Public Domain Calculators

Creative works of art in the public domain can be freely used by anyone. A work falls in the public domain if copyright on a work has expired, or if it is waived by for example a CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) dedication.

The flowcharts below help you to determine if copyright or a related right on a certain work protected by copyright has expired. Due to differences in National legislation a separate flowchart is needed per jurisdiction. Please note that the flowchart have not been updated to reflect legislation after 2011, including the directive on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights.

For Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland and Iceland, see also rights created during digitisation (non-original photographs) for cases where digitisation of a public domain work could have created a work vested with copyright (in 2011).


The first iteration of the Public Domain Calculator was developed as part of the Europeana Connect project coordinated by the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek. EuropeanaConnect (May 2009 – October 2011) was a Best Practice Network funded by the European Commission within the area of Digital Libraries of the eContentplus Programme. A new version of the Public Domain Calculators was developed as part of the Europeana Awareness project coordinated by the Europeana Foundation.

The current version is an archive maintained by Maarten Zeinstra (IP Squared) to make this research and a version of the previously developed tools available for anyone to build upon.