Archive for the 'Public Domain' Category

Yale Adopts Open Access Policy for Digitized Images

Posted in Digital Archives and Special Collections, Digitization, Open Access, Public Domain on May 12th, 2011

Yale University has adopted an open access policy for digitized images from its museums, archives, and libraries. Yale has also launched the Discover Yale Digital Commons, which has over 250,000 images.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale's vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available.

As works in these collections become digitized, the museums and libraries will make those images that are in the public domain freely accessible. In a departure from established convention, no license will be required for the transmission of the images and no limitations will be imposed on their use. The result is that scholars, artists, students, and citizens the world over will be able to use these collections for study, publication, teaching and inspiration.

| Digital Scholarship | Digital Scholarship Publications Overview | Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A Bibliography |

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    "Bibliographic Indeterminacy and the Scale of Problems and Opportunities of ‘Rights’ in Digital Collection Building"

    Posted in Copyright, Digitization, Public Domain on February 20th, 2011

    The Council on Library and Information Resources has released "Bibliographic Indeterminacy and the Scale of Problems and Opportunities of 'Rights' in Digital Collection Building" as the first paper in its new "Ruminations" series.

    Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

    CLIR has launched a new publication series, "Ruminations." The series will feature short research papers and essays that bring new perspective to issues related to planning for and managing organizational and institutional change in the evolving digital environment for scholarship and teaching.

    We inaugurate the new series with a report by John P. Wilkin that posits the scope of works in the public domain and probable extent of orphan works in our research library collections, based on an analysis of the HathiTrust book corpus. The question of rights status is critical since it governs how works can be used or reused, especially in the digital environment.

    Recent research shows that HathiTrust's collection—which currently holds more than 5 million digitized books—is highly representative of research library collections. On this premise, Wilkin has analyzed HathiTrust's holdings and drawn preliminary conclusions about the proportion of works that are in-copyright, in the public domain, or are orphans—that is, works whose holders cannot be located.

    | Digital Scholarship | Digital Scholarship Publications Overview |

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      Public.Resource.Org Launches Yes We Scan

      Posted in Open Access, Public Domain on December 1st, 2010

      Public.Resource.Org, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, has launched its Yes We Scan campaign to digitize and make available 300 volumes of the First Series of the Federal Reporter.

      Here's an excerpt:

      Now, you too can help, by adopting one of the 300 volumes of the First Series of the Federal Reporter, which are all out of copyright. Your tax-deductible contribution of $1200 will pay to double-key 1,000 pages of Federal Appellate Opinions, and copies will be donated to the National Archives and the Government Printing Office.

      Your name—and the link of your choice—will be inscribed on the Public Domain Wall of Fame and each case in your adopted volume will be a separate HTML file with a common footer

      This volume of American Law was transcribed for use on the Internet through a contribution from [Your Name Here!!]

      | Digital Scholarship |

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        "The Size of the EU Public Domain"

        Posted in Copyright, Public Domain on October 17th, 2010

        Rufus Pollock and Paul Stepan have self-archived "The Size of the EU Public Domain."

        Here's an excerpt:

        This paper reports results from a large recent study of the public domain in the European Union. Based on a combination of catalogue and survey data our figures for the number of items (and works) in the public domain extend across a variety of media and provide one of the first quantitative estimates of the 'size' of the public domain in any jurisdiction.

        See also their related eprint "The Value of the EU Public Domain."

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          H.R. 5704 Would Extend Copyright Protection to Works of Faculty at Department of Defense Service Academies and Schools of Professional Military Education

          Posted in Copyright, Legislation and Government Regulation, Public Domain on July 13th, 2010

          Rep. Todd Platts has introduced H.R. 5704 in the House, which would "allow faculty members at Department of Defense service academies and schools of professional military education to secure copyrights for certain scholarly works that they produce as part of their official duties in order to submit such works for publication, and for other purposes." Such works are currently in the public domain.

          Read more about it at "Bill Would Curb Access to Government Works."

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            WIPO: Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain

            Posted in Copyright, Public Domain, Reports and White Papers on May 23rd, 2010

            The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has released Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain.

            Here's an excerpt:

            Protection of the public domain comprises two steps, as laid down by the [WIPO] Development Agenda: first, identifying the contours of the public domain, thereby helping to assess its value and realm, and, second, considering and promoting the conservation and accessibility of the public domain.

