As some of you will know, Public Domain Works, a joint initiative of the Open Knowledge Foundation, Free Culture UK and the Open Rights Group, had its alpha launch back in August. The Public Domain Works Database is an open registry of artistic works that are in the public domain. Since the project was first publicly announced in June 2006, the PDW team have been busy mining through data kindly donated by Phillip Harper and the BBC Archives and building a web interface for it.
After an initial plan to partner with a project called WikiBiblio, Jon Phillips of Creative Commons announced that WikiBiblio was going to merge with the Open Library (whom we’ve blogged about before). He also suggested that Public Domain Works becomes a partner – which is currently being arranged.
The plan looks to be to upload the Public Domain Works data to the Open Library, and to use read/write APIs to continue to develop different front-ends for different jurisdictions – each with its own algorithms to determine which works are in the public domain.
The Open Library will be an invaluable resource for open metadata about works in the public domain if all goes to plan!
Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.