Blog

Working Group Stories: Public Domain, Open Sustainability, Open Education

Working Groups Stories, a blog series we started back in May, is our way of showcasing the incredible work being done in all different domains across the Open Knowledge Foundation Network. Working groups are domain-specific groups, promoting, defining and producing open knowledge in everything from Archaeology to Shakespeare. Public Domain Working Group The Public Domain […]

Did Gale Cengage just liberate all of their public domain content? Sadly not…

Earlier today we received a strange and intriguing press release from a certain ‘Marmaduke Robida’ claiming to be ‘Director for Public Domain Content’ at Gale Cengage’s UK premises in Andover. Said the press release: Gale, part of Cengage Learning, is thrilled to announce that all its public domain content will be freely accessible on the […]

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 […]

All Things Come To Those Who Wait

‘All Things Come To Those Who Wait’ is an older version of the more common proverb ‘Good Things Come To Those Who Wait’. When the poor fellow waiting in the picture above was published, copyright in printed matter in the UK expired at the same time the author did. By 1842 copyright outlived the author […]

Open Book Publishers releases “The Digital Public Domain”

Open Book Publishers is the first UK academic publisher to have made all its books freely available online, publishing peer-reviewed research in subjects across the Humanities and Social Sciences. They are “committed to the idea that high quality scholarship should be available to readers everywhere regardless of their income or access to university libraries”. This […]

Open Plaques: Community Powered Heritage

This is a shortened version of a post from the OpenGLAM blog, where you can keep up-to-date with goings-on around open data in heritage and arts. Historical plaques by their very nature are objects in the public domain, so creating a platform to collect them with the public – and for the collected data to […]

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 […]

Ideas for OpenPhilosophy.org

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. It is cross-posted from jonathangray.org. For several years I’ve been meaning to start OpenPhilosophy.org, which would be a collection of open resources related to philosophy for use in teaching and research. There would be a focus on the history of philosophy, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Dear Internet, we need better image archives

The following guest post is by Nina Paley, cartoonist and blogger. Nina is a member of the OKF’s Working Group on the Public Domain. Dear Internet, You know what should be really easy to find online? Good quality, Public Domain vintage illustrations. You know, things like this: I found this on Flickr, where someone claims […]

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. […]

Free! Music! Contest – fewer choices, more freedom

The following guest post is by Christian Hufgard, chairman of Musikpiraten, and member of the OKF’s Working Group on the Public Domain. The Free! Music! Contest is a contest for bands and artists releasing their songs under a creative commons license. In its third year the focus is set on enabling remixes – and freeness. […]

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, […]

Project Gutenberg adds their 40,000th free eBook!

The following guest post is from Michael Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on the Public Domain It’s The Year of the eBook! Project Gutenberg, the granddaddy of all eBook libraries, announced today they have put number 40,000 of internally produced free eBooks online as of March […]

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 […]

Interview with Hugh McGuire, Founder of Librivox.org

Following is an interview with Hugh McGuire, Founder of the Librivox project and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on the Public Domain. Could you tell us a bit about the project and its background? Why did you start it? When? What was the need at the time? There were some philosophical reasons, […]

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 Public Domain and the WIPO Development Agenda

The following guest post is from Séverine Dusollier, who is a Professor in Law at the University of Namur and a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on the Public Domain. She recently completed a Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain commissioned as part of the WIPO Development […]

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 […]

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 […]