There is a wealth of free information in the public domain, mostly from government agencies, that can be used as the source of website content. Having authoritative material like this that can be modified to your purpose is really valuable when positioning yourself as an ‘expert’ in your niche.
Public domain refers to works that are not protected by copyright and are publicly available. They may be used by anyone, anywhere, anytime without permission, license or royalty payment.
A work may enter the public domain because the term of copyright protection has expired, because copyright has been abandoned, or in the U.S. because it is a U.S. Government work and there is no other statutory basis for the Government to restrict its access.
A work is not in the public domain simply because it does not have a copyright notice. Additionally, the fact that a privately created work is, with permission, included in a U.S. Government work does not place the private work into the public domain. The user is responsible for determining whether a work is in the public domain.
It is important to read the permissions and copyright notices on U.S. Government publications and Web sites. Many Government agencies follow the practice of providing notice for material that is copyrighted and not for those that are in the public domain. Examples of government agency copyright policies and statements are: National Library of Medicine, NASA Center for AeroSpace Information (CASI), and Library of Congress.
Note however that the terms public release, disclosure or dissemination mean the same as public domain are not synonymous and should not be used interchangeably. Public release, disclosure and dissemination describe the availability of a work. Publicly released, disclosed or disseminated information may be owned and protected by copyright, and therefore, not be in the public domain.
Food for thought?