Using Public Domain material 

by Desmond Menz posted in Info-Product Creation

How To Build An eBook Empire Using The

Public Domain

This is a huge topic, but I'll compress it into just a few paragraphs to get you thinking about how you could take advantage of it.

What is the Public Domain?

Here’s a description provided by Wikipedia:

"The Public Domain is a range of abstract materials, commonly referred to as intellectual property which are not owned or controlled by anyone. The term indicates that these materials are therefore "public property" and available for anyone to use for whatever purpose."

Some material can be out of copyright, some might not have any copyright, and some material may not have had its copyright renewed.

There are a very large number of public domain resources online, including directories and databases that house categories for all public domain material and media, from images to audio files.  

Many of these websites also require a fee, either in terms of membership or on an individual purchase basis.

What can the Public Domain do for you?

With public domain content, you can revise, publish, modify, compile and create new collections or compilations and sell, use and give away this material any way you like.

Therefore, if you're stuck in getting an info-product online, then the Public Domain could very well be your saviour.

There's one fabulous site ... the Gutenberg Project.

Begin exploring by visiting their site at , or by reading their introduction guide at 

The Gutenberg Project is very popular simply because of the organized collections and ease of use.  

Searching through recent downloads, recent updates, or by title, category or topic. 

Perhaps you could volunteer to be part of the Gutenberg Project team where you can evaluate public domain books, offer proofreading services or even reformat material into new digital works.

Another great source is ABEBooks which offers an extensive collection of books, as well as out of print collections of rare, hard to find content.  

There's an internal search engine to speed up your search that can be used to locate books based on specific topics or categories.

Two other tremendous resources for finding public domain content are Bookfinder and Alibris.

And that's not all either.

How to make money with Public Domain material?

The key here is "re-purposing" by taking Public Domain content, perhaps from a varierty of sources, and putting it all together into a single package that you can sell. One little secret is to compile many small packages focused on a theme - YOUR niche - and market them individually. 

By adding some of your own content you can minimise the risk of someone else ripping off all your hard work.

Your info-products can be delivered in a number of ways - digital delivery, manual delivery (e.g. CD's, DVD's) - and offered in book form, audio, mixed format.

A word about the law

Copyright laws vary from country to country, so space doesn't allow me to share all the copyright scenarios for each country around the world. It's highly recommend that you search online for details about copyright laws that govern intellectual property rights in your country. 

However, be aware of the "rule of the shorter term" which is basically a provision in international copyright treaties that allows participating countries to limit the term of copyright granted to foreign works to the comparable term in the country of origin.

There's much more that your need to be aware of, but don't let it deter you from using Public Domain works to your advantage. It could be a very nice source of income for you.

You'll never know until you have a go!

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