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Using Works and Copyright

Help determining if you have the legal right to use another's work.

United States government Works

17 U.S.C. § 105. Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works

"Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise."

But, See

15 U.S.C. §290e. United States copyright and renewal rights

"(a) Notwithstanding the limitations under section 105 of title 17, the Secretary may secure copyright and renewal thereof on behalf of the United States as author or proprietor in all or any part of any standard reference data which he prepares or makes available under this chapter, and may authorize the reproduction and publication thereof by others.

(b) The publication or republication by the Government under this chapter, either separately or in a public document, of any material in which copyright is subsisting shall not be taken to cause any abridgment or annulment of the copyright or to authorize any use or appropriation of such material without the consent of the copyright proprietor."


For other considerations when determining if you can use of U.S. Government work see, Public Domain Sherpa: US government works: everything isn't copyright free