It’s also important to understand the term “public domain” if you intend to download images from the internet. Public domain refers to any creative materials not protected by intellectual property laws, including copyright, trademark, or patent laws. Public domain works are “owned” by the general public, not by an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without permission. However, it also means no one can ever own it. If you use a public domain image or work, it’s not yours, nor will it.
There is one exception of note to public domain works – and that’s collections. A collection of public domain works may be protected by copyright. For example, a collection of public domain art, like a collection of art in a book, may be protected as a collection, even if its individual images are not.