Richard Poynder interviews Jordan Hatcher

Open Acccess journalist extraordinaire Richard Poynder recently interviewed the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Jordan Hatcher about data licensing, the public domain, and lots more. An excerpt is reproduced below. The full version is available on Richard’s website. Over the past twenty years or so we have seen a rising tide of alternative copyright licences emerge — […]

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

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

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? Hashtag? #pdobd Notes? Here’s the blurb: This one day workshop will focus on open bibliographic data and the […]

Opening up university infrastructure data

The following guest post is from Christopher Gutteridge, Web Projects Manager at the Electronics and Computer Science (ECS), University of Southampton and member of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. We announced on Tuesday (13th July 2010) that all the RDF made available about our school would be placed in the public domain. […]

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 […]

Open Correspondence

The following guest post is from Iain Emsley, who is a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation Working Group on Open Resources in the Humanities, and a contributor to the Open Shakespeare and Open Milton projects. Using the social graph, one can find the connections between seemingly disparate groups of people on different services. Most […]

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 […]

Book Search, Museum View, and Exploitation

Read today a Google Books PR piece on the Guardian website. Of out-of-print or hard-to-get books, it says, “Although copies may be available in libraries, they are effectively dead to the wider world.” Also heard today that Google Street View is proposing inside views, museum interiors. Last week, I and some OKF people heard a […]

7th Communia Workshop, Luxembourg

We recently attended a workshop in Luxembourg as part of Communia, the EU policy network on the digital public domain. There was a focus on bringing together themes from previous events to make a series of policy recommendations to the European Commission (watch this space!). Below are a few notes highlighting some of the talks […]

Public Domain Manifesto

On Monday the Public Domain Manifesto went live: From the introductory paragraph: The public domain, as we understand it, is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers to access or reuse usually associated with copyright protection, either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have […]

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 […]

Visualizar ’09

The project presentations from last month’s Visualizar seminar have now been posted online. This annual event brought together creative teams from a range of disciplines, with the objective of delivering workable presentations using freely available data resources. The theme for 2009 was Public Data – Data In Public. I was fortunate enough to attend on […]

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 […]

Open Plaques: open data about UK heritage sites

Open Plaques is a project to find and document all the UK’s blue heritage plaques, which commemorate sites where famous events occurred, or with a connection to notable historical figures. There are currently over 1700 plaques, which can be browsed by area, by person, by role or by organisation. Though the project is currently in […]

Open dictionary databases: an overview

Open dictionaries are excellent examples of open knowledge projects. Whether monolingual or bilingual, and whether dealing with definitions, etymology, translation or pronounciation – they can often be large, collaborative undertakings. Dictionary databases have a wide variety of potential applications – from education and research to machine translation and integration with software applications and services. We’ve […]

New developments on Public Domain Works!

We have now completed a major load of data into the Public Domain Works database: 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 […]

Flickr put shapefiles in the public domain

Last week there was some great news from Flickr: We are releasing all of the Flickr shapefiles as a single download, available for use under the Creative Commons Zero Waiver. That’s fancy-talk for “public domain”. They gave the following reasons for their decision: We want people (developers, researchers and anyone else who wants to play) […]

Cornell University Library keeps reproductions of public domain works in the public domain

Yesterday Cornell University University Library announced that it will ‘remove all restrictions’ on digital reproductions of public domain works, meaning these are open as in From the press release: ITHACA, N.Y. (May 11, 2009) – In a dramatic change of practice, Cornell University Library has announced it will no longer require its users to […]

Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2009: Saturday 28th March

Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2009 will take place next Saturday 28th March – less than a week away! where: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL, London when: 28th March 2009, 1030-1830 home: register: If you plan to attend, and haven’t registered yet – we encourage you to book your ticket now as space […]

Open Everything Berlin + CC Salon Berlin

After the success of open everything Berlin last December (see documentation), the newthinking network and CC Salon Berlin teamed up to put on another event in Berlin last night: CC Salon Berlin and openeverything focus – Feb. 26 (CC Blog) openeverything focus + CC Salon (Michelle Thorne’s blogpost) I was invited to speak – and […]

Public Interest Information Policy in Germany

I was recently asked to write a piece for Berlin-based think tank Das Progressive Zentrum on public interest information policy in Germany: Wem gehört das Wissen? Informationspolitik in Deutschland (Shorter German version) Public Interest Information Policy in Germany (Longer English version) The piece finishes with three policy suggestions: Support legislation as well as licensing and […]

Photographing public domain works – Wikipedia Loves Art launches on Sunday!

This coming Sunday 1st February will be the first day of Wikipedia Loves Art – which will run until the end of the month. The event will see cultural heritage institutions around the world open up their doors for the public to take pictures of items in their collections that have passed into the public […]

Open Milton launched for Milton’s 400th birthday!

The 9th of December 2008 is John Milton’s 400th birthday. To celebrate this life-long advocate of liberty we’ve officially launched ‘Open Milton’ – an open set of Milton’s works, together with ancillary information and tools, in a form designed for reuse: The Open Milton project has two main objectives: Provide the works of John […]

Musopen – free public domain music!

Musopen is a charity that aims to produce and distribute recordings and sheet music of public domain music. Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. We want to give the world access to music without the legal hassles so common today. There is a great deal of music that has […]

OKF joins COMMUNIA network!

We’re pleased to announce that (subject to final confirmation) the Open Knowledge Foundation is now a member of the EU funded COMMUNIA network, which is “the European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain”. (We blogged about the first workshop in January and the third workshop in October.) As it says on the goals page: […]

Workshop on Finding and Re-using Open Scientific Resources, Saturday 8th November

As we announced earlier this month, tomorrow is our Workshop on Finding and Re-using Open Scientific Resources. As a concrete outcome of the workshop, we hope to add more open scientific resources to CKAN, as we did last Saturday in the Workshop on Public Information and which we’ve blogged about in the past. So far, […]

Third COMMUNIA Workshop – Marking the public domain

The third COMMUNIA workshop ‘Marking the public domain: relinquishment & certification’ (which we mentioned last week) took place in Amsterdam on Monday and Tuesday. It brought together COMMUNIA members and other relevant parties from across Europe for talks and workshops focusing on legal issues related to the public domain, and how public domain works can […]