copyright


This week, I came across a website, unprofound.com, with free, no-strings-attached photos that you can “use in just about any way [you]‘d like. You may NOT, however, redistribute these photos individually or en masse, as photos, to any other websites or offline buyers. The photos themselves are still the intellectual property of their respective owners and you are merely receiving permission to use them in your designs, your art, your personal and professional projects, as your desktop backgrounds.” One way to browse the photos is by dominant color… It is nice that the contributing photographers come from around the world and therefore provide more than just typical stock photos of life in the US or so. Here’s a photo I liked:

by anthonym

The Brooklyn Museum continues to push the envelope:

“When it comes to progressive, public-friendly copyright policies, few art museums can match The Brooklyn Museum. In 2004, it was the first art museum to adopt a Creative Commons license, allowing any non-commercial copying of any image in which the museum holds the copyright. In 2008, it was the third institution to join the Flickr Commons, making available high-resolution images of Public Domain artworks from its collection. Last week, the musuem published the detailed copyright status of every image in its online collection–that’s over 12,000 artworks–and made this information available through its API so that anyone can easily cross-reference the data with their own copyright research. It also switched to a less restrictive Creative Commons license, allowing non-commercial remixing as well.” (Jonathan Melber in The Huffington Post).

The museum possesses many archaeological artifacts from the Middle East, Latin America, etc. Here’s an example:

Bahía. Seated Figure, 500 B.C.E.- 500 C.E. Clay, post-fire pigment, 17 3/4 x 13 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (45.1 x 33.7 x 21.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Tessim Zorach, 88.57.7. Creative Commons-BY-NC

Bahía. Seated Figure, 500 B.C.E.- 500 C.E. Clay, post-fire pigment, 17 3/4 x 13 1/4 x 8 1/4 in. (45.1 x 33.7 x 21.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Tessim Zorach, 88.57.7. Creative Commons-BY-NC

When you are looking for public-domain images (handy for the underfunded archaeologist), this is a good web page to keep in mind: Wikipedia’s Public Domain Image Resources. Here are the sections:

  • 1 Wikimedia operated
  • 2 History
  • 3 Art
  • 4 Books
  • 5 Logos and flags
  • 6 Postage stamps
  • 7 Culture
  • 8 General collections
  • 9 Computer-generated public domain images
  • 10 Public domain image meta-resources
  • 11 Uncategorized links
  • 12 U.S. Government sites
  • 13 Search Engines
  • Wikipedia actually has developed its own search engine exactly for searching public-domain images: FST – Free Image Search Tool. It isn’t very user-friendly and doesn’t always return results promptly but maybe I haven’t grasped how to use it properly (or it might be improved upon in the future?). A generic “archaeology” search yields this result page.

    “Excavations at the Roman Forum in Rome, Italy, are being mapped by these archaeologists. Photographed by myself (Adrian Pingstone) in June 2007 and placed in the public domain.”

    Just stumbled across an interesting website called Archaeopix. “Archaeopix is a website associated with the Archaeology Group at Flickr. It picks photos from the pool which are available under a Creative Commons licence. This means at the very least they can be reproduced for non-commercial purposes. For more details about the licence for this image, please visit this page. For more information about this site visit this page.”

    I’d like to draw attention to an Educause Live! double presentation which can be heard with slides onlineThrowing Open the Doors: Strategies and Implications for Open Access (Oct. 13).

    “In the past decade, the proliferation of Web 2.0 tools for sharing and creating knowledge, coupled with the creation of open-access journals, databases, and archives across the web, has begun to redefine the concept of ‘openness’ in higher education. Advocates of the open-access campaign argue that free, virtual access to scholarly works and research advance scientific discovery and lead to faster knowledge dissemination and richer research collaborations, throwing open the doors that once restricted knowledge sharing and exploration. Critics of the movement have doubted its economic sustainability and raised concerns about its impact on peer review. Regardless, open access requires a new examination of campus copyright and publishing policy. … we discuss the strategies and definitions behind open access and its implications for campus IT, librarians, administrators, and policy offices.”

    This web seminar includes interesting feedback and discussion. I found the interface to be quite practical and was happy to see the presentations playing smoothly, even when hopping around using the slide-change markers.

    educause

    “For years, as more academics have embraced “open access” publishing — in which journals are published online and free — a constant refrain from many publishers has been that the model would deprive them of the revenue they need for high quality editing and peer review. That argument was at the center of a recent report on the economics of journal publishing commissioned by the National Humanities Alliance. That argument was also cited by the Association of American University Presses to oppose federal open access requirements — over the objections of some of its members.

