If a work is within the public domain, there are no ownership rights associated it.
Anyone may reproduce, redistribute, or adapt the work and there is no longer a need to seek permission for its use.
This particular statute does not define public domain, but does explain the conditions necessary for copyright protection, the types of works that are eligible for protection, the rights of copyright holders and the exceptions to these exclusive rights.
It will be 2019 before anything else enters the public domain.
Just because it's visible on the Internet, does NOT mean it's free for anyone to use in any way.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires all colleges and universities to offer legal alternatives to unauthorized downloading. The list at the bottom of this page includes all of the legitimate online services that are approved by the RIAA or MPAA. No endorsement or evaluation is intended. To suggest additions or provide other input, contact email@example.com.
Note: Some of the sites listed provide some or all content at no charge; they are funded by advertising or represent artists who want their material distributed for free, or for other reasons. Just because content is free doesn't mean it's illegal. On the other hand, you may find websites offering to sell content which are not on the list below. Just because content is not free doesn't mean it's legal.