected by copyright, patent or other restriction on use. Anything in the public domain may be used by anyone without restriction. The effective term of force of copyrights and patents are limited by statute, and after the term expires, the writings and inventions thus protected go into the public domain and are free for use by all.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. property rights that are held by the public at large

Etymologies

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