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Public Domain Question

Helen asks…

How will games only put on the Onlive service ever go into the public domain where anyone could maybe get them?

I thought every creative object within reason has to be able to go into the public domain after the time is up.With all the games being server rendered how could anyone ever get the data after Onlive has ceased to exist?

scottparat answers:

Well, for one thing… Most of the OnLive games will also be releasing on other platforms.

For another… No one currently living needs to concern themselves about video games becoming public domain. Copyright lasts for the life of the copyright owner +70 years. We’ll all be long gone by the time even the original Super Mario Bros. Is in the public domain.

Mark asks…

What rights do I have when I use a picture from the Public Domain?

I’ve done a little research, but I’d prefer it if I was told the big and bold of it all by a human.
I understand that Public Domain pictures are – more or less – free to use for pretty much anything? Right?
I don’t necessarily want to gain profit from using one of these pictures in my works, but I want to be sure that it’s OK for me to use it should I ever actually gain profit from it.

In summary, can someone tell me the nitty-gritty of Public Domain images, and what I can do with them?

scottparat answers:

“public domain” are free to use as you want, however there are many “public” photo archives online that have restrictions, like you must cite the photography by providing a link to their site or something. Read the terms of the webpage you are getting photos from.

Worst case, you might have to take the photo down if you use it wrong. Most won’t sue if you act in good faith.

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