Camera-wiki.org:US document without copyright notice, before 1978

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Documents published without a copyright notice in the United States before January 1st, 1978 are in the public domain in that nation.[1]

They are also in the public domain in the European Union, where the "shorter term" rule applies to foreign works, and foreign documents which are already in the public domain in their home country are not further protected.[2]

The advertising material inserted by a company in a magazine usually does not have a copyright notice. Editors of Camerapedia.org (forerunner of Camera-wiki.org) discussed this question and concluded that the copyright notice which might appear on the magazine itself, on behalf of its publisher, does not extend to the advertisements, to which the publishing company owns no right and which would be the property of the advertising company if it wanted to claim its rights.


  1. Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, 1 January 2007, by Peter B. Hirtle.
  2. Council Directive 93/98/EEC of 29 October 1993 harmonizing the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights, art.7.
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