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Free the Books

conjugating international copyright laws
As a Google Library Partner , The University of Texas Libraries will digitize at least one million books from the Libraries’ unique collections, starting with our Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. This rich collection holds over 800,000 titles about and from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Librarians, faculty and alumni acquired these works by gift, exchange and purchase over eight decades to create a comprehensive collection to support teaching and research at the university.

Current technologies enable us to provide virtual access to these collections for study anywhere, but a tangle of international treaties and copyright laws complicates our use and distribution of foreign works. There is little guidance to help us reliably identify which of our books are already in the public domain so we are piloting a project to develop new tools for ourselves and for anyone who wants to tackle these difficult public domain problems. We will document our process, our progress and our results on these pages along with links to web resources we find useful. We invite suggestions and comments from other Google Library Partners and anyone undertaking similar or related projects. Comment on our posts.

Email us at freethebooks@gmail.com. We are here; we are building an evidence base and we are looking for virtual partners!

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 / conjugating international copyright laws

Archive for December, 2008

Jamie Boyle’s case for believing in the possibility of legislative change

Well, I just wrapped up Jamie Boyle’s book, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. Cory Doctorow has a nice review at Boing-Boing, so I want to talk about something a bit more specific. I am struck by how forcefully he makes the point in his last chapter that communicating complicated and difficult [...]

Building on the corpus of the free and digital public domain !

Lessig links to a very cool new application that builds on the corpus of freely available public domain materials about our government representatives. It’s called apture, and there’s a little video that shows how it works on other people’s sites to allow you to see lots of information sources pulled together for a particular person, [...]