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Celebrating the public domain in 2019

- January 29, 2019 in open culture, Open GLAM, OpenGLAM, Policy, Public Domain

2019 is a special year for the public domain, the out-of-copyright material that everyone is free to enjoy, share, and build upon without restriction. Normally, each year on the 1st of January a selection of works (books, films, artworks, musical scores and more) enter the public domain because their copyright expires – which is most commonly 70 years after the creator’s death depending on where in the world you are. This year, for the first time in more than twenty years, new material entered the public domain in the US, namely all works that were published in the year 1923. Due to complicated legal proceedings, the last new release of public domain material in the US was in 1998, for all works dating from 1922. But from now on, each following year we will expect to see a new batch of material freed of copyright restrictions (so content from the year 1924 will become available from 2020 onwards, content from 1925 in 2021, and so on). This is good news for everyone, since the availability of such open cultural data enables citizens from across the world to enjoy this material, understand their cultural heritage and re-use it to produce new works of art. The Public Domain Review, an online journal & not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain, curated their Class of 2019: a top pick of artists and writers whose works entered the public domain this year. A full overview of the 2019 release is available here. A great way to celebrate this public domain content in 2019 could be to organise events, workshops or hackathons using this material on Open Data Day, the annual celebration of open data on Saturday 2 March 2019. If you are planning an event, you can add it to the global map via the Open Data Day registration form. Coinciding with this mass release of public domain works, the Public Domain Manifesto that was been produced within the context of COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the digital public domain, has now been made available via a renewed website at publicdomainmanifesto.org. Describing the public domain material as “raw material from which new knowledge is derived and new cultural works are created”, the manifesto aims to stress the importance of the wealth of the public domain to both citizens and policy-makers, to make sure its legal basis remains strong and everyone will be able to access and reuse the material in the future. The manifesto describes the key principles that are needed to actively maintain the public domain and the voluntary commons in our society, for example to keep public domain works in the Public Domain by not claiming exclusive rights to technical reproductions of works. It also formulates a number of recommendations to protect the public domain from legal obstacles and assure it can function to the benefit of education, cultural heritage and scientific research in a meaningful way. There are currently over 3.000 signatures of the manifesto, but additional support is important to strengthen the movement: you show your support by signing the Public Domain Manifesto here.

Class of 2019

- December 29, 2018 in Public Domain, public domain 2019, public domain united states, what will enter the public domain in 2019, what will enter the public domain this year

Our top pick of those whose works on 1st January 2018 enter the public domain in many countries around the world, including Kurt Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Sergei Eisenstein and Martin Luther King Jr.

Class of 2018

- December 19, 2017 in Public Domain, what will enter the public domain in 2018, what will enter the public domain this year

Top Row (left to right): Aleister Crowley; René Magritte; Siegfried Sassoon Middle Row (left to right): Alice B. Toklas; Pierre Bonnard; Winston Churchill; M. P. Shiel Bottom Row (left to right): Jean Toomer; P. D. Ouspensky; Anna Wickham; Hans Fallada Pictured above is our top pick of artists and writers whose works will, on 1st […]

Class of 2018

- December 19, 2017 in Public Domain, what will enter the public domain this year

Top Row (left to right): Aleister Crowley; René Magritte; Siegfried Sassoon Middle Row (left to right): Alice B. Toklas; Pierre Bonnard; Winston Churchill; M. P. Shiel Bottom Row (left to right): Jean Toomer; P. D. Ouspensky; Anna Wickham; Hans Fallada Pictured above is our top pick of artists and writers whose works will, on 1st […]

Class of 2017

- December 6, 2016 in class of 2017, new in public domain this year, Public Domain, public domain 2017, what will enter the public domain in 2017

Our top pick of those whose works will, on 1st January 2017, enter the public domain in many countries around the world, including Gertrude Stein, Buster Keaton, H. G. Wells, and André Breton.

Class of 2017

- December 6, 2016 in class of 2017, new in public domain this year, Public Domain, public domain 2017, what will enter the public domain in 2017

Our top pick of those whose works will, on 1st January 2017, enter the public domain in many countries around the world, including Gertrude Stein, Buster Keaton, H. G. Wells, and André Breton.

Class of 2017

- December 6, 2016 in class of 2017, new in public domain this year, Public Domain, public domain 2017, what will enter the public domain in 2017

Our top pick of those whose works will, on 1st January 2017, enter the public domain in many countries around the world, including Gertrude Stein, Buster Keaton, H. G. Wells, and André Breton.

Class of 2017

- December 6, 2016 in class of 2017, new in public domain this year, Public Domain, public domain 2017, what will enter the public domain in 2017

Our top pick of those whose works will, on 1st January 2017, enter the public domain in many countries around the world, including Gertrude Stein, Buster Keaton, H. G. Wells, and André Breton.

Sharing Photographs

- February 2, 2016 in Curator's Choice, Featured, Public Domain

CURATOR’S CHOICE #29: Antje Schmidt and Esther Ruelfs of Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) Antje Schmidt, Head of Digital Cataloguing and MKG Collection Online, and Esther Ruelfs, Head of MKG’s Photography and New Media Department, on the functions of sharing images, both historically and in the present. Only four months ago, in October […]

NYPL Public Domain Collections: Free to Share & Reuse

- January 6, 2016 in Featured, News, Public Domain

The year is off to a good start: today the New York Public Library made over 180.000 digital items in the public domain available for high resolution download, with no permission required and no restrictions on use. The collection includes items from the New York City collection, historic maps, botanical illustrations, unique manuscripts, photographs, ancient religious […]