When does a copyright expire? First of all, no copyright can be pushed into the Public Domain. Regardless of how many times a work is seen on the Web, it may still be copyrighted and it would be illegal to reproduce such a work without authorization. The Berne Convention establishes copyright for the lifetime of the owner plus 50 years after his death, but this number may vary in different countries. For example, in both the United States and Italy, a copyright is valid for the entire lifetime, plus 70 years after the owner’s death. Once a work is in the Public Domain, all of the rights of the owner have expired and no one can claim copyright for that work. Therefore, works in the Public Domain can be reproduced freely and without consequences.