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Sita’s free: Landmark copyleft animated film is now licensed CC0

This past Friday, American cartoonist, animator, and free culture activist Nina Paley announced she was releasing her landmark animated film Sita Sings the Blues under a Creative Commons CC0 license. Sita Sings the Blues is quite possibly the most famous animated film to be released under an open license. The 82 minute film, which is an autobiographical story […]

The Myth of European Term of Protection Harmonisation

This blog post is based on Christina’s paper, “The Myth of European Term Harmonisation – 27 Public Domains for 27 Member States”. This is a shortened version of the post – the full version is available on the OpenGLAM blog. Copyright is supposed to be a temporary right: once it has expired, works automatically fall […]

The Year in (Public Domain) Review

Last month, the glorious Public Domain Review celebrated its first birthday. The Public Domain Review aspires to become a bounteous gateway into the whopping plenitude that is the public domain, helping our readers to explore this rich terrain by surfacing unusual and obscure works, and offering fresh reflections and unfamiliar angles on material which is […]

Public Domain Day: January 1st 2012

The following guest post is by Juan Carlos de Martin, from the the Politecnico of Torino, Italy, one of the organisers of the annual Public Domain Day of which the OKF is a proud supporter. Every January a growing number of people throughout the world gather to celebrate the new year. But not for the […]

Prizewinning bid in ‘Inventare il Futuro’ Competition

By James Harriman-Smith and Primavera De Filippi On the 11th July, the Open Literature (now Open Humanities) mailing list got an email about a competition being run by the University of Bologna called ‘Inventare il Futuro’ or ‘Inventing the Future’. On the 28th October, Hvaing submitted an application on behalf of the OKF, we got […]

A translation fund for public domain texts

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. It was originally posted on his blog. If a text is widely known and published more than a century and a half ago, chances are that it will be freely available on the web to read and download. Every person with […]

The Public Domain Review has a new website!

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. As part of our work to open up the wealth of cultural works which have entered the public domain, earlier this year we launched the Public Domain Review. Adam Green, the Public Domain Review‘s wonderful Editor, has been hard at work […]

Announcing… Text Camp 2011

The following post is from James Harriman-Smith, coordinator of the OKF’s Open Literature Working Group, and Lecteur at the ENS de Lyon. The OKF’s first ever ‘Text Camp’ hopes to bring together many different people, all interested in the relationship between digital technologies and literature, with a strong focus on the creation of open knowledge. […]

Help to map the public domain around the world!

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. We’re currently looking for more people to help map copyright law in countries around the world – so we can make it easier for people to find and reuse works which have entered the public domain. We’re particularly keen to contact […]

The Public Domain Calculators code is now in a separate library

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. As many of you will know, the Public Domain Calculators aim to make it easier to find out which works are in the public domain in a given jurisdiction. There are two main parts of the project: A collection of flowcharts, […]

How can we promote the public domain?

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. A few weeks back we ran a small workshop in Berlin for Public Domain Day 2011. It was attended by a mix of artists, scholars, legal experts, technologists, and passers by. We started out with a general conversation in which the […]

Launch of the Public Domain Review to celebrate Public Domain Day 2011

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. The 1st of January every year is Public Domain Day, when new works enter the public domain in many (though unfortunately not all) countries around the world. To celebrate, the Open Knowledge Foundation is launching the Public Domain Review, a web-based […]

Which works enter the public domain in 2011?

Every year on January 1st hundreds of works enter the public domain around the world. So how do we know which works will come of age in 2011? Like last year we are keen to get a picture of this well in advance so we can start planning celebrations for Public Domain Day 2011 (see […]

Workshop on Open Bibliographic Data and the Public Domain, 7th October 2010

A brief reminder that our workshop on Open Bibliographic Data and the Public Domain (which we blogged about a few months ago) is taking place on Thursday 7th October. Details are as follows: Where? Rooms 108/108a, FU Berlin, Garystr. 21, 14195 Berlin When? Thursday 7th October 2010 Registration? http://publicdomain.eventbrite.com/ Hashtag? #pdobd Notes? http://okfnpad.org/pdobd Here’s the […]

Workshop on Open Bibliographic Data and the Public Domain

We are pleased to announce a one day workshop on Open Bibliographic Data and the Public Domain. Details are as follows: Where? Rooms 108/108a, FU Berlin, Garystr. 21, 14195 Berlin When? 7th October 2010 Registration? http://publicdomain.eventbrite.com/ Hashtag? #pdobd Notes? http://okfnpad.org/pdobd Here’s the blurb: This one day workshop will focus on open bibliographic data and the […]