            The present study will follow the same direction as it will first assess the scope of the public domain, as defined by copyright laws, history and philosophy, before turning to the issue of its effectiveness and greater availability to the public and society at large. This will lead to the formulation of some recommendations that, by viewing the public domain as material that should receive some positive status and protection, might help to support a robust public domain, as advocated by the Development Agenda.

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              Europeana Publishes Public Domain Charter

              Posted in Copyright, Digital Libraries, Mass Digitizaton, Public Domain on April 14th, 2010

              The Europeana Foundation, the governing body of the Europeana service, has published its Public Domain Charter. The Europeana beta currently links users to around 6 million digital objects. About 10 million digital objects are expected to be available this year, when version 1.0 becomes operational.

              Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

              Today Europeana officially publishes the Public Domain Charter. It takes a strong position in support of the Public Domain, saying that:

              Europeana belongs to the public and must represent the public interest. The Public Domain is the material from which society creates cultural understanding and knowledge. Having a thriving Public Domain is essential to economic and social well-being. Digitisation of Public Domain content does not create new rights over it. Works that are in the Public Domain in analogue form continue to be in the Public Domain once they have been digitised. . . .

              The Charter is published by the Europeana Foundation, our governing body (now completing its name change from the EDL Foundation). The Charter is a policy statement, not a contract. It doesn't bind any of Europeana's content providers. It recognises the dilemma in which heritage institutions find themselves. Our partners' drive to digitise and make Public Domain content accessible is tempered by a recognition of the costs involved, and the need to arrive at the most appropriate agreements with those who are willing and able to fund digitisation programmes—including the private sector.

              We are developing plans to label the rights associated with a digitised item very clearly so that they are understood by Europeana's users, who will be able to exclude content from their results that requires payment or doesn't comply with the Public Domain Charter. Rights labelling will become a requirement when submitting content to Europeana by the end of this year.

              While Public-Private Partnerships are an important means of getting content digitised, the Charter recommends that deals are non-exclusive, for very limited time periods, and don't take material out of the Public Domain.

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                U.S. National Archives Become Member of the Flickr Commons

                Posted in Copyright, Digital Archives and Special Collections, Public Domain on February 8th, 2010

                The U.S. National Archives have become a member of the Flickr Commons. To join the Commons, members must "claim 'no known copyright restrictions' on the content they share." Here's the National Archives' photostream.

                Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                To mark the opening of its photostream in the Commons today, the National Archives is posting a new photo set containing more than two hundred photographs of the American West by renowned American photographer Ansel Adams. The photographs, taken between 1941 and 1942 as part of a Department of the Interior mural project, feature the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Glacier and Zion national parks, in addition to Death Valley, Saguero, and Canyon de Chelly national monuments.

                The Ansel Adams photographs join a larger selection of more than 3,000 National Archives images that are part of the National Archives' Flickr photostream. The photostream contains a variety of images from some of the National Archives most popular collections, including images of the Civil War by Mathew Brady and associates; images from the Environmental Protection Agency's 1970s photo-documentary project DOCUMERICA; images from the Records of the Women's Bureau depicting women in the war labor effort during World War II; and a grouping of favorite photos and documents from the National Archives, featuring among others the 1970 photograph of President Nixon shaking hands with Elvis Presley.

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                  The Public Domain Manifesto

                  Posted in Copyright, Digital Copyright Wars, Public Domain on January 24th, 2010

                  COMMUNIA has released The Public Domain Manifesto and seeks organizations and individuals to sign it. The Creative Commons, James Boyle, and Lawrence Lessig are among the current signatories.

                  Here's an excerpt:

