My interest in do it yourself plans goes back quite a long way. For many years I have always searched for plans to construct some of the things that I wanted, or needed. Long before the internet became available I discovered that all kinds of plans could be found in old copies of magazines such as Mechanix Illustrated, Science And Mechanics and other magazines in this genre.
In fact over a period of time I put together a collection of several hundred old DIY plans from such sources. Later while reading some articles about the “public domain” I discovered that the majority of these old plans and articles which were first published before the year 1964 were in fact copyright expired and were now in the public domain, since their copyright had never been renewed prior to the expiry date. All material published in the USA in the years between 1923 and 1964 had an initial copyright term of 28 years. The copyright had to be renewed in the 28th year or the material became copyright expired and entered the public domain. Copyright could not be renewed by anyone after this event took place. In addition to this everything which was published in the United States of America before the year 1923 is also, without any exceptions, in the public domain.
This simply means that this material is no longer copyright, and can be used for any purpose by anyone. This includes not only printed matter but also audio and video. These public domain items can be copied and resold or republished in any form by anyone. They can not be copyrighted in their original form, but a new version may be copyrighted if significant changes are made to the original. During the year 1964 copyright laws were changed in the USA, and published material subsequent to that year remained in copyright for much longer in the majority of cases. There are however some publications up to 1978 which are in the public domain.
To avoid any copyright problems it is best for most people to only republish items which were first copyrighted prior to 1964, and which are definitely in the public domain, as established by checking the records at the US copyright office. This check can be performed online. For publications copyrighted before 1923 there is no necessity to do a copyright renewal check since they are universally in the public domain. In the event that a very interesting item is discovered which was published between 1923 and 1964 a quick free check with the US Copyright office can be made online, and will establish beyond a doubt that it is copyright expired and available for use in the public domain. Publications going back for many years before the 1923 cutoff date can be located online and downloaded at a number of websites including www.Gutenberg.org. A search engine search for the words “public domain” will turn up websites where material is available for download. Some very useful do it yourself plans can also be downloaded from internet sources.
Would you like to obtain free do it yourself plans for a project you have in mind? Nothing to buy,just free downloads in PDF format of all kinds of plans? Check out our website at Free Plans [http://www.vintageplans.org] where you can download all kinds of free plans. See our Blog for more information Free Plans