#NEWPALMYRA

“Collecting data from international partners, analyzing it, creating a reconstruction of Palmyra in virtual space, and sharing the models and data in the public domain. We are using digital tools to preserve heritage sites.

Cultural Development

Hosting live workshops and building a network of artists, technologists, archaeologists, architects, and others to research, construct models, and create artistic works. We create exhibitions and experiences in museums and institutions globally, celebrating the cultural heritage of Syria and the world through the lens of architecture embodying culture and power.

Open Data

Helping to advance open data policies in museums and institutions through advocacy, education, and consultation.

Together with our international affiliates, #NEWPALMYRA sources archaeological and historical data, shares it with the community, and outputs art exhibitions, salons, and creative works using this data to carry the rich history of Palmyra forward to new generations….”

Thoreau’s 200th birthday brings gift for botanists | Harvard Gazette

“In honor of Thoreau’s 200th birthday, on July 12, hundreds of new images of his specimens, along with the data associated with them, will be posted online, part of a larger effort to digitize and open to the public the 5.5 million dried plant specimens in the Herbaria’s collection.

“I think it’s fair to say that the data that live inside these cabinets has been dark for far too long,” Davis said. “My vision for the collections is that we make everything online and accessible to the world.”

That larger effort has meant adopting a new “open-access digitization policy,” available on the Office for Scholarly Communication website, that puts most of the images — excepting those whose copyright is held by other institutions or individuals — in the public domain….

“The Herbaria is the first Harvard museum to adopt an open-access policy for its digitization projects,” said Peter Suber, director of the Office for Scholarly Communication. “Lifting restrictions from the bulk of its digital reproductions will bring this unique botanical collection to a global audience, and advance the Herbaria’s mission of research and education.” …”

Open Textbooks | Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

“Find open and free textbooks that may be suitable for use in community college courses from the list of Subjects provided. For descriptions of these open textbooks, see listings in MERLOT and OER Commons. Most of the textbooks on this list have Creative Commons (CC) open licenses or GNU-Free Document License. Others are U.S. government documents in the public domain (PD)….”

The Library of Alexandra

“Public Resource has been conducting an intensive audit of the scholarly literature. We have focused on works of the U.S. government….Our audit has determined that 1,264,429 journal articles authored by federal employees or officers are potentially void of copyright….To further examine the subject, I have made a copy of a database known as scihub, which has 63+ million journal articles….The purpose of this copy is to create a transformational use, an extraction of all components of scihub that are in the public domain….Of the 1,264,429 government journal articles I have metadata for, I am now able to access 1,141,505 files (90.2%) for potential release….In addition, 2,031,359 of the articles in my possession are dated 1923 or earlier. These 2 categories represent 4.92% of scihub….Public Resource will make extracts of the Library of Alexandra available shortly, will present the issues to publishers and governments….”

‘Guerilla Activist’ Releases 18,000 Scientific Papers – MIT Technology Review

“Yesterday, in response to this week’s indictment of a 24-year-old Harvard researcher and Internet activist [Aaron Swartz] for allegedly hacking into MIT’s network and collecting nearly five million scholarly articles, a second hacker released more than 18,592 (32 gigabytes) of subscription-only research obtained from the same service. The second man identified himself as Greg Maxwell, a 31-year-old “technologist, recreational mathematician, and scientific hobbyist” from northern Virginia….Maxwell says he released the papers for similar reasons. He says the papers come from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and were published before 1923, which means they’re in the public domain (his claim has not been independently verified). “This knowledge belongs to the public,” he argues. For the sake of scientific progress, Maxwell says, such databases shouldn’t keep research under lock and key at all, let alone beyond their copyright expiration, as is the current practice. “Progress comes from making connections between others’ discoveries, from extending them, and then from telling people,” he says….”  

Royal Society frees up journal archive

“The archive [of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society] was digitized in 1999 by JSTOR, the US-based archive for academic journals, for a sum in the ‘high five figures in US dollars’. Royal Society commercial director Stuart Taylor says they have been thinking about making part of the archive free for some time. As digitization of print works gets easier and cheaper, “we do not feel it is justifiable to continue charging for access [to out-of-copyright material]”, Taylor said. The Royal Society’s pay-per-view income for the entire archive (including papers after 1941) amounts to less than 0.5% of their total publishing revenues.