                  1. The Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception. Since copyright protection is granted only with respect to original forms of expression, the vast majority of data, information and ideas produced worldwide at any given time belongs to the Public Domain. In addition to information that is not eligible for protection, the Public Domain is enlarged every year by works whose term of protection expires. The combined application of the requirements for protection and the limited duration of the copyright protection contribute to the wealth of the Public Domain so as to ensure access to our shared culture and knowledge.
                  2. Copyright protection should last only as long as necessary to achieve a reasonable compromise between protecting and rewarding the author for his intellectual labour and safeguarding the public interest in the dissemination of culture and knowledge. From neither the perspective of the author nor the general public do any valid arguments exist (whether historical, economic, social or otherwise) in support of an exceedingly long term of copyright protection. While the author should be able to reap the fruits of his intellectual labour, the general public should not be deprived for an overly long period of time of the benefits of freely using those works.
                  3. What is in the Public Domain must remain in the Public Domain. Exclusive control over Public Domain works must not be reestablished by claiming exclusive rights in technical reproductions of the works, or using technical protection measures to limit access to technical reproductions of such works.
                  4. The lawful user of a digital copy of a Public Domain work should be free to (re-)use, copy and modify such work. The Public Domain status of a work does not necessarily mean that it must be made accessible to the public. The owners of physical works that are in the Public Domain are free to restrict access to such works. However once access to a work has been granted then there ought not be legal restrictions on the re-use, modification or reproduction of these works.
                  5. Contracts or technical protection measures that restrict access to and re-use of Public Domain works must not be enforced. The Public Domain status of a work guarantees the right to re-use, modify and reproduce. This also includes user prerogatives arising from exceptions and limitations, fair use and fair dealing, ensuring that these cannot be limited by contractual or technological means.
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                    Updated: "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States" Chart

                    Posted in Copyright, Digitization, Public Domain on January 20th, 2010

                    Peter Hirtle has updated his useful "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States" chart as of 1/1/2010.

                    Read more about it at "Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States—2010 Update—An Interview with Peter Hirtle."

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                      Cornell Gives about 80,000 Digitized Public Domain Books to Internet Archive

                      Posted in ARL Libraries, E-Books, Open Access, Public Domain on December 15th, 2009

                      The Cornell University Library has given about 80,000 digitized public domain books to the Internet Archive.

                      Here's an excerpt from the press release:

                      In an effort to make its materials globally accessible, Cornell University Library is sharing tens of thousands of digitized books with the Internet Archive.

                      "We have been carefully preserving and storing materials for years, and now we're diversifying the channels for them to be studied and used," said Oya Reiger, associate university librarian for information technologies. "We have the ability to take books to the places where readers are."

                      The new collaboration repurposes nearly 80,000 books that the Library has already digitized in-house or through its partnership with Microsoft and Kirtas Technologies. All the books are in the public domain, printed before 1923 mainly in the United States. They cover a host of subject areas, including American history, English literature, astronomy, food and wine, general engineering, the history of science, home economics, hospitality and travel, labor relations, Native American materials, ornithology, veterinary medicine and women's studies. . . .

                      "Expanding access to knowledge is one of the Library's core principles, and we are excited to participate in the open-access vision of the Internet Archive," said Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian.

                      The collaboration with Internet Archive is another step in Cornell University Library's cutting-edge participation in mass digitization initiatives. Earlier this year, the Library announced an expanded print-on-demand partnership with Amazon.com that allows readers to pay for reprinting of books on an individual basis.

                      "The Internet Archive is proud to process and host the books from Cornell — these collections are priceless," said Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive. "We are happy that Microsoft put no restrictions on the scanned public domain books and Cornell is encouraging maximum readership and research use."

                      Performing a simple search for one of Cornell University Library's digitized books now brings up both a copy on Amazon and a free online copy on the Internet Archive.

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                        "Removing All Restrictions: Cornell's New Policy on Use of Public Domain Reproductions"

                        Posted in Copyright, Digitization, Public Domain on November 1st, 2009

                        Peter Hirtle, Cornell University Library's Senior Policy Advisor, is interviewed in "Removing All Restrictions: Cornell's New Policy on Use of Public Domain Reproductions," which has been published in the latest issue of Research Library Issues.

                        Here's an excerpt:

                        Restrictions on the use of public domain work, sometimes labeled "copyfraud," are generating increasing criticism from the scholarly community. With significant collections of public domain materials in their collections, research libraries are faced with the question of what restrictions, if any, to place on those who seek to scan or otherwise reproduce these resources with the intention of publication.

                        Cornell University Library has responded by adopting new permissions guidelines that open access by no longer requiring users to seek permission to publish public domain items duplicated from its collections. Users planning to scan and publish public domain material are still expected to determine that works are in the public domain where they live (since public domain determinations can vary internationally). Users must also respect noncopyright rights, such as the rights of privacy, publicity, and trademark. The Library will continue to charge service fees associated with the reproduction of analog material or the provision of versions of files different than what is freely available on the Web. The new guidelines are found at http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/guidelines.html.

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