Good data practices: Removing barriers to data reuse with CC0 licensingDryad news

“Why is CC0 a great choice for open data? Learn to love this frequently misunderstood license waiver.

Authors who submit data to Dryad are asked to consent to the publication of their data under the The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication, more commonly known as CC0. In doing so, authors are being asked to confirm that any materials that have been previously published by another author or working group were published under conditions compatible with CC0 and that they agree to novelly publish any previously unpublished materials under this waiver. 

Given the continually evolving research landscape, our curation team frequently receives questions about what CC0 means in relation to their data. Let’s review the advantages of CC0 as well as some common concerns and misconceptions that we encounter to guide researchers in data sharing and to explain why we only publish data under CC0….”

Data Rivers: Carving Out the Public Domain in the Age of Generative AI by Sylvie Delacroix :: SSRN

Abstract:  The salient question, today, is not whether ‘copyright law [will] allow robots to learn’. The pressing question is whether the fragile data ecosystem that makes generative AI possible can be re-balanced through intervention that is timely enough. The threats to this ecosystem come from multiple fronts. They are comparable in kind to the threats currently affecting ‘water rivers’ across the globe.

First, just as the fundamental human right to water is only possible if ‘reasonable use’ and reciprocity constraints are imposed on the economic exploitation of rivers, so is the fundamental right to access culture, learn and build upon it. It is that right -and the moral aspirations underlying it- that has led millions to share their creative works under ‘open’ licenses. Generative AI tools would not have been possible without access to that rich, high-quality content. Yet few of those tools respect the reciprocity expectations without which the Creative Commons and Open-Source movements cease to be sustainable. The absence of internationally coordinated standards to systematically identify AI-generated content also threatens our ‘data rivers’ with irreversible pollution.

Second, the process that has allowed large corporations to seize control of data and its definition as an asset subject to property rights has effectively enabled the construction of hard structures -canals or dams- that has led to the rights of many of those lying up-or downstream of such structures to be ignored. While data protection laws seek to address those power imbalances by granting ‘personal’ data rights, the exercise of those rights remains demanding, just as it is challenging for artists to defend their IP rights in the face of AI-generated works that threaten them with redundancy.

To tackle the above threats, the long overdue reform of copyright can only be part of the required intervention. Equally important is the construction of bottom-up empowerment infrastructure that gives long term agency to those wishing to share their data and/or creative works. This infrastructure would also play a central role in reviving much-needed democratic engagement. Data not only carries traces of our past. It is also a powerful tool to envisage different futures. There is no doubt that tools such as GPT4 will change us. We would be fools to believe we may leverage those tools at the service of a variety of futures by merely imposing sets of ‘post-hoc’ regulatory constraints.

The World Wide Web became available to the broader public 30 years ago : NPR

“But 30 years ago this week, that all changed. On April 30, 1993, something called the World Wide Web launched into the public domain….

CERN owned Berners-Lee’s invention…, and the lab had the option to license out the World Wide Web for profit. But Berners-Lee believed that keeping the web as open as possible would help it grow….

Berners-Lee eventually convinced CERN to release the World Wide Web into the public domain without any patents or fees. He has since attributed the runaway success of the web to that single decision….”

The Smithsonian Puts 4.5 Million High-Res Images Online and Into the Public Domain, Making Them Free to Use | Open Culture

“More items are being added to Smithsonian Open Access all the time, each with its own story to tell — and all accessible not just to Americans, but internet users the world over. In that sense it feels a bit like the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893, better known as the World’s Columbian Exposition, with its mission of revealing America’s scientific, technological, and artistic genius to the whole of human civilization. You can see a great many photos and other artifacts of this landmark event at Smithsonian Open Access, or, if you prefer, you can click the “just browsing” link and behold all the historical, cultural, and formal variety available in the Smithsonian’s digital collections, where the spirit of Columbia lives on.”

Entering the Public Domain | Princeton University Library

“At the beginning of this year, Princeton University Library (PUL) launched its “In the Public Domain” digital collection, a curated selection of books entering the public domain starting in the year 2020 (or those published in 1924) that have been chosen by the librarians in PUL’s Special Collections Department….”

Explore how Europeana Subtitled increased access to audiovisual heritage | Europeana Pro

“Europeana Subtitled gathered seven major national broadcasters and audiovisual archives from seven European countries to provide high-quality audiovisual materials to Europeana. The project combined AI technology and audiovisual cultural heritage to produce high-quality closed captions and English subtitles for local video content, and created a platform to allow organisations to run crowdsourcing campaigns to revise captions using state of the art editing tools. 

Europeana Subtitled also supported cultural heritage professionals with the use of automatic speech recognition (ASR) and machine translation (MT) technologies in the cultural sector through an online training suite consisting of video tutorials, documentation and guidelines, and worked with teachers and museum educators to create learning resources with audiovisual content. 

Finally, the project engaged audiences through crowdsourcing events and editorial activities on the Europeana website, in particular, through the ‘Broadcasting Europe’ page and ‘Mass-media and propaganda’ online exhibition….

The Subtitled content is publicly available and videos can be enjoyed directly on the Europeana website, while you can also access freely reusable content with more than 3,000 records in the Public Domain….”

