Welcome to the Public Domain – Copyright Overview by Rich Stim – Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center

“The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.

An important wrinkle to understand about public domain material is that, while each work belongs to the public, collections of public domain works may be protected by copyright. If, for example, someone has collected public domain images in a book or on a website, the collection as a whole may be protectable even though individual images are not. You are free to copy and use individual images but copying and distributing the complete collection may infringe what is known as the “collective works” copyright. Collections of public domain material will be protected if the person who created it has used creativity in the choices and organization of the public domain material. This usually involves some unique selection process, for example, a poetry scholar compiling a book—The Greatest Poems of e.e. cummings.

There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:

the copyright has expired
the copyright owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules
the copyright owner deliberately places it in the public domain, known as “dedication,” or
copyright law does not protect this type of work….”

Celebrating Open Access Week: Institutional uses of the ORCID Public Data File | ORCID

“Last Friday, ORCID turned eight, and we are about to reach another important milestone: 10 million ORCID iDs! As we do every year, we are celebrating our anniversary and Open Access Week by releasing our Public Data File.

The 2020 Public Data File contains a snapshot of all public record data in the ORCID Registry, is published under a CC0 waiver, and is free for everyone to use. Openness is one of our foundational values, and as part of our commitment to remove barriers to access, we release the file to ensure that all stakeholders have broad access to a vital part of the scholarly communication infrastructure. At the time of writing, the 2019 Public Data File was downloaded more than 35,000 times. 

The file has been used in different projects as a data source for the analysis of relationships and individual trajectories within the research community, scientific migrations, collaboration networks, and the adoption of ORCID across disciplines and locations….”

CERN: the Large Hadron Collider : Publications : Resources : Venner Shipley

“As with every scientific institute, CERN recognises that there is both an obligation and willingness for knowledge transfer, so that the discoveries and knowledge gained by its scientists can be disseminated to, and applied in, the real world to the benefit of the public. CERN is therefore no exception in trying to make its technologies available for both scientific and commercial purposes. An open science policy, however, requires there to be a ‘full and timely disclosure of findings and methods’ and in this regard there is often seen to be a conflict between open science and intellectual property (IP).

Two notable cases are evident from CERN’s history. In the 1970s, CERN pioneered the use of touch screens and trackballs in their computerised control systems. However, researchers were unable to progress this technology further as industrial partners were unwilling to invest, in the event that CERN would disclose this technology under the remit of their open science model. Thus, without the kinds of assurance provided by IP, touch screens and trackballs remained in house, without further development. In contrast, whilst working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, CERN agreed to release the World Wide Web software into the public domain in 1993 and followed the next release with an open licence. The subsequent global dissemination and use of the World Wide Web speaks for itself….”

Executive Summary: Research findings and recommendations for developing a Declaration on Open Access to Cultural Heritage

“Cultural heritage institutions face a number of obstacles to digitizing and making collections available online. Many are beyond their control. But there is one important area that these institutions do have control over: the access and reuse parameters applied to a breadth of media generated during the reproduction of public domain works.

Whether to claim intellectual property rights (IPR) or release the reproduction media of public domain works via open access parameters is a contentious topic among the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums). Evidence shows GLAMs take a range of approaches to open access and encounter various obstacles that can hamper the release of cultural materials to the public domain. One of these obstacles is the lack of coordinated and sustainable support for GLAMs with open access ambitions.

Earlier this year, Wikimedia Foundation and Creative Commons came together to assist the OpenGLAM initiative and bridge this gap. The Wikimedia Foundation provided funding for an exploratory research paper on open access to cultural heritage. With the Wikimedia Foundation’s support, Creative Commons is now leading an initiative to develop a Declaration on Open Access to Cultural Heritage, along with a public consultation process to refine and generate consensus on what the Declaration might achieve.

This resource is meant to kick off that process. It brings together valuable insight from practice with wider societal questions to reflect on the trajectory of the open GLAM movement to date and its future needs. The research to support this work sought to:

To take stock of and reflect on open GLAM practices and the intellectual property rights (IPR) management of digital collections; and within this

Identify areas of uncertainty presenting barriers to open GLAM participation;

Identify new areas of focus emerging from open GLAM practice; and

Produce an open access resource to inform the development of a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage….”

Towards a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage

“Over the past decade, important work by the cultural sector has led to dramatically expanded access to public domain heritage collections. Out of this work, an open GLAM (Galleries, Archives, Libraries, and Museums) movement has grown to support the creation and management of digital collections and their reuse by new audiences and user-groups globally. But research increasingly shows that greater consensus is needed to ensure no new rights are claimed in non-original reproduction media, and that digital cultural heritage and identities are shared responsibly, both within, but also separate from, established institutions.

This initiative proposes co-developing a Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage to guide more equitable practices around open access. It advances the need for a living document that provides workable definitions, goals, and standards for making digital cultural heritage available, accessible, and reusable, and one that can adapt to emerging topics relevant to the future of digital media and cultural heritage engagement.

