is now an entirely different process. The University of Michigan is the first university to have installed the Espresso Book Machine, also termed “the ATM of books,” in one of its libraries. The wait time is about the same, but you’re ordering books now instead of Italian coffee, and the product price is a bit higher—averaging at 10 bucks a pop. But 10 bucks for a printed and bound book that is made in seven minutes is a pretty good deal, especially when you’ve got almost 2 million books to choose from. How is this possible? Or even legal?
The University of Michigan libraries have nearly 2 million books digitized for on demand printing, in addition to thousands of more books from the Open Content Alliance and other sources. But trust me when I say that these books are all very legal; in fact, they have been out of copyright for 85 years, or more. As a result, they are in the public domain, available for anyone to print, read, and repurpose—for free. The espresso version is simply covering printing costs. Compared to the average price of books these days, especially textbooks, ten bucks is pocket change. Online sites like Lulu.com already offer print versions of CC licensed works for cheap—remember the OER Handbook for Educators? It’s only 19.99 for 284 pages. Of course, ordering online is a bit slower than ordering from the EBM.
Once the machine is installed, it is capable of being connected to other digital collections not limited to the U of M’s. Props to the University of Michigan for yet again leading the way on copyright issues.
While we’re on the topic, the Open Content Alliance has the similar goal of “building a digital archive of global content for universal access”. The Open Content Alliance is “a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that [helps to] build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. [It] was conceived by the Internet Archive and Yahoo! in early 2005 as a way to offer broad, public access to a rich panorama of world culture.”
ccLearn is very excited to attend this year’s Internet Archive conference in San Francisco where an OCA meeting will take place in October. The theme for this year’s conference is “Using Digital Collections.”No Comments »
While this draft is being released later than planned (more on that, below), we are very excited about the progress we’ve made on CC0 in the interim. We look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions for improving CC0 still further. Read on to hear more about what has changed and our plans for finalizing CC0 this fall.
In our April beta 2 release, we made two significant changes to CC0 that drew a number of comments. The first change was to separate the “waiver” tool, intended for use by copyright owners wishing to relinquish their rights under copyright to a work, from the “assertion” tool, intended for use by others to mark a work as being free from copyright and in the public domain. This eliminated confusion the combined tool was causing, and allowed us to push ahead with CC0 while planning the more complicated assertion piece. This change was received favorably by commentators.
The other significant change made in the April draft was to position CC0 as a “Universal” legal tool, capable of being used in all jurisdictions without the formal porting process CC traditionally uses for its core licenses. In making this change, we recognized that the legal effect of CC0 would differ depending on the jurisdiction. After further consideration, however, we concluded that the benefits of having a Universal tool outweighed that concern.
This attempt at Universality attracted the bulk of the comments we received after posting the April draft. It was also the key issue underlying other comment threads raising enforceability issues and differences between legal systems.
Several commentators (accurately) pointed out that the language in CC0 beta draft 2 overstated the legal effect CC0 would have in their jurisdictions, as no waiver could completely eliminate moral and other rights granted authors and others in many countries. Others noted that the mechanism of a waiver did not exist at all in their jurisdictions, or at best minimally, and so suggested alternative approaches like a covenant not to sue. Still others asked for more clarity on the important point that others’ rights in the work were not affected by CC0 and may need to be cleared in advance of a particular use (including – by way of example – privacy and publicity rights held by an individual whose image is captured in a photo).
There were other comments and suggestions for improvement. We’ve posted many on the CC0 Wiki.
All of the comments we received were incredibly valuable and caused us to re-evaluate not just the legal code but also the positioning of CC0 as a Universal legal tool. We took this opportunity to consult in more depth with our CCi community during iSummit earlier this month and with other legal experts in an attempt to apply additional academic rigor to our drafting process.
So while this draft 3 was delayed, we feel it was for good reason. We remain dedicated to pursuing a Universal CC0, but with some substantial revision to the text. Here are a few of the changes you will see in draft 3 as a result of those comments and discussions:
- Inclusion of a Statement of Purpose that provides context and explanation for issues CC0 attempts to solve while also identifying limitations inherent in such an attempt;
- Clarifying language about the IP rights affected by CC0 through a new comprehensive definition of “Copyright Related Rights”; and
- Emphasis on the possible existence of privacy and publicity rights of others with respect to a work, and the need for those to be cleared where appropriate.
We welcome your comments on these changes and your suggestions for other improvements. The primary venue for discussion continues to be the cc-licenses mailing list. We also encourage you to take a look at our newly-updated CC0 Wiki where you can find a summary of comments leading up to this draft 3 and links to their full text. You can also find on the wiki a list of other tools and licenses that attempt to do in part what we are attempting to accomplish with CC0. Please feel free to add other tools you may be aware of to the list.
We request that comments on this beta draft 3 be submitted within the next 30 days (by September 26th or thereabouts). We plan to finalize CC0 in late October or early November, shortly following our participation in the 3rd Communia Workshop on Marking the Public Domain.
A special acknowledgment to Catharina Maracke (Director of CCi) for coordinating the international input at iSummit. Thanks also goes to Science Commons and ccLearn for being patient (despite a growing need for CC0 in their domains) so we might get this right.No Comments »
Animasher is a site with a simple premise based on a powerful tool that helps anyone remix the commons. The core of the site is a flash tool that enables easy key frame based creation of animations complete with music and narration. In order to seed the site with remixable content, Animasher pulls Attribution licensed photographs from Flickr and Attribution and Public Domain music from other sources such as Jamendo and Opsound. Proper attribution is then automatically generated for each animation which is also licensed under CC-BY. All animations can be cloned and edited instantly by anyone visiting the site.3 Comments »
Thanks to The Wired Campus, I stumbled across this nifty digital copyright tool developed by the American Library Association’s Copyright Advisory Network (in the Office for Information Technology Policy). The ALA Copyright Advisory Network is dedicated to educating librarians and others on copyright, something that is no simple matter, since, “with copyright, there are no definitive answers.”
Check out the digital copyright slider. The tool itself is pretty simple. You basically slide the arrow up and down the years starting from “Before 1923″. The boxes on the left (Permission Needed? and Copyright Status/Term) tell you whether a work is still copyrighted or whether it’s now in the public domain, free for you to use and repurpose any way you like. Unfortunately, actually figuring out the copyright status of a work isn’t so simple as dragging your mouse—most of the years seem to be marked by a fuzzy period of “Maybe”. For example, say John Doe wrote and published a poem between 1964-1977 and you are able to find a copyright notice—you still can’t really figure out whether the copyright still applies. And if you can’t find a copyright notice? Well, you just don’t know then either. The same answer (don’t know) seems to apply to a lot of years here…
Props to the ALA for illuminating the incredible complications in US copyright (yeah, that’s right—this sliding scale also only applies to works published within the US). And double props for licensing their tool CC BY-NC-SA. I leave you now with this thought:1 Comment »