Question 12 of the Copyright Tutorial Test
An explanation of the answer to question #12 of the Copyright Tutorial Test
12. Which, if any, of the following works is in the public domain?
a. A book published with notice in 1923
No. A book published with notice in 1923 was given 28 years copyright protection, and it could be renewed for 67 years. A possible total of 95 years past the publication date means this book might be protected until 2018. The question does tell you whether copyright was renewed. With the information you have been given, you cannot say that this work is in the public domain. See When Works Pass Into the Public Domain.
b. A book published in 1917.
Yes. A book published before 1923 is in the public domain. See When Works Pass Into the Public Domain.
c. Digital images of the earth created in 1993 by NASA.
Yes. NASA is a U.S. Government agency. Copyright does not protect works by the U.S. Government (see Fair Use of Copyrighted Materials).
d. An unpublished photograph created in 1890.
No. A work created before January 1, 1978 and not published cannot pass into public domain until 70 years after the death of the creator. Since you are not given the date of the creator's death, you cannot know that this photograph is in the public domain. See When Works Pass Into the Public Domain.
e. A movie published in 1935 in which copyright was not renewed.
Yes. Even if the movie was published with copyright notice, it would only have been given protection for 28 years unless renewed. So it would have passed into public domain in 1963. See When Works Pass Into the Public Domain.