public domain

‘Happy Birthday’ may turn unhappy for Warner Brothers

By Chris Meadows
August 7, 2015 // 0 Comments

We’ve looked at the legal effort to clarify the copyright status of the “Happy Birthday” song a couple of times—in 2013 when it launched, and again last week. But Boing Boing has posted an extensive look at the key evidence in the case, and at the history of the song’s writers. The [...]

‘How to access a million stunning, copyright-free antique illustrations released by the British Library’

By David Rothman
August 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

From Quartz: “In keeping with its ambition to become the world’s most open institution of its kind, the British Library has released over a million public domain illustrations and other images to the public through Flickr for anyone to reuse, remix or repurpose. So far, these images, which [...]

A dirty secret of big publishing: More fact-checking needed. Fixes on the way?

By David Rothman
June 24, 2015 // 2 Comments

When I worked on The Silicon Jungle, I didn’t just benefit from a keen-eyed copy editor at Ballantine Books. Sentence by sentence, a computer consultant vetted me. A few years later I published another popular-level technical book at another big house. The amount spent on professional [...]

A fine, fine spine design

By Chris Meadows
June 12, 2015 // 1 Comment

Apropos of the discussion about e-books and spines a few days ago, this post on imgur.com displays a hardcover book spine design that’s nothing short of brilliant. The book is, of course, Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a controversial treatise in its day and [...]

Happy Public Domain Day!

By Joanna Cabot
January 2, 2015 // 1 Comment

January 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 [...]

What 2015 is giving you in the public domain – and what it isn’t

By Paul St John Mackintosh
January 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

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 [...]

Ryk Spoor launches Kickstarter to fund new Oz novel

By Chris Meadows
March 15, 2014 // 0 Comments

Here’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 [...]

Story Cards tablet CCG gamifies reading for K-12 students

By Chris Meadows
March 12, 2014 // 0 Comments

Here’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 [...]

Wellcome Trust walks the walk on open access with images release

By Paul St John Mackintosh
January 23, 2014 // 0 Comments

Already a poster child for open access in the UK scientific and medical communities, the Wellcome Trust has made another public commitment to free access to information with its announcement that: “Over 100 000 images, including manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and [...]

Shel Silverstein biographer’s fair use dilemma: Censorship at the sidewalk’s end

By Chris Meadows
January 11, 2014 // 1 Comment

On Slate, Joseph Thomas writes that the time and effort he has spent writing a biography of Shel Silverstein will likely come to naught because he cannot get permission from the Silverstein estate to quote from any of Silverstein’s material (probably because the biography covers Silverstein’s [...]

The public domain hiatus continues

By Chris Meadows
January 3, 2014 // 4 Comments

So, 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 [...]

Sherlock Holmes is definitely in the public domain, judge rules

By libertyc
December 27, 2013 // 7 Comments

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 [...]

‘Steam in the Willows’ all smoke, no fire?

By libertyc
December 5, 2013 // 0 Comments

Ran across this Kickstarter project on GalleyCat. Australian writer Krista Brennan is raising money for “Steam in the Willows,” a “steampunk version” of the classic Kenneth Grahame novel The Wind in the Willows. It will be published in PDF, print, and (if a stretch goal is met) audiobook [...]

First all-digital public library system a hit in Bexar County, Texas—with hundreds of e-reader gizmos and an eager young crew to explain them

By libertyc
October 20, 2013 // 0 Comments

Last year LibraryCity.org knocked the library system in Rockford, Illinois, for planning to spend around a quarter of its $1.19-million collection budget on e-books. A third of Rockfordians were living below the poverty line in 2009 by one estimate. And yet the local library initially wanted to [...]

Marcel Proust's birthday: A day to remember things past — for free

By libertyc
July 10, 2013 // 0 Comments

Today, June 10th, marks the birth date of another great 20th-century modern novelist: Marcel Proust, author of the celebrated, and massive, work, “À la recherche du temps perdu” (“Remembrance of Things Past”). And luckily, by the same quirk of copyright that has left the [...]

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