This is one of those little gold mines that many people probably don’t know about, but which has made fortunes for several people. If you’ve been studying internet marketing and wealth building, I’m sure you’ve heard of the likes of Brian Tracy, Bob Proctor, Armand Morin, and the internationally best-selling DVD and book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.
You may be wondering why I have selected these people, well, these people have made fortunes by legally using other people’s work. Bob Proctor, Rhonda Byrne and Brian Tracy have taken the teachings of Wallace D. Wattles’ public domain book ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ which was published around 1920 and created new products from it that generate huge sales for it.
Bob Proctor took that book, gave it a new cover and turned it into a viable monthly course, then also created ‘The SGR Club’ with Jack Canfield and Michael Beckwith, who also appeared in Rhonda Byrne’s’ The The Secret book and documentary DVD, which was also based on ‘The Science of Getting Rich’ as well as other public domain books such as ‘The Master Key System’ by Charles F. Hannel.
Joe Vitale (also from ‘The Secret’) published ‘The Master Key System’ for himself, they give name checks to the original writers, but it’s not necessary. They can legally take those books and rename them if they want to. Public domain books have been big business for many publishers. A public domain book is something that has fallen out of copyright and is available for anyone to publish without paying royalties or license fees.
Armand Morin in an interview mentioned that he released his own version of the HG Wells classic ‘War of the Worlds’ on Amazon kindle and other online e-book stores once he heard that Hollywood was remaking the movie with Tom Cruise. He acted on the ‘quality of the movie’.
The public domain refers to a specific class of intellectual property that can be used, free of charge, without asking permission from anyone else. In the United States, works are in the public domain if:
They were published in the United States before 1923.
They were published in the United States between 1923 and 1978 without a valid copyright notice.
The work was published in the United States between 1978 and March 1, 1989, without proper notification and registration.
The work was published in the United States between 1923 and 1963 with a copyright that was never renewed.
There are some exceptions to these rules, so you cannot assume that something published in 1922 is free to use. The exceptions are:
It was published between 1923 and 1963 with a copyright notice that was renewed before the expiration of a 23-year protection limit.
It was published between 1963 and March 1, 1989 with a valid copyright notice.
It was published or created any time after March 1, 1989.
Do you think there is almost nothing that meets the criteria or that only very old items do? You would be completely wrong.
There are millions of books, movies, pictures and music in the public domain just waiting for you to use them. Did you know that all images taken by NASA are put into the public domain for everyone to use? With online printing companies it is possible to create notepads, t-shirts, tablecloths, coasters, postcards and posters from NASA photographs along with many other types of photographs.
Think of Shakespeare and Charles Dickens for a moment, who receives the benefits of their writing? They don’t, and neither does their distant relative. But the person who published the book did. There are so many companies that publish classic books and works of art that are in the public domain.
You cannot reprint the Shakespeare you find at your local bookstore as it is copyrighted by the publisher. It is a derivative copyright covering the font, layout, and layout of your version, however changing the font and layout and creating your own copy becomes your own copyrighted edition.
Popular public domain books
Peter Pan (the play) and Peter and Wendy (the book), – James M. Barrie
The Iliad, the Odyssey and other epic poetry – Homer
Shakespeare’s Collective Works
War of the Worlds – HG Wells
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
Andersen’s Fairy Tales – Hans Christian Andersen
Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Moby Dick, or the whale – Herman Melville
Aesop’s Fables – Aesop
Solo – Edgar Allen Poe
The Ancient Mariner’s Rhyme – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Roget’s Thesaurus – Peter Mark Roget
Relativity: The Special and General Theory – Albert Einstein
Kamasutra – Vatsyayana
How to live 24 hours a day – Arnold Bennett
On the Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
Is there enough content and ideas above to create a library of salable products? Many of these are classics and have been used to create great Hollywood movies and the reason they are used is that Hollywood is free to use them however they wish; can change and adapt stories without asking
permission or payment of royalties or fees.
Public domain movies and cartoons
Marilyn Monroe Video Scrapbook
Presidential Reel Blooper
Buster Keaton’s Misadventures
King Lear (Orson Welles cover)
Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon
Attack of the 50 foot woman
Goodbye to guns
Black Dragons (with Bela Lugosi)
Casper the friendly ghost
Felix the cat cartoon
The Three Stooges
Teens from outer space
Haunted hill house
Little Shop of Horrors
Behind the Mask of Zorro
Shoot Out (with Gregory Peck)
If martial arts are your thing, you’ll find plenty of martial arts movies from the 1970s in the public domain, including several Jackie Chan movies and documentaries featuring rare footage of Bruce Lee.
Many websites and services have been created using material in the public domain and have been developed to be very successful. Is there anything you can do with this amazing goldmine of free stuff?