There is an interesting project going on that aims to digitize public domain sheet music to make it more accessible to music fans everywhere. It’s called OpenScore and they are going to be enabling crowdsourced transcriptions to create the digital sheet music. All crowdsourced scores will be checked and reviewed to make sure they are accurate. All the digitized scores will be available under a Creative Commons Zero license which allows unlimited reuse options.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has adopted an open licensing policy that requires all intellectual property created under the competitive award process to be licensed with a Creative Commons attribution license. This will allow the public to use, share and build upon the work funder by DOL.
The NEH and the Mellon Foundation are teaming up to offer grants to publishers to turn out-of-print books into freely accessible ebooks. The grant money will be used to secure rights and make the books available online under Creative Commons licenses.
A nonprofit group called Knowledge Unlatched, has come up with a new model for publishing open access books. In this model, libraries pick titles they would like to be open access and pay a title fee for each of those books. Those fees are meant cover the cost of publishing each book. The books are then published with a Creative Commons license and made available DRM-free via OAPEN, the HathiTrust and eventually the British Library.
For more information about this new OA model for books:
Knowledge Unlatched: http://www.knowledgeunlatched.org/
The Chronicle featured a post about the DPLA Tuesday morning, so I thought I’d go over and check it out. DPLA, the Digital Public Library of America, has as its goal to aggregate the records of mostly open content from libraries, archives and museums all around the country. So, for example, let’s say UT has a map collection online — in theory, our collection could be included among the resources that one can access through the DPLA portal. In addition, there is an API open to developers who want to use the metadata behind the digital resources to create interesting ways to get at what’s there. And finally, DPLA is clearly advocating on behalf of libraries, archives and museums, emphasizing the importance of the role we play in preserving works, creating metadata that describe them, and providing access to the great store of cultural materials that are in our public domain.
So, I did a bit of looking around, looked up some things on Zen, Texas history, and polar bears, and I compared the results I got with those I got from doing the same searches on the global Internet.
Wow. It’s like two completely different worlds. DPLA is ultra-refined searching, narrowed down to what’s mostly, but not entirely, public domain, and digital, whose records have been contributed to the DPLA by a partner library, museum or archive. Sort of like Creative Commons searches, when I want to find only those materials I can reuse, but much narrower. Because there is so much content out there that is not available through DPLA, I sure do appreciate the steps current-day creators take to tag their works with the privileges they freely share with the public. Otherwise, we wait decades (let’s say it’s roughly 100 years now) to be able to say, “I can actually use this wonderful work that you posted online as I wish!” Becoming public domain takes a long, long, long, long time in this country.
And I appreciate all that metadata that libraries and archives and museums have been steadily adding to the records for the works in their collections, the metadata that allows us to let machines do the job of sorting through things for us, and finding just what we’re interested in.