Below you will find a Declaration draft and a research paper to support this initiative, along with information on how to get involved. Over the next few months, Creative Commons will be supporting rounds of public consultations on the Declaration draft to co-develop a final, revised version. We invite you to join us! …”

Official Code of Georgia Annotated now a Github Repo | Boing Boing

“You might think a Supreme Court ruling in our favor would be enough to get governments to change their tune, but Georgia hasn’t done a thing, nor have other states that try and build walls around their laws. The State doesn’t publish their code, and the awful site they refer you to is run by Lexis, only provides the unannotated unofficial code of Georgia, and subjects you to onerous terms of use, an awful design, and a total lack of respect for laws that mandate access to the visually impaired. which Public Resource is spending thousands of dollars per year with the official vendor to get copies of the laws of Georgia, Mississippi, and a handful of other states. Georgia alone is costing us $1,324 per year!

 

What we get for our yearly subscription is a quarterly CD-ROM for each state that only runs on Windows. You can, with some difficulty, export the titles of the code as Microsoft Word files in .rtf format. Well, we now have 8 quarterly releases of code extracted as .rtf files and hosted on the Internet Archive, with transformations to Open Document format. These .rtf files are not the greatest. Any links have been removed and there is no structure—lists, for example, are not lists, just ordinary paragraphs.

Today, I am delighted to announce that we’ve taken the next step. Working with my friends at Unicourt and their crack engineering team in Mangaluru, India, we’re releasing today a github repository that transforms those .rtf files into beautiful html. The RTF parser is the code that does the transformation. It puts structure, metadata, and accessibility back to the code. Any pointers to other code sections are marked, tables of contents now work properly, and we’ve tagged references to other resources such as the U.S. Code, Code of Federal Regulations, and other federal and state materials so that over time these will become more and more useful. A second github repository holds the Georgia transforms and over the next year, we’re going to be adding Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. We’re also hoping to add an xml diff capability, so we can generate redlines. If you just want to browse the html files, you can also view them on the Internet Archive. For example, here is Title 1 of the OCGA, current as of August, 2020. Just for good measure, we also added opinions of the Attorney General and the court rules….”

Passenger Pigeon Manifesto

“We are supposed to learn from history, yet we don’t have access to it. Historical photographs of extinct animals are among the most important artefacts to teach and inform about human impact on nature. But where to look when one wants to see all that is left of these beings? Where can I access all the extant photos of the thylacine or the passenger pigeon? History books use photos to help us relate to narratives and see a shared reality. But how can we look through our own communities’ photographic heritage, share it with each other and use it for research and education?

Historical photos are kept by archives, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. Preservation, which is the goal of cultural institutions, means ensuring not only the existence of but the access to historical materials. It is the opposite of owning: it’s sustainable sharing. Similarly, conservation is not capturing and caging but ensuring the conditions and freedom to live.

Even though most of our tangible cultural heritage has not been digitised yet, a process greatly hindered by the lack of resources for professionals, we could already have much to look at online. In reality, a significant portion of already digitised historical photos is not available freely to the public – despite being in the public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium sized previews scattered throughout numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct.

The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use. Cultural heritage should not be accessible only for those who can afford paying for it….”

Revisiting Access to Cultural Heritage in the Public Domain: EU and International Developments | SpringerLink

Abstract:  In the past year, a number of legal developments have accelerated discussions around whether intellectual property rights can be claimed in materials generated during the reproduction of public domain works. This article analyses those developments, focusing on the 2018 German Federal Supreme Court decision Museumsfotos, Art. 14 of the 2019 Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market Directive, and relevant provisions of the 2019 Open Data and the Re-use of Public Sector Information Directive. It reveals that despite the growing consensus for protecting the public domain, there is a lack of practical guidance throughout the EU in legislation, jurisprudence, and literature on what reproduction media might attract new intellectual property rights, from scans to photography to 3D data. This leaves ample room for copyright to be claimed in reproduction materials produced by new technologies. Moreover, owners remain able to impose other restrictive measures around public domain works and data, like onsite photography bans, website terms and conditions, and exclusive arrangements with third parties. This article maps out these various legal gaps. It argues the pro-open culture spirit of the EU Directives should be embraced and provides guidance for Member States and heritage institutions around national implementation.

 

Revisiting Access to Cultural Heritage in the Public Domain: EU and International Developments | SpringerLink

Abstract:  In the past year, a number of legal developments have accelerated discussions around whether intellectual property rights can be claimed in materials generated during the reproduction of public domain works. This article analyses those developments, focusing on the 2018 German Federal Supreme Court decision Museumsfotos, Art. 14 of the 2019 Copyright and Related Rights in the Digital Single Market Directive, and relevant provisions of the 2019 Open Data and the Re-use of Public Sector Information Directive. It reveals that despite the growing consensus for protecting the public domain, there is a lack of practical guidance throughout the EU in legislation, jurisprudence, and literature on what reproduction media might attract new intellectual property rights, from scans to photography to 3D data. This leaves ample room for copyright to be claimed in reproduction materials produced by new technologies. Moreover, owners remain able to impose other restrictive measures around public domain works and data, like onsite photography bans, website terms and conditions, and exclusive arrangements with third parties. This article maps out these various legal gaps. It argues the pro-open culture spirit of the EU Directives should be embraced and provides guidance for Member States and heritage institutions around national implementation.