Archive for the 'Public Domain' Category

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.

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                  "Can Formalities Save the Public Domain? Reconsidering Formalities for the 2010s"

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Public Domain on March 18th, 2014

                  Niva Elkin-Koren has published "Can Formalities Save the Public Domain? Reconsidering Formalities for the 2010s" in The Berkeley Technology Law Journal.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  In essence, formalities advocates argue that current copyright law protects too many works, and shifting back to an opt-in regime would help restore the balance in copyright law between incentives and access. Restoring formalities would arguably expand the public domain by increasing the number of works in which copyright is not affirmatively claimed. It has been further suggested that works of unknown authorship are underused. 8 This is due to uncertainty about whether they are protected by copyright or not, which creates a chilling effect. A notice requirement would signal to potential users which works are protected by copyright. A notice would also generate the information necessary for licensing, thereby facilitating the clearance of rights and reducing the problem of orphan works.

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                    "Impact of Public Domain Resources On Public Libraries in the United States"

                    Posted in Copyright, Creative Commons/Open Licenses, Libraries, Public Domain on February 19th, 2014

                    Anne Arendt and Dustin Fife have published "Impact of Public Domain Resources On Public Libraries in the United States" in the Journal of Librarianship and Information Science.

                    Here's an excerpt:

                    Ownership and rights issues relating to electronic resources can be a source of angst, confusion and litigation. This is due in part to the automatic copyright many individuals receive, including in the United States, upon creation of an original work. However, there are options available for relaxing these rights. One of these options is Creative Commons Zero. . . . Based on the above, this document researches the awareness, complexity and effects of Creative Commons Zero and related licenses on libraries as perceived by library directors and managers across the United States. In order to accomplish this, a quantitative survey was administered in an anonymous web-based format.

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                      "First Amendment Constraints on Copyright after Golan v. Holder"

                      Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on July 18th, 2013

                      Neil Weinstock Netanel has self-archived "First Amendment Constraints on Copyright after Golan v. Holder" in SSRN.

                      Here's an excerpt:

                      Commentators have depicted the Supreme Court's January 2012 ruling in Golan v. Holder as a far-reaching repudiation of First Amendment limits on Congress's power to expand copyright and diminish the public domain. However, Golan imposes potentially significant First Amendment constraints on copyright protection even while granting fairly broad First Amendment immunity to Copyright Act amendments. It does so by effectively adopting Melville Nimmer's "definitional balancing" approach to resolving the tension between copyright and the First Amendment. . . As Golan applies that approach, neither Congress nor courts may "disturb" copyright law's idea/expression dichotomy or fair use privilege without running afoul of the First Amendment. Accordingly, following Golan, Copyright Act provisions and proposed legislation that would diminish one or both of those free speech safeguards remain vulnerable to First Amendment challenge.

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                        "What Copyright Owes the Future"

                        Posted in Copyright, Digital Curation & Digital Preservation, Public Domain on April 16th, 2013

                        R. Anthony Reese has self-archived "What Copyright Owes the Future" in SSRN.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        This Lecture explores the subject of preserving copyrighted works for the future in four steps. First, I look at why preserving creative works is important and valuable. Next, I examine the ways in which copyright law has traditionally encouraged—or not encouraged—the preservation of copyrighted works. Third, I explore how digital technology and computer networks, such as the Internet, pose new challenges for preserving creative works. And finally, I consider briefly how we might rethink and revise copyright law to respond to the challenges of preserving works of authorship for future audiences.

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