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The texts in this media library are subject to certain legal provisions. The normal protection provided by copyright law is probably the most well-known of these.
Under current EU copyright law you are not allowed to copy or disseminate a text without permission until 70 years after an author has died (this is the same in the US). Note: a translator is an "author" within the meaning of the law.
In Europe today, the most important provisions, especially the period of time after an author's death, are laid down by the European Union, in particular in the Copyright Directive and the Copyright Term Directive.
Starting from the 1 January that comes after the 70th anniversary of an author's death, anyone becomes entitled to copy or change the author's works as they choose. This legal status is called "in the public domain."
In addition to the two extremes, "copying prohibited" (copyright) and "anything goes" (public domain), a third way exists that claims protection under copyright law, but allows the text to be used in some contexts (e.g. "non-commercial"). The term "copyleft" has become widely accepted for this legal status.
A well-known copyleft licencing regime has been established by the Creative Commons (CC) project. Texts published under the Creative Commons Licence "BY-NC-ND" are not in the public domain and may not be used commercially without the permission of the author.