Category Archives: Public domain

Public Domain Day 2019

From the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power…to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” [emphasis mine]

January 1, 2019 will mark the first time in 20 years that items enter the public domain in the United States (the Copyright Extension Act of 1998 added 20 years onto the copyright term of items published in the U.S). January 1st of any given year is the date that items typically fall into the public domain. This happens 70 years after the death of the author, 95 years from the date of publication, or 120 years from the date of creation – whichever comes first (see this Cornell chart for more details). That means that items published in 1923 will finally enter the public domain on January 1st, 2019.

In celebration of the release of copyrighted works into the public domain, I wanted to share a not-at-all-comprehensive list of items that will be in the public domain on January 1st. If you are a faculty member, take a look at the list and see if any of this content would be useful in the courses you teach. Public domain means access to content should be free or relatively cheap (great news for your students), and fair game for remixing and reusing (great news for you).

Film

  • Salome, Dir. Charles Bryant
  • The Pilgrim, Dir. Charlie Chaplin
  • A Woman of Paris, Dir. Charlie Chaplin
  • Circus Days, Dir. Eddie Cline
  • The Covered Wagon, Dir. James Cruze
  • The Ten Commandments, Dir. Cecil B. DeMille
  • Adam’s Rib, Dir. Cecil B. DeMille
  • Cameo Kirby, Dir. John Ford
  • The Ne’er-Do-Well, Dir. Alfred E. Green
  • Daddy, Dir. E. Mason Hopper
  • Homeward Bound, Dir. Ralph Ince
  • Scaramouche, Dir. Rex Ingram
  • The Little Napoleon, Dir. Georg Jacoby (Marlene Dietrich’s film debut)
  • Our Hospitality, Dir. Buster Keaton
  • The Balloonatic, Dir. Buster Keaton
  • The Love Nest, Dir. Buster Keaton
  • The White Sister, Dir. Henry King
  • Felix in Hollywood, Felix the Cat cartoon, Dir. Otto Messmer
  • Safety Last!, Dir. Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor
  • Why Worry?, Dir. Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Dir. Wallace Worsley

Music – includes only the music and not specific recordings

  • “I Cried for You” by Gus Arnheim, Abe Lyman, and Arthur Freed
  • “I’m Sitting Pretty In A Pretty Little City” by Abel Baer and Lou Davis
  • “Oh Gee Oh Gosh Oh Golly I’m In Love” by Ernest Breuer, Ole Olsen, and Chick Johnson
  • “When It’s Night-Time In Italy, It’s Wednesday Over Here” by Lew Brown and James Kendis
  • “Dizzy Fingers” by Zez Confrey
  • “That Old Gang of Mine” by Ray Henderson, Billy Rose, and Mort Dixon
  • “Horsey, Keep Your Tail Up” by Walter Hirsch and Bert Kaplan
  • “I’ve Got The Yes! We Have No Bananas Blues” by Robert King and James F. Hanley
  • “Back To Croa-Jingo-Long” by Alice Lind and Pat Dunlop
  • “The Charleston” lyrics by Cecil Mack and music by James P. Johnson
  • “Kansas City Stomp” by Jelly Roll Morton
  • “Tin Roof Blues” by the New Orleans Rhythm Kings
  • “Yes! We Have No Bananas” by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn
  • “Who’s Sorry Now?” by Ted Snyder, Bert Kalmar, and Harry Ruby
  • “Octet for Wind Instruments” by Igor Stravinsky
  • “Old King Tut” by Harry Von Tilzer

Literature

  • Borges, Jorge Luis: Fervor de Buenos Aires
  • Cather, Willa: A Lost Lady
  • Catt, Carrie Chapman & Nettie Rogers Schuler: Woman Suffrage and Politics: The Inner Story of the Suffrage Movement
  • Chesterton, G.K.:
    • Francis of Assisi
    • Fancies Versus Fads
  • Christie, Agatha: The Murder on the Links
  • Churchill, Winston: The World Crisis
  • Cocteau, Jean:
    • Le Grand Ecart
    • Thomas l’imposteur
  • Conrad, Joseph: The Rover
  • Coward, Noel: London Calling!
  • cummings, e.e.: Tulips & Chimneys
  • Freud, Sigmund: The Ego and the Id
  • Frost, Robert: New Hampshire
  • Gibran, Kahlil: The Prophet
  • Grey, Zane:
    • Wanderer of the Wasteland
    • Tappan’s Burro
  • Hemingway, Ernest: Three Stories and Ten Poems
  • Huxley, Aldous: Antic Hay
  • Kipling, Rudyard: The Irish Guards in the Great War
  • Lawrence, D.H.:
    • The Captain’s Doll
    • The Ladybird
    • The Fox
    • Kangaroo
  • Le Corbusier: Towards a New Architecture
  • Lovecraft, H.P.:
    • Hypnos
    • Memory
    • The Lurking Fear
    • What the Moon Brings
  • Mansfield, Katherine: The Doves’ Nest
  • Moeller van den Bruck, Arthur: Das Dritte Reich
  • Montessori, Maria: Das Kind in der Familie
  • Montgomery, L.M.: Emily of New Moon
  • Neruda, Pablo: Crepusculario
  • O’Flaherty, Liam: Thy Neighbour’s Wife
  • Proust, Marcel: La Prisonnière, volume 5 of In Search of Lost Time (note that English translations have their own copyrights)
  • Ray, Sukumar: Abol Tabol
  • Rice, Elmer: The Adding Machine
  • Ridley, Arnold: The Ghost Train
  • Russell, Bertrand:
    • The Prospects of Industrial Civilization (with Dora Russell)
    • The ABCs of Atoms
  • Sandburg, Carl: Rootabaga Pigeons
  • Sayers, Dorothy L.: Whose Body?, the first Lord Peter Wimsey novel
  • Shaw, George Bernard: Saint Joan
  • Stevens, Wallace: Harmonium
  • Svevo, Italo: La Coscienza di Zeno
  • Tolstoy, Alexei: Aelita
  • Toomer, Jean: Cane
  • Vane, Sutton: Outward Bound
  • Wells, H.G.:
    • Men Like Gods
    • Socialism and the Scientific Motive
  • Wharton, Edith: A Son at the Front
  • Widdemer, Margaret: Graven Image
  • Williams, William Carlos:
    • Great American Novel
    • Go Go
    • Spring and All
  • Wilson, Margaret: The Able McLaughlins
  • Wodehouse, P.G.:
    • The Inimitable Jeeves
    • Leave it to Psmith
  • Woolf, Virginia:
    • Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street
    • In the Orchard
  • Xun, Lu: Call to Arms (Na han)

