I am in the process of editing works in the Public Domain. I want them to be as clean as possible, so they are more like works of art. No Introductions, no foot-notes, no prefaces, etc..

I really don't want to put an ugly legal notice into the book either as the first thing one sees when opening the book, or the last thing one sees after finishing it.

But I notice that all other editions of Public Domain works have a notice stating that they are "in the public domain" so... (basically) "...leave me alone, I'm not doing anything wrong!"

Are there any requirements for me to add such a statement, or can I publish a "clean" book with nothing but the most important words inside?


1 Answer 1


Attributions are not mandatory for public domain books. If the content you are editing to publish is entirely in the public domain, citing the author and title is sufficient.

That said, best practice suggests that we give credit where credit is due by inserting relevant public domain marks and notices.

In the last analysis the works you refer to are owned by the public, not an individual author or artist, therefore anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission or giving notice. It's your call.


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