CC Needs Assessment Report on Public Domain Tools in Cultural Heritage Sector Unveils Key Insights

Today Creative Commons is proud to release our report on the Needs Assessment entitled Are the Creative Commons Public Domain Tools Fit-For-Purpose in the Cultural Heritage Sector?. From 1 January (Public Domain Day) to 15 February 2022, we ran a multilingual online survey using Google Forms to share a 50-question questionnaire in English, French and … Read More “CC Needs Assessment Report on Public Domain Tools in Cultural Heritage Sector Unveils Key Insights”

The post CC Needs Assessment Report on Public Domain Tools in Cultural Heritage Sector Unveils Key Insights appeared first on Creative Commons.

The People’s Access to Information: How Definitions of Ownership Influence the Public Domain: The Serials Librarian: Vol 0, No 0

Abstract:  The following article is a composite review and critique of copyright systems in the United States and their impacts upon creators and individuals alike. The public domain is rapidly dwindling due to changes in copyright law that have greatly prolonged the length of copyright protections. The primary beneficiaries of these increased protections are the large entertainment corporations that can easily afford to contest what, in many cases, would otherwise be considered fair use of copyrighted material. This article argues the substantial need for collective action and stewardship of publicly owned information in order to generate a better and stronger public domain.


Librarians Are Finding Thousands Of Books No Longer Protected By Copyright Law

“The New York Public Library (NYPL) has been reviewing the U.S. Copyright Office’s official registration and renewals records for creative works whose copyrights haven’t been renewed, and have thus been overlooked as part of the public domain. 

The books in question were published between 1923 and 1964, before changes to U.S. copyright law removed the requirement for rights holders to renew their copyrights. According to Greg Cram, associate general counsel and director of information policy at NYPL, an initial overview of books published in that period shows that around 65 to 75 percent of rights holders opted not to renew their copyrights….”

Revisiting the Openverse: Finding Open Images and Audio

Blurry bluish-black image of stars or lights at night seen through a transparent screen marked with smeared human is the universe creating itself as it goes” by submerged~, here slightly cropped, is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0 .

Looking for that perfect picture to illustrate your post? That catchy tune to jazz up your video? Look no further than Openverse, the huge library of free and open stock photos, images, and audio contributed to the public commons by people around the world, now available at its new domain:

Here at CC we use Openverse daily to explore the public commons and find works to reuse in our communications and projects. Powerful tools like Openverse demonstrate how open technologies and communities like WordPress can build on the rich public commons we all help create to support what we call better sharing: sharing that is inclusive, just and equitable — where everyone has wide opportunity to access content, to contribute their own creativity, and to receive recognition and rewards for their contributions.

Finding and using free and open works has never been easier: Just visit Openverse, enter some keywords, and pick your favorite from the results. You can also filter by content type, sources, aspect ratio, size, open license and public domain statuses, and more, like the search for the keywords “art” and “universe” we used to find the image in this post.

Once you’ve picked a work, Openverse provides everything you need to use it: Visit the work in its home collection and copy a well-formed attribution statement to give proper credit for your use.

Openverse was incubated here at CC as “CC Search”, moving to the WordPress community in 2021, and has continued to thrive in its new home, now cataloging over 600 million images and audio tracks, with new collections of open works being added all the time, like the recent addition of more than 15 million images from iNaturalist, the project that enables citizen scientists and researchers to document and understand global biodiversity.

Contributors in the WordPress community continue to add new features and capabilities to Openverse. Coming up next will be new tools to easily use images from Openverse directly in WordPress itself; content safety features that will enable users to blur or opt in/out from specific types of sensitive content; and improvements to search relevancy and the quality of results.

Can you help expand the Openverse?

As a creator, share your work to the commons with a CC open license or CC0 dedication to the public domain on one of sources already cataloged in Openverse.

Do you know a great collection of open works? Suggest a new source for Openverse.

Do you have communication and/or technical skills? Join the Openverse contributor team and help with things like testing new features, writing documentation, contributing code, and amplifying news from the project. Have a look at Openverse’s good first issues or their guide for new contributors.

The post Revisiting the Openverse: Finding Open Images and Audio appeared first on Creative Commons.

As the US Public Domain Expands, 20-Year Pause for the Canadian Public Domain Begins – SPARC

“Festivities are planned on January 19 to recognize Public Domain Day and embrace the possibilities of new works freely available from 1927.

In the United States, the recent declaration of the federal year of Open Science and the White House memo unlocking publicly funded research outputs has buoyed the open community and its outlook on knowledge sharing.

However, the celebration will be muted in Canada where librarians and educators are assessing the impact of a vast expansion of the copyright term. 

Canada’s copyright protection for artistic works was extended as 2022 came to a close from life of the author plus 50 years—to life of the author plus 70 years. The change was the result of international trade negotiations in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requiring Canada to bring its terms closer to that of the U.S….”

Harm is caused by extension to copyright term in Canada | The Star

“Call it an interminable pause, the extension to the copyright term. The government owes it to the Canadian public to address the harm caused by this.

What seems like a small change to the Copyright Act will have a disastrous impact on Canadian culture over the next 20 years.

The change, which became law on Dec. 30, 2022, extends the standard length of copyright protection in Canada from 50 years to 70 years after the death of the creator of a work.



This means that nothing new will enter the public domain, the vast body of materials in which copyright has expired, until 2043….”

It’s Copyright Week 2023: Join Us in the Fight for Better Copyright Law and Policy

“Last year there were a bevy of bad copyright and copyright-related proposals in the U.S. Because thousands of you spoke up, none of them made it into the year-end, must-pass bills in Congress.

But this week isn’t just about stopping bad proposals. It’s about celebrating positive changes for all of us. It’s about right to repair, fair use, and the public domain….”