In COPYRIGHT law the first publication of a work that does not comply with the requirements relating to copyright notice and which therefore permits anyone to legally republish it. The gift of land—or an EASEMENT, that is, a right of use of the property of another—by the owner to the government for public use, and accepted for such use by or on behalf of the public.
The owner of the land does not retain any rights that are inconsistent with the complete exercise and enjoyment of the public uses to which the property has been committed.
A dedication is express where the gift is formally declared, but it can also be implied by operation of law from the owner's actions and the facts and circumstances of the case.
A dedication may be made under COMMON LAW or pursuant to the requirements of statute. A common-law dedication is not subject to the STATUTE OF FRAUDS, an ENGLISH LAW adopted in the United States, which provides that certain agreements must be in writing. Therefore, a common-law dedication does not have to be expressed in writing to be effective; it is based on ESTOPPEL. If the landowner indicates that his or her land is to be used for a public purpose and public use then occurs, the landowner is estopped, or prevented, from refuting the existence of the public right.
An express common-law dedication is one in which the intent is explicitly indicated—such as by ordinary deeds or recorded plats, which are maps showing the locations and boundaries of individual land parcels subdivided into lots—but the execution of the dedication has not been in accordance with law or certification of it has been defective so as not to constitute a statutory dedication.
A statutory dedication is necessarily express, since it is executed pursuant to, and in conformity with, the provisions of a statute regulating the subject. It cannot be implied from the circumstances of the case.
A dedication can result from the contrary exclusive use of land by the public pursuant to a claim of right with the knowledge, actual or attributed, and the acceptance of the owner. This method is known as dedication by adverse user.