Copyright protection is way overrated...

… or at least way too long. Ben White of the British Library gave a really good illustration of this during his presentation at the EuropeanaConnect workshop on Extended Collective Licensing that took place in Luxembourg over the last two days. On one of his slides he showed the results of a recent study on the commercial availability of print publications that the BL had done. For this study they took 10 random publication from each decade between 1870 and 2010 and checked how many of them are…

(UK National Portrait Gallery vs. Wikimedia) vs. the Public Domain

You might have heard that the Wikimedia Foundation and the National Portrait Gallery are having a bit of a row these days. At the core of the dispute lies the fact that in march an English wikipedia administrator by the name of Derrick Coetzee uploaded more than 3000 high resolution images of paintings held by the National Portrait Gallery to the Wikimedia Commons. The images uploaded by were not simply taken from the NPG’s website and re-uploaded to the wikimedia commons, as the NPG does (and d…

We live in public

It seems like i am surrounded by references to the public domain lately. sarai readers, conference topics, creative commons dedications and now there is even talk about renaming the public research programme of waag society (which i run) into ‘public domain’. In the last two days i have however been reminded that this is nothing new. it appears that i have always been surrounded by people who care a lot about the public domain. My childhood/puberty (when is unsuccessfully trying to master the ar…