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Posts Tagged ‘public domain

Your Post Public Domain Day Summary

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(Note – all links are non-affiliate links)

On January 1st, 2022, works that were published in 1926 entered the public domain. As a result, certain literary works could be redistributed, reused, and displayed without regard for licensure or ownership. This year’s entries into the public domain, however, are very noteworthy for they have some notable inclusions such as:

Now Public Domain!

One of the main advantages to items entering the public domain is that writers, musicians, and others can create derivative works that either keep the work in public view or foster further creativity. As an author, I have written public domain characters like the Black Bat, the Masked Rider, and Marty Quade.. Other kinds of derivative works include

  • High-quality EPUB and AZW files like those provided by Standard E-Books (who just included some new-to-the-public-domain works)
  • Volunteer-created audiobooks like those provided by Librivox
  • For-profit compilations like those provided by Delphi Classics
  • Scanned digital comics through the Digital Comic Museum
Now Public Domain

However, there are a few caveats when creative derivative works. For example, writing works based on Winnie-the-Pooh and/or Bambi should take care to base themselves on the original work and not Disney’s animated versions. (Disney owns the trademarks on their particular iterations of the character). Different countries also have different standards for what is considered public domain , and ebook vendors like Delphi Classics often differentiate the availability of their products. Although there was a landmark court case involving Sherlock Holmes several years ago, the last of the stories included in 1926’s Casebook of Sherlock Holmes passed into the public domain this year. For writers, scholars, and creators, every aspect of the Sherlockian canon is now freely available to use for derivative works.

This post is not intended to be extensively thorough in regards to public domain works. It is meant to serve as a resource for the greater community. In an effort to find unique resources for creativity, education, and community building, many are seeking free-to-use and easy-to-obtain services. With the “opening up” of public domain in the United States over the past few years, there is a great sense of excitement about what is being made available…and that works are no longer at risk of being lost or ignored.

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Written by gordondym

January 3, 2022 at 11:13 am

Some Public Domain Holiday Viewing for Caregivers

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(Updated on 11/13/2021)

Although we’ve covered technology, social change, and other great initiatives in the Chicago community, we’ve also focused on caregivers and caregiving…and we thought this year, we would provide a slight change of pace for the holiday.

One of the highlights of 2019 was the entry of works into the public domain, allowing people to view, reuse, and adapt these works freely. So in that spirit, we’re offering some great videos for caregivers (and others!) to enjoy this holiday season, including the Harold Lloyd classic Safety Last from 1923.

Happy holidays and enjoy!

Written by gordondym

December 21, 2019 at 6:24 pm

Librivox: Public Domain Done Right

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LibriVox-SelectionsPublic domain books (whose copyrights have lapsed) are often more readily available for public consumption….but sadly, no works in the United States entered the public domain this year. Much like Creative Commons (of more recent vintage), public domain works allow for greater distribution and reuse of works, creating new media from bits of the old?

Want a great example of public domain in action? Consider Librivox.

Much like the Chicago Public Library’s adoption of LibreOffice, Librivox takes a very open source approach to literature. Librivox provides free audiobooks of public domain literature, read aloud and recorded by volunteers (using software like Audacity), and provided free for download. (Think of it as a much more thorough version of Project Gutenberg). There’s a great diversity of works provided on the site – you’re just as likely to find classic science fiction (such as Triplanetary) as you would Victorian detective literature (where you can listen to Sherlock Holmes and his literary rivals, including gentleman thief A.J. Raffles…and don’t forget, there are plenty of literary classics that are ripe for your listening pleasure.

(Granted, some of the volunteer performances can be….awkward, but you’ll get a great gem. Just check out Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, or this particular version of A Princess of Mars)

Now you’re probably wondering why the public domain matters…as well as why this matters for Chicago. As we struggle with creating digital (and other) literacy, tools which make information more readily available in easy consumed form provides great benefit to others. Much like Open Books, Librivox is taking a unique model in promoting literacy by making diverse works available in an easy-to-use, popular format. If Chicago is a city of “big readers”, everyone must have a place to start somewhere, and Librivox is a great example of public domain done right. At its best, it creates derivative works that not only act as a resource, but promote and drive a much more literate, well-informed public.

Thoughts or comments? Please leave them below. If you wish to contact me privately, please feel free to do so either via Linked In or e-mail.

And as always, thanks for reading!

Written by gordondym

January 22, 2013 at 10:17 pm