    On Monday, five leading universities announced a new ‘Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity‘ in which they have pledged to develop systems to pay open access journals for the articles they publish by the institutions’ scholars. In doing so, the institutions are attempting to put to rest the idea that only older publication models (paid and/or print) can support rigorous peer review and quality assurance.

    By embracing a new model, the institutions say, they hope to shift away from a system in which rising journal prices have frustrated librarians, and the lack of free access has frustrated those whose institutions can’t afford many journals.”

    Read the remainder of this interesting article by Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed.

    On Monday, five leading universities announced a new “Compact for Open Access Publishing Equity” in which they have pledged to develop systems to pay open access journals for the articles they publish by the institutions’ scholars. In doing so, the institutions are attempting to put to rest the idea that only older publication models (paid and/or print) can support rigorous peer review and quality assurance.
    By embracing a new model, the institutions say, they hope to shift away from a system in which rising journal prices have frustrated librarians, and the lack of free access has frustrated those whose institutions can’t afford many journals.

    The Coalition for Networked Information has launched a program called CNI Conversations, a series of sessions in which participants from member institutions take part in discussions on current topics. The first one took place on September 15 and focused on the Google Book proposed settlement, DataNet, library responses to the financial crisis, etc. The mp3 is available online.

    More fascinating and thoughtful debate about the Google Book Settlement in Mike Wilken’s comment thread.

    I want to add just a bit more about it.

    I think Ryan Shaw’s assessments are spot on in this discussion. We’re left perplexed by the Settlement and concerned about ambiguities and scenarios where these ambiguities (or defects) in the Settlement can lead to bad outcomes.

    Mike asks where the animosity toward Google comes from, and I think that’s a harder issue. Ryan responded that people had “Google on a pedestal” and are disappointed that Google didn’t fight harder for the public interest. There may be something to that. I’ve followed the “Access to Knowledge” movement for some years, and Google has often been seen in a very positive light – “Look you can make a profit and dramatically widen information access and use”.

    However, I think the scale of the book corpus, together with Google’s other information services make people rightfully concerned about Google, its future actions, and the power it wields. Even if the current leadership at Google is relatively enlightened, will it always be that way? Will the Google Books service and corpus someday be sold to Elsevier or NewsCorp? Would we still like the settlement then?

    Some of the skepticism also comes from how this settlement changes Google’s profit and incentive models. The settlement makes Google a content provider, one that sells access to books. This is a very different position than its familiar role of providing search and discovery services. This issue links to the debate about Google’s “Knol” service, where Google aims to host user-generated articles in a manner similar to (or in competition with) the Wikipedia. Several have argued that this creates a conflict of interest, and people worry that if Google becomes a content provider it will face pressure to bias search results to its own content. So I think there are some legitimate worries about Google shifting from information discovery to becoming a publisher promoting its own content.

    So, to me, it make sense to look at the settlement from the perspective “what could go wrong”. When people think about risk, they usually make an assessment about the probability of something going wrong times its impact. Given the high stakes involved, where the impact of a poor Settlement can be pretty large and dreadful, I think caution is very reasonable.

    A quick note to draw attention to an article in the latest issue of The Art Newspaper: “Facebook is more than a fad—and museums need to learn from it.”

    A few quotes: “Social networks and blogs are the fastest growing online activities, according to a report published in March by research firm Nielsen Online. Almost 10% of all time spent on the internet …” “… a major factor in the success of social networks is that they allow people to select and share content. This has become a hobby, even considered by some to be a serious creative outlet, with web users spending time ‘curating’ their online space. Museums are well placed to appeal to this new generation of ‘curators’because they offer rich and interesting content that can be virtually ‘cut-up’ and stuck back together online in numerous different ways to reflect the individual tastes of each user. If remixing, reinterpreting and sharing interesting content is, as Nielsen suggests, the kind of engaging interaction that draws people to social networks, then museums should embrace the idea that ‘everyone is a curator’, both online and offline.” “For example, the Art Museum of Estonia has gone against convention by actively encouraging visitors to photograph its collection; the MoMA website helps users to co-create content and share these creations with friends.”

    February 11-13, 2009, Annenberg Presidential Conference Center, Texas A&M University, College Station

    The papers presented at this conference are now available online: text and even some video. Worth a look! A few titles of papers: “Archives, Online Edition-Making, and the Future of Scholarly Communication in the Humanities”; “The Harvard Open Access Policy”; “The Future of University Presses and Other Institutional Publishers.”

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