Complications arise when special cases are considered, such as trying to determine whether a work published later might be in the public domain in the U. "No right or interest in a work eligible for protection under this title may be claimed by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto...." When discussing copyright issues informally (and all such discussions on Wikipedia are informal), one may nevertheless argue in terms of the Berne Convention: writing "according to §y of the Berne Convention..." is then just a short-hand for writing "according to §x of country's copyright law, which implements §y of the Berne Convention, ...".

For re-users of Wikipedia content, it is the laws of their respective countries. S., any work published before January 1, 1923 anywhere in the world is in the public domain. but in some other country, that other country's copyright laws also must be taken into account.

Other countries are not bound to that 1923 date, though. Re-users of Wikipedia content also might find the explanations here useful.

The Wikimedia Foundation, the legal body responsible for Wikipedia, is based in California, United States.

Although legislation is sometimes unclear about which laws are to apply on the Internet, the primary law relevant for Wikipedia is that of the United States.

Instead, signatory countries of the Berne Convention have adapted their laws to comply with the minimum standards set forth by the treaty, often with stronger provisions than required.

Whether or not something is copyright-free in some country depends on the laws of individual countries.Proper attribution to the author or source of a work, even if it is in the public domain, is still required in order to comply with relevant policies. International treaties, like the Berne Convention, are not self-executing and do not supersede local law.There is no globally valid "International Copyright Law" that would take precedence over local laws.There are some other documents related to copyright issues that one occasionally comes across, but they are generally less important for Wikipedia's purposes. All current or formerly binding laws, codes, and regulations produced by government at any level, including other countries’ governments, and the court opinions of any court case are in the public domain. Most other countries’ governments do hold copyrights, and their works are copyright protected.It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Copyright Office) as the sum of works that are not copyrighted, i.e.Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. For all practical purposes on Wikipedia, the public domain comprises copyright-free works: anyone can use them in any way and for any purpose. However, there is no such thing as the public domain on the Internet.