The Durationator

The following guest post is from Professor Townsend Gard and Justin A. Levy who are both at the Tulane Center for Intellectual Property Law and Culture, New Orleans, and are members of the Open Knowledge Foundation‘s Working Group on the Public Domain. The Durationator is a project based at Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA […]

Public Domain Calculators at Europeana

The following guest post is from Christina Angelopoulos at the Institute for Information Law (IViR) and Maarten Zeinstra at Nederland Kennisland who are working on building a series of Public Domain Calculators as part of the Europeana project. Both are also members of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on the Public Domain. Over the […]

Open bibliographic data promotes knowledge of the public domain

The following guest post is from John Mark Ockerbloom, library scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and editor of The Online Books Page. He blogs at Everybody’s Libraries. I’ve recently gotten involved with two Open Knowledge Foundation working groups, one on open bibliographic data and one on identifying public domain materials. Folks who follow […]

Public Domain Day 2010: A roundup

January 1st 2010 was Public Domain Day, when around the world various works fell out of copyright and into the public domain. Back in November we put together a rough list of which works fall into the public domain: You can find the list of 563 authors on our Public Domain Works project, which is […]

Seasons Greetings from the Open Knowledge Foundation!

A big Merry Christmas from the Open Knowledge Foundation to all our friends and supporters! In the festive spirit, we’ve put together a few images, texts and audio recordings from various open knowledge projects for your delectation. If you’d have any suggestions for things to add, please let us know in the comments below. See […]

Documentation from the Public Domain Calculators Meeting

Last week we had a meeting about building a set of Public Domain Calculators for countries across Europe (which we blogged about earlier this month). The public domain calculators will help to determine whether or not a given work is in copyright in a given jurisdiction. We started out by reviewing existing work on the […]

Public Domain Calculators Meeting, 10-11th November 2009

There is often a tendency to talk of ‘the public domain’ and of works falling out of copyright and ‘into the public domain’ – as though there is a single set of works which are out of copyright all over the world. In fact, of course, there are different national laws about the nature and […]

New developments on Public Domain Works!

We have now completed a major load of data into the Public Domain Works database: http://publicdomainworks.net/ There are now 125318 persons, 12840 items and 299141 works in the database. The data we have there comes primarily from two sources: people and book data from Philip Harper’s NGCOBA and recordings data from the online discographies provided […]

Database Back Up

Unfortunately due to upgrades of the software on the server the Public Domain Works DB has been down recently. Now, thanks to recent coding efforts it is back up with some early (1900s) data from musicbrainz. Check it out at: http://db.publicdomainworks.net/

Public Domain Calculators

As followers of the mailing list will know we are now planning to join forces with Creative Commons on the Internet Archive’s Open Library project. Our first step is to develop ‘public domain calculators’ for the different jurisdictions across Europe. Here a calculator is just an algorithm for determining whether a given work is Public […]

Alpha launch of Public Domain Works

Public Domain Works advises users on the copyright status of a particular track to encourage creators and entrepreneurs to build on cultural history. Let’s say you want to use, sample or reissue a particular track, whether its Elvis, Elgar or Elmore Judd. Reusing even a fraction of a copyright-protected track (without the express permission of […]

Public understanding of the ‘public domain’

Last Tuesday 17th April i went to my first Own-It event – ‘Dead or Alive: Whose art work is up for grabs?’ – and was very happy to see a roomful of artists and creative types discussing the ins and outs of copyright law. I was however kinda surprised to hear their IP-expert solicitor use […]

Some Statistics

We’ve been busy hacking away and as a result we now have some rough statistics: Composers whose works are out of copyright. Of the 1083 composers listed in the data kindly donated to us by Philip Harper we estimate that, as of January 1st 2007: Out of Copyright: 263 In Copyright: 762 Status Unknown: 58 […]

PD Burn receives BBC Phonograms data

The kindly people at BBC Archives have supplied our project with 1.8 gigs (over 1,000,000 items) of data, which includes, in particular, listing of antique recordings. The exact rights status of this data has yet to be determined, so unfortunately for now we can only analyze its contents. Before this analysis, we’ll need to decode […]

Alpha Site Up

As of last weekend there is a alpha version of the registry up at: http://alpha.publicdomainworks.net/ If all went well Tom Chance demoed this at the iCommons summit in Rio de Janeiro. The database system and its interface is in alpha stage and the site is a prototype designed for testing purposes. In particular: This site […]

Composer Data

Many moons ago I came across: http://www.kingkong.demon.co.uk/ Which has lots of data on authors, books and composers (the guy seems to be transcribing a large amount of the US copyright register by hand!). In the light of our work on the db I wrote to the owner of the site at the start of May […]