Wants to Claim Copyright and Sell Public Domain Photos

15 02 2015
2014 Winner of Best Public Domain Gif
Animal Category

Dear Rich: I have a souvenir photo book (images of public buildings, gardens, outdoor scenes) which I purchased over 30 years ago. It was published prior to 1923 (now part of the public domain, as I understand it). The book has no printed credits or copyrights, no info on who photographed the images or published the book. An Internet search has turned up one other copy of this book – it is in a USA university collection. The pages have been scanned and included in the university library’s digital collection; they have assigned a copyright to their scanned images; the digital images are available for purchase through the university. I would like to scan my copy of this book and use the images in artistic works and derivatives to sell, as well as offer the scanned digital images for sale. Would I be within my legal rights to copyright my scanned images from this book and use/sell them?

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Answered by Stephen Fishman, author of The Public Domain.
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Nintendo kicks “Let’s Play” videos off YouTube then slaps ads on them

24 11 2013
Once it became simple to record, upload, and share digital video over the Internet, gamers quickly became interested in recording themselves playing games—especially with humorous or profane commentary. The phenomenon of creating and sharing so-called “Let’s Play” videos took off around 2006 and today has its own channel on YouTube. Practitioners of this self-recording art sometimes refer to themselves as LPers for short.Now, it looks like Let’s Play videos are one more piece of content that’s being caught up in YouTube’s Content ID system. It’s an automated copyright-enforcement system that’s been glitchy from the start and often criticized for taking down legitimate content. Remixes of cultural icons have been taken down with no good explanation, as well as NASA content that should be in the public domain. Political satire didn’t stand a chance either. Until October, there wasn’t even a meaningful appeal system for owners of wrongly removed videos.

It looks like LPers are the latest victims.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/05/nintendo-kicks-lets-play-videos-off-youtube-then-slaps-ads-on-them/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



University of California to allow open access to new academic papers

27 08 2013

The University of California—an enormous institution that encompasses 10 campuses and over 8,000 faculty members—introduced an Open Access Policy late last week. This policy grants the UC a license to its faculty’s work by default, and requires them to provide the UC with copy of their peer-reviewed papers on the paper’s publication date. The UC then posts the paper online to eScholarship, its open access publishing site, where the paper will be available to anyone, free of charge.

Making the open access license automatic for its faculty leverages the power of the institution—which publishes over 40,000 scholarly papers a year—against the power of publishers who would otherwise lock content behind a paywall. “It is much harder for individuals to negotiate these rights on an individual basis than to assert them collectively,” writes the UC. “By making a blanket policy, individual faculty benefit from membership in the policy-making group, without suffering negative consequences. Faculty retain both the individual right to determine the fate of their work, and the benefit of making a collective commitment to open access.”

Faculty members will be allowed to opt out of the scheme if necessary—if they have a prior contract with a journal, for example. Academic papers published in traditional journals before the enactment of this policy will not be made available on eScholarship at this time.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/university-of-california-to-allow-open-access-to-new-academic-papers/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



How YouTube lets content companies "claim" NASA Mars videos

13 08 2012

Lon Seidman knew he wasn’t going to get rich from his three-hour video discussion of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars. The local media entrepreneur did a live Google+ Hangout about the event and posted the resulting video to YouTube, expecting it would earn him a few bucks and attract some new readers to his site, CT Tech Junkie. During the discussion, Seidman played a number of NASA videos about the Curiosity mission. He knew he was on safe ground because works of the federal government are automatically in the public domain.

So he was surprised to find that no fewer than five other media organizations (mostly television stations, including some from overseas) had “claimed” the content of his video through YouTube’s Content ID system.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/08/how-youtube-lets-content-companies-claim-nasa-mars-videos/f and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Supreme Court rules Congress can re-copyright public domain works

28 05 2012

Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.” (PDF)

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/01/supreme-court-rules-congress-can-re-copyright-public-domain-works/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.