YES... this is quite literally “Fabric of the Universe” level stuff. So, what IS this ultimate source for Public Domain content?
No, NOT the pale robot from a certain sci-fi television show... something MUCH cooler! I know what you're probably thinking right now... isn't ALL Public Domain content data? Yes and no! Let me explain...
We are familiar with the Public Domain status of books, photos, illustrations, patents, etc. because they WERE protected by copyright until the copyright protection lapsed. At that time, the work fell into the realm of the Public Domain. And then there are government works... we know THAT content isn't protected by copyright because our tax dollars PAY for it. It's ours!
But there is ANOTHER section of copyright law that talks about the stuff that CANNOT be protected by copyright for a variety of reasons. A popular and familiar example from that section would be “Lists of Ingredients” and I've talked about those many times. But some recent changes in Copyright Law (in 2020) highlighted OTHER examples of content in this category and THAT is what became the catalyst to dig much deeper into this section of copyright law. And honestly, what I discovered shocked me!