In July, programmer Greg Maxwell uploaded nearly 19,000 articles from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, all of them published before 1923, onto the file-sharing website The Pirate Bay (in stated support for computer coder Aaron Swartz, who is still facing a federal indictment for downloading over 4 million articles from JSTOR). The Royal Society’s release today means that the articles Maxwell uploaded are all now free to view. Maxwell’s action did not affect the Society’s decision, says Taylor….”

Introducing Open Access at The Met | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“As of today, all images of public-domain works in The Met collection are available under Creative Commons Zero (CC0). So whether you’re an artist or a designer, an educator or a student, a professional or a hobbyist, you now have more than 375,000 images of artworks from our collection to use, share, and remix—without restriction. This policy change to Open Access is an exciting milestone in The Met’s digital evolution, and a strong statement about increasing access to the collection and how to best fulfill the Museum’s mission in a digital age.

The Met has an incredible encyclopedic collection: 1.5 million objects spanning 5,000 years of culture from around the globe. Since our audience is really the three billion internet-connected individuals around the world, we need to think big about how to reach these viewers, and increase our focus on those digital tactics that have the greatest impact. Open Access is one of those tactics.

The images we’re making available under a CC0 license relate to 200,000 public-domain artworks in our collection that the Museum has already digitally catalogued. This represents an incredible body of work by curators, conservators, photographers, librarians, cataloguers, interns, and technologists over the past 147 years of the institution’s history. This is work that is always ongoing: just last year we added 21,000 new images to the online collection, 18,000 of which relate to works in the public domain.”

Chris Hartgerink’s open letter to the CEO and Directors of STM

“The matter that is primarily on my mind is that of the Public Domain. Copyright legislation is quite messy due to the various legislative changes that have happened in the last century, as I am sure you are aware. This potentially makes it difficult to pinpoint which works are copyrighted and for which works copyright has expired. Nonetheless, copyright on some works has clearly expired. Examples of such works are those that predate the Berne convention by several decades and whose copyright expired after approximately thirty years depending on the legislative area. This would mean that most works before 1850 are clearly in the Public Domain. I was surprised that there are still many works whose copyright has expired but are still available under your member publishers with an explicit assertion of copyright (e.g., Elsevier; I focused on scholarly publishers). An example is an index page from 1823 that is being sold for $35.95 [1]. I find this sort of behavior quite bewildering, and a touch ironic, given that Elsevier and others have a particularly strong stance when it comes to enforcing their own copyright, as emphasized in the ongoing legal battle against Sci-Hub and LibGen. My questions are thus as follows: 1. Do you condone or condemn illicit claims of copyright by your member organizations? 2. Do you view the asserted copyright as in [1] and [2] valid? 3. Do you believe it is ethically responsible to sell scholarly works whose copyright has expired at the same price as new, copyrighted scholarly works? 4. Is it your intention to put the works, whose copyright has expired, truly in the Public Domain to accord with your mission statement of “creating and supporting the means for disseminating this knowledge”? 5. What steps will STM take to avoid this sort of mis-claim of copyright in the future, if it believes it to be incorrect? …”

Caselaw Access Project | Library Innovation Lab

“The Caselaw Access Project is making all U.S. case law freely accessible online.

Our common law – the written decisions issued by our state and federal courts – is not freely accessible online. This lack of access harms justice and equality and stifles innovation in legal services.

The Harvard Law School Library has one of the world’s largest, most comprehensive collections of court decisions in print form. Our collection totals over 42,000 volumes and roughly 40 million pages. Caselaw Access Project aims to transform the official print versions of these court decisions into digital files made freely accessible online.

To realize this ambitious vision, we’re teaming up with Ravel Law, an innovative legal research and analytics company. Ravel is funding the costs of digitization and will be making all of the resulting cases publicly available for free search and API access. You can learn more about the key terms of our collaboration with Ravel by reading a detailed overview here….”