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3 definitions found
 for public domain
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Domain \Do*main"\, n. [F. domaine, OF. demaine, L. dominium,
     property, right of ownership, fr. dominus master, owner. See
     Dame, and cf Demesne, Dungeon.]
     1. Dominion; empire; authority.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. The territory over which dominion or authority is exerted;
        the possessions of a sovereign or commonwealth, or the
        like. Also used figuratively. [WordNet sense 2]
        [1913 Webster]
              The domain of authentic history.      --E. Everett.
        [1913 Webster]
              The domain over which the poetic spirit ranges. --J.
                                                    C. Shairp.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. Landed property; estate; especially, the land about the
        mansion house of a lord, and in his immediate occupancy;
        demesne. [WordNet sense 2] --Shenstone.
        [1913 Webster]
     4. (Law) Ownership of land; an estate or patrimony which one
        has in his own right; absolute proprietorship; paramount
        or sovereign ownership.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. (Math.) the set of values which the independent variable
        of a function may take. Contrasted to range, which is
        the set of values taken by the dependent variable.
        [WordNet sense 3]
     6. (Math.) a connected set of points, also called a region.
     7. (Physics) a region within a ferromagnetic material,
        composed of a number of atoms whose magnetic poles are
        pointed in the same direction, and which may move together
        in a coordinated manner when disturbed, as by heating. The
        direction of polarity of adjacent domains may be
        different, but may be aligned by a strong external
        magnetic field.
     8. (Computers) an address within the internet computer
        network, which may be a single computer, a network of
        computers, or one of a number of accounts on a multiuser
        computer. The domain specifies the location (host
        computer) to which communications on the internet are
        directed. Each domain has a corresponding 32-bit number
        usually represented by four numbers separated by periods,
        as Each domain may also have an
        alphabetical name, usually composed of a name plus an
        extension separated by a period, as worldsoul.org; the
        alphabetical name is referred to as a domain name.
     9. (Immunology) the three-dimensional structure within an
        immunoglobulin which is formed by one of the homology
        regions of a heavy or light chain. --Dict. Sci. Tech.
     10. the field of knowledge, expertise, or interest of a
         person; as, he had a limited domain of discourse; I can't
         comment on that, it's outside my domain. [WordNet sense
     Syn: domain, realm, field, area. [PJC]
     11. a particular environment or walk of life. [WordNet sense
     Syn: sphere, domain, area, orbit, field, arena. [PJC]
     12. people in general; especially a distinctive group of
         people with some shared interest. [WordNet sense 4]
     Syn: world, domain. [PJC]
     Public domain,
     1. the territory belonging to a State or to the general
        government; public lands. [U.S.]
     2. the situation or status of intellectual property which is
        not protected by copyright, patent or other restriction on
        use. Anything
     in the public domain may be used by anyone without
        restriction. The effective term of force of copyrights and
        patents are limited by statute, and after the term
        expires, the writings and inventions thus protected go
        into the public domain and are free for use by all.
     Right of eminent domain, that superior dominion of the
        sovereign power over all the property within the state,
        including that previously granted by itself, which
        authorizes it to appropriate any part thereof to a
        necessary public use, reasonable compensation being made.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  public domain
      n 1: property rights that are held by the public at large

From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  public domain
  public domain software
     (PD) The total absence of copyright protection.  If
     something is "in the public domain" then anyone can copy it or
     use it in any way they wish.  The author has none of the
     exclusive rights which apply to a copyright work.
     The phrase "public domain" is often used incorrectly to refer
     to freeware or shareware (software which is copyrighted
     but is distributed without (advance) payment).  Public domain
     means no copyright -- no exclusive rights.  In fact the phrase
     "public domain" has no legal status at all in the UK.
     See also archive site, careware, charityware,
     copyleft, crippleware, guiltware, postcardware and
     -ware.  Compare payware.

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