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Posts tagged public domain

Happy birthday J.R.R. Tolkien – but doesn’t ring in any public domain riches
January 5, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Tolkien bustJohn Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3rd, 1892, and his long and richly productive life ended on September 2nd, 1973. That longevity, however, also means that enthusiasts are having to wait a very long time indeed for any of his great body of work to find its way into the public domain. As Everybody's Libraries noted back on Public Domain Day 2013, if the U.S.  had not passed its latest copyright extension act in 1988, "we would be seeing works published in 1937, such as the first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, now entering the public domain. ...

Happy Public Domain Day!
January 2, 2015 | 4:25 pm

public domainJanuary 1 is one day a year where I am glad to be Canadian. While normally I look on with jealousy as my American friends and family partake in a myriad of better shopping options, January 1 is my day to gloat---while America remains hamstring by Sonny Bono and Walt Disney's efforts to restrict creative works from entering the public domain, Canada is still governed by 'Life Plus 50' rules, which see new works enter the public domain every January 1, 50 years after the death of their creators. The public domain, to me, remains an important concept. It's nice to...

What 2015 is giving you in the public domain – and what it isn’t
January 2, 2015 | 10:25 am

As with any new year, 2015 brings a freight of new works that will be released into the public domain in various jurisdictions - and a whole lot that could have been under prior iterations of copyright law, but won't be. As the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School states, "Public Domain Day is January 1st of every year. If you live in Canada, January 1st 2015 would be the day when the writings of Rachel Carlson, Ian Fleming, and Flannery O'Connor enter the public domain. It will be a not-so-silent spring! In Europe, the...

Open Culture puts 110 free philosophy books online
November 13, 2014 | 6:25 pm

plato3.jpgThe website Open Culture, offering "the best free cultural and educational media on the web," has announced the release of a collection of 110 works of philosophy, "from Aristotle to Nietzsche & Wittgenstein," for free access online. And although, despite the wording of Open Culture's announcement, not all are available to download rather than to read online, this is still a collection worth browsing and, well, learning from. "The list will keep growing at a steady clip," writes Open Culture. "But if you see any crucial texts missing, please let us know, and we will try to get them added ASAP....

Morning Roundup: How do you know public domain is in trouble? Author resale rights and more
June 12, 2014 | 9:00 am

public domainHow Do You Know The Public Domain Is In Trouble? It Requires A 52-Page Handbook To Determine If Something Is Public Domain (Techdirt) It's actually quite handy in many ways, but it still seems... wrong that the public domain should ever need a 52-page handbook just to figure out if a work is or is not actually in the public domain. *** Author Resale Rights Rears Its Ugly Head in UK (The Digital Reader) A bad idea from the art world has just cropped on in the book industry. *** A Writing Lifestyle Book is Featured on Kickstarter (GalleyCat) The Egertons have written down their thoughts and...

Met throws open its galleries online for free scholarly, personal use
May 20, 2014 | 4:25 pm

galleriesNew York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, last in TeleRead for one excellent freebie initiative where it put its past publications up for free download online, has just launched an even more attractive initiative. Under the Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative, the Met will offer "more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection" for free download - not just by scholars but by private users for all non-commercial applications. According to the Met's announcement, the institution will provide "access to images of art in its collection that the Museum believes to be in the...

Ryk Spoor launches Kickstarter to fund new Oz novel
March 15, 2014 | 5:27 am

polychromeHere’s a worthy-looking Kickstarter project. Ryk Spoor, one of the Baen stable of authors, is looking to self-publish Polychrome, his modern-day pastiche on the public-domain Oz setting. He’s already offered it to multiple publishers, but none of them seems to have been able to figure out quite what to do with it. He hopes to raise at least $5,000 to cover the cost of having the book professionally edited, formatted, and polished up for self-publication. Of course, you can make the argument that he could just self-publish it as-is, for free; if it’s good enough for a zillion other...

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students
March 12, 2014 | 2:58 pm

storycardsHere's an intriguing game I just learned about. Educational publisher Amplify, makers of the Amplify Android tablet we covered last year, has come up with a way to gamify classic literature, in the hopes of getting students interested in reading it. Story Cards is a turn-based character-driven CCG. Players unlock character cards with specific abilities by reading the books they come from, and can gain bonuses by answering trivia questions related to the books in question. The game supports both single-player and multi-player modes. Students can build their own decks and compete with the game or each other. The...

The public domain hiatus continues
January 3, 2014 | 12:54 pm

atlasshruggedSo, another new year, and another collection of works that should have but won’t pass into the public domain thanks to Sonny Bono’s Copyright Term Extension Act. GigaOm has a good roundup of titles, drawing on the report from Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. They include some fairly popular titles, such as the movies Bridge on the River Kwai, Gunfight at the OK Corral, and 3:10 to Yuma, and the books How the Grinch Stole Christmas and The Cat in the Hat. One noteworthy title is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, which seems...

Morning Roundup: Grinch Who Stole Public Domain, Best Social Media Tools For Journalists
January 2, 2014 | 9:00 am

public domainThe Grinch Who Stole the Public Domain (Techdirt) As they do every year, unfortunately, the good folks at the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke have put together a depressing list of what should have entered the public domain yesterday. *** The Year's Best Social Media Tools for Journalists (Media Shift) The more that journalists use social media, the more tools pop up to help them search multiple platforms at once, showcase content in a new way, follow social media chatter by location and more. *** Journalist Ann Morgan Read a Book From Every Country (GalleyCat) British journalist Ann Morgan has accomplished a...

Sherlock Holmes is definitely in the public domain, judge rules
December 27, 2013 | 2:56 pm

It shouldn’t take a detective to realize that Sherlock Holmes is in the public domain by now, but apparently it takes a court to declare it. We’ve covered the matter a couple of times. The Conan Doyle estate trademarked Holmes in the hope that could prevent others from using him without paying a licensing fee. A couple of years ago, the New York Times pointed out that some of the rights to Holmes are in kind of a twisted tangle. But now a federal judge has issued a decision affirming that the characters and situations from all...

Double Book Review: ‘Spook Stories’ and ‘More Spook Stories,’ by E.F. Benson
July 14, 2013 | 7:45 pm

E.F. BensonThis is a review of two connected books by the same very popular author that are not new, but little known in e-book format, thanks to the onerous U.S. copyright term limit that keeps them out of the public domain there. Fortunately, Canada comes to the rescue, as so often, and provides excellent e-book editions of both for download from Project Gutenberg Canada. Edward Frederic Benson (1867–1940) was an enormously prolific English author who wrote in a host of different genres: comedies of manners; serious novels; biographies; essays; sporting books (he was a highly capable athlete); and last but definitely not least,...