Archive for the 'Public Domain' Category

"Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!"

Posted in Copyright, Open Access, Public Domain, Publishing on October 11th, 2017

The Internet Archive has released "Books from 1923 to 1941 Now Liberated!."

Here's an excerpt:

The Internet Archive is now leveraging a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law, Section 108h, which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold. Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a copyright scholar at Tulane University calls this "Library Public Domain." She and her students helped bring the first scanned books of this era available online in a collection named for the author of the bill making this necessary: The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Thousands more books will be added in the near future as we automate.

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Arizona State University Adopts Open Access Policy

Posted in ARL Libraries, Open Access, Public Domain, Self-Archiving on May 22nd, 2017

Arizona State University has adopted an open access policy.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Public access to information is at the heart of a new policy at Arizona State University, the ASU Open Access Policy, which was passed by the University Senate and approved May 3 by University Provost Mark Searle. . . .

More than 70 universities in the United States, including Harvard, Duke and the University of California system, have adopted open access policies, part of a growing movement that is rapidly transforming the traditional model of scholarly publishing.

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"Out of Print: The Orphans of Mass Digitization"

Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Mass Digitizaton, Public Domain, Publishing on January 30th, 2017

Mary Murrell has published "Out of Print: The Orphans of Mass Digitization" in Current Anthropology.

Here's an excerpt:

In the 2000s an interconnected set of elite projects in the United States sought to digitize "all books in all languages" and make them available online. These mass digitization projects were efforts to absorb the print book infrastructure into a new one centered in computer networks. Mass book digitization has now faded from view, and here I trace its setbacks through a curious figure—the "orphan"—that emerged from within these projects and acted ultimately as an agent of impasse. In legal policy debates, an "orphan" refers to a copyrighted work whose owner cannot be found, but its history, range of meanings, and deployments reveal it to be considerably more complex. Based on fieldwork conducted at a digital library engaged in mass digitization, this paper analyzes the "orphan" as a personifying metaphor that digital library activists embraced in order to challenge and/or disrupt the social relations that adhere in and around books.

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Finding the Public Domain: The Copyright Review Management System

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on October 28th, 2016

Ithaka S+R has released Finding the Public Domain: The Copyright Review Management System .

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The project team documented these lessons in a book called Finding the Public Domain: Copyright Review Management System Toolkit. The Toolkit shares practical insights gained in this effort in the hope of supporting others interested in copyright review. This brief complements the practical toolkit. It explains the history of CRMS and introduces the basics of the CRMS procedure. It then discusses some of the lessons, successes, surprises, and challenges of the work.

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Finding the Public Domain: Copyright Review Management System Toolkit

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on June 14th, 2016

The University of Michigan Library has released Finding the Public Domain: Copyright Review Management System Toolkit.

Here's an excerpt:

This toolkit is divided into three main parts. It is primarily designed for copyright review of books, but it is also useful for a range of copyright review activities. The first part of the toolkit consists of a series of preplanning documents, one or more of which can be used in early-stage project meetings to build your team and plan your approach when faced with key questions. . . .

The second part of the toolkit dives deeper into the practical considerations facing a copyright review project, including project leadership, the legal fundamentals for copyright review, technical elements, and observations related to project personnel. . . .

The third part of the toolkit includes reports on pilot projects and a series of appendices. Together these form valuable documentation from the [Copyright Review Management System] project.

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"How Large is the ‘Public Domain’?: A Comparative Analysis of Ringer’s 1961 Copyright Renewal Study and HathiTrust CRMS Data"

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on April 25th, 2016

College & Research Libraries has released an e-print of "How Large is the 'Public Domain'?: A Comparative Analysis of Ringer's 1961 Copyright Renewal Study and HathiTrust CRMS Data" by John P. Wilkin.

Here's an excerpt:

The 1961 Copyright Office study on renewals, authored by Barbara Ringer, has cast an outsized influence on discussions of the U.S. 1923-1963 public domain. As more concrete data emerges from initiatives such as the large-scale determination process in the Copyright Review Management System project, questions are raised about the reliability or meaning of the Ringer data. A closer examination of both the Ringer study and CRMS data demonstrates fundamental misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the Ringer data, as well as possible methodological issues. Estimates of the size of the corpus of public domain books published in the U.S. from 1923-1963 have been inflated by problematic assumptions, and we should be able to correct mistaken conclusions with reasonable effort.

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"NYPL Shows Academic Libraries What ‘Public Domain’ Means"

Posted in Copyright, Libraries, Public Domain, Research Libraries on January 19th, 2016

Rick Anderson has published "NYPL Shows Academic Libraries What ‘Public Domain’ Means" in The Scholarly Kitchen.