Art

  • Brâncusi, Constantin: Bird in Space
  • Duchamp, Marcel: The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass)
  • Ernst, Max:
    • Pieta or Revolution by Night
    • Saint Cecilia
    • The Wavering Woman
    • Ubu Imperator
    • Of This Men Shall Know Nothing
  • Escher, M.C.: Dolphins
  • Kandinsky, Wassily:
    • Circles in a Circle
    • On White II
  • Matisse, Henri: Odalisque With Raised Arms
  • Picasso, Pablo:
    • Portrait of woman in d’hermine pass
    • Head of a woman
    • Harlequin with his hands crossed (Jacinto Salvado)
    • Kallan
    • Lovers
    • Paul, the artist’s son, ten years old
    • Olga
    • Pan’s flute
    • Portrait of Paulo, artist’s son
    • Seated woman in a chemise
    • Seated harlequin (Jacinto Salvado)
    • Seated woman with her arms folded (Sarah Murphy)
    • Woman in white
    • Standing female nude
  • Taikan, Yokoyama: Metempsychosis

Many thanks to The Atlantic and lifehacker for providing many of the resources for this list. You can also find great resources about the public domain from the Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke.

Disclaimer: I tried to find a couple sources for each item listed, but please use this list with care and do your own research on publication dates.

“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” Exhibit

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In recognition of Open Education week (March 5-9), the Libraries have created a display to highlight the value of open educational resources at a time when the cost of a college education is at a premium.
“Yes, We’re Celebrating Open Education!” will be hosted at the Scholars Commons in the Perry-Castañeda Library, on view throughout the entire month of March.
Since 1977, the cost of required materials such as textbooks has increased over 1000%, more than 3 time the rate of inflation, and the average student cost of textbooks is $900 a year.
The Open Education movement seeks to reduce or eliminate escalating costs by providing access to free, quality educational materials, so that students and educators can focus on teaching and learning instead of financial impediments.
The exhibit intends to increase awareness about Open Education, Open Educational Resources and how these resources can be adopted and used in our modern and ever-changing educational system.

The Flora of Forfarshire: A publication of historical and botanical value available in modern collections and public platforms.

During the spring semester 2017, UT Libraries and the Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center worked together to digitize the Flora of Forfarshire and make it available to the public through the Texas ScholarWorks repository.

pic3The Flora of Forfarshire is an emblematic botanical work by the Scottish botanist, William Gardiner (1809-1852), a poet and botanist, well known among the botanical establishment in 19th Century Europe. Published in 1848, The Flora of Forfarshire comprises +300 pages of plants, fungi, lichens, and algae growing in Forfar (Angus) county, Scotland. Since the publication of the book was an ambitious project, Gardiner funded its project by recruiting patrons who were rewarded with folios of pressed samples of representative species listed in thebook, accompanied by taxonomic and geographical information. Most of these folios no longer exist, but one of them, along with the main book, are accessioned at the University of Texas Libraries.pic2
The Flora of Forfarshire has historical and scientific value because of Its age, the adverse economic conditions the author had overcome to publish it, the excellent preservation of the pressed plants in the complementary volume and, the botanical information of a region that has changed a lot since the XIX century, among other reasons. In order to make the book and the folio accessible to the public and providing an accurate and updated version of the information contained in the Flora, The Plant Resources Center and UT Libraries worked in a joint project offering the opportunity to Jessica Wigley, a Museum Studies student to have hands-on experience in digitizing, georeferencing, and updating the taxonomic information of each of the records.pic1 A total of 135 records were digitized and barcoded, 74 required taxonomic update, and 54 localities had their localities georeferenced. Jessica presented her final results in a poster at the conference Botany 2017 in June 2017 and all the products of the project including downloadable versions of the poster, the books, and a spreadsheet with all the information, were uploaded to the Texas ScholarWorks repository during the fall 2017. The Flora of Forfarshire collection can be accessed and consulted here: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/47236

Post submitted by Amalia Díaz, Ph.D., Assistant Curator, Plant Resources Center.

OpenScore

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.

Public Domain Day

January 1st of every year is Public Domain Day. This is a day to celebrate the items that have entered the public domain. In the United States, we’ll have nothing to celebrate this year, as nothing will enter the public domain until 2019. That is because the 1976 Copyright Act changed the terms of copyright to 70 years after the author’s death or 95 years after publication for corporate works. This means the items that would have become public domain on January 1st, 2014 under the previous copyright act, won’t enter the public domain until 2053.

Duke University’s, Center for the Study of the Public Domain has a great site on this topic: http://web.law.duke.edu/cspd/publicdomainday/index

Digital Public Library of America

DPLA logoThe 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.