Dear Rich: Is Origin of Species copyrighted? I would like to use a short extract in a piece of artwork which will be for sale. Do I need permission and where from? No permission required. The text and illustrations from Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species were first published in the U.S. in 1860 (and don't you wish you had one of those first editions!) The publication date places the work safely in the public domain and is free for anyone to use.