Here's an excerpt:

In far too many libraries, public-domain documents and images are treated as if they were under copyright—and, even worse, in many cases the policies in question are written as if the holding libraries were themselves the copyright holders. Sometimes this is because the librarians who control access to those images genuinely don't understand copyright law: they believe that simply digitizing an image results in a copyrightable document (it doesn't), or that owning the physical item gives one legal say over how its intellectual content can be used (also untrue). The result is that in many academic libraries, intellectual content that the public has a right to access, copy, adapt, and generally reuse in any way we wish is being locked down and restricted by—ironically enough—librarians.

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"5 Million Public Domain Ebooks in HathiTrust: What Does This Mean?"

Posted in Digital Repositories, E-Books, Mass Digitizaton, Public Domain, Publishing, Scholarly Books on April 8th, 2015

Rick Anderson has published "5 Million Public Domain Ebooks in HathiTrust: What Does This Mean?" in The Scholarly Kitchen.

Here's an excerpt:

A week or so ago, a monumental thing happened: the number of public-domain books in the HathiTrust digital repository topped 5 million. And since no one (including HathiTrust, so far) seems to be making a very big deal about this, it seems like a good moment both to recap the achievements of HathiTrust and to consider a few of its implications for the future of reading and scholarship.

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"The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia"

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on February 11th, 2015

Paul J. Heald et al. have self-archived "The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia."

Here's an excerpt:

We study the biographical Wikipedia pages of a large data set of authors, composers, and lyricists to determine whether the public domain status of available images leads to a higher rate of inclusion of illustrated supplementary material and whether such inclusion increases visitorship to individual pages. We attempt to objectively place a value on the body of public domain photographs and illustrations which are used in this global resource. . . . We find that the large majority of photos and illustrations used on subject pages were obtained from the public domain, and we estimate their value in terms of costs saved to Wikipedia page builders and in terms of increased traffic corresponding to the inclusion of an image. Then, extrapolating from the characteristics of a random sample of a further 300 Wikipedia pages, we estimate a total value of public domain photographs on Wikipedia of between $246 to $270 million dollars per year.

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Public Domain: "Negotiators Burn Their Last Opportunity to Salvage the TPP by Caving on Copyright Term Extension "

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on February 9th, 2015

Maira Sutton has published "Negotiators Burn Their Last Opportunity to Salvage the TPP by Caving on Copyright Term Extension" in DeepLinks.

Here's an excerpt:

New reports indicate that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have agreed to language that would bind its 12 signatory nations to extend copyright terms to match the United States' already excessive length of copyright. This provision expands the reach of the controversial US Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (or the "Mickey Mouse Act" as it was called due to Disney's heavy lobbying) to countries of the Pacific region. Nations including Japan, New Zealand, Malaysia, and Canada would all be required to extend their terms and grant Big Content companies lengthy exclusive rights to works for no empirical reason. This means that all of the TPP's extreme enforcement provisions would apply to creative works for upwards of 100 years.

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"Let’s Make It Easier to Expand the Public Domain"

Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on January 27th, 2015

John Bergmayer has published "Let's Make It Easier to Expand the Public Domain" in Copyright Reform.

Here's an excerpt:

The fact that a license is "perpetual" doesn't require the copyright holder to keep offering the license; it just means the license, once granted, can't be revoked.

Except it can be. Copyright termination means that any license, including a perpetual public license, can be revoked. This means, for example, that contributors to projects like Wikipedia (where an original contributor continues to own the copyright to her work, but licenses that copyright under a liberal license) can revoke that license. It also means that people who transfer actual ownership of their copyrights to stewards like the Free Software Foundation can claw back that ownership.

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NARA Open Government Plan

Posted in Open Access, Public Domain, Research Libraries on July 9th, 2014

The National Archives and Records Administration has released its Open Government Plan.

Here's an excerpt:

NARA has been engaging the Wikipedia community since 2011, when we welcomed a Wikipedian in Residence and began holding events to build awareness of the records of the National Archives. In 2013, we welcomed a full-time employee devoted to engaging the Wikipedia community along with NARA staff members to promote greater access, reuse, and context for our records on Wikipedia.

Our work strengthening digitization and description fuels our ability to make records available on external platforms like Wikipedia. In 2012, we shared 100,000 digital images from our holdings to Wikimedia Commons. This work enabled digital copies of our records to be incorporated into Wikimedia projects and Wikipedia articles. The 4,000 Wikipedia articles featuring our records received more than one billion page views in Fiscal Year 2013. Over the next two years we will work to increase the number of National Archives records available on Wikimedia Commons, which furthers our strategic goal to "Make Access Happen" and expands re-use of our records by the public.

We are continuing our work to engage local communities of volunteer Wikipedians with on-site events, including skills-building workshops and "edit-a-thons" for improving Wikipedia content related to our holdings. In addition, we are establishing a model for "scan-a-thons" to enable citizen archivist stakeholder groups to digitize our records for access.

Digital Scholarship | "A Quarter-Century as an Open Access Publisher"

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