internet culture – RexBlog.com http://www.rexblog.com Rex Hammock's RexBlog.com Wed, 06 Dec 2017 23:37:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 The Internet Archive Liberates a Mountain of Materials Published Between 1923-1941 http://www.rexblog.com/2017/10/11/52267 http://www.rexblog.com/2017/10/11/52267#respond Wed, 11 Oct 2017 12:10:43 +0000 http://www.rexblog.com/?p=52267

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The Internet Archive (in my book, one of the few “wonders of the internet”) is now using a little known, and perhaps never used, provision of US copyright law (Section 108h) which allows libraries to scan and make available materials published 1923 to 1941 if they are not being actively sold. (Note: While I am not an anti-copyright advocate, I believe that certain types of copyrights should sunset in 14 years, renewable once if the copyright holder took actions to renew it. That’s 28 years. Okay, round it up to 30. But forever? At the bottom of this post, there’s a link to two articles I wrote on SmallBusiness.com about Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and their beliefs on the topic.)

Quote from the Internet Archive blog:

Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a copyright scholar at Tulane University calls this “Library Public Domain.”  She and her students helped bring the first scanned books of this era available online in a collection named for the author of the bill making this necessary: The Sonny Bono Memorial Collection. Thousands more books will be added in the near future as we automate. We hope this will encourage libraries that have been reticent to scan beyond 1923 to start mass scanning their books and other works, at least up to 1942. (…)

 

If the Founding Fathers had their way, almost all works from the 20th century would be public domain by now (14-year copyright term, renewable once if you took extra actions).

 

Some corporations saw adding works to the public domain to be a problem, and when Sonny Bono got elected to the House of Representatives, representing part of Los Angeles, he helped push through a law extending copyright’s duration another 20 years to keep things locked-up back to 1923. This has been called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act due to one of the motivators behind the law, but it was also a result of Europe extending copyright terms an additional twenty years first. If not for this law, works from 1923 and beyond would have been in the public domain decades ago.

 

Today we announce the “Sonny Bono Memorial Collection” containing the first books to be liberated. Anyone can download, read, and enjoy these works that have been long out of print. We will add another 10,000 books and other works in the near future.

 

Professor Townsend Gard had two legal interns work with the Internet Archive last summer to find how we can automate finding appropriate scanned books that could be liberated, and hand-vetted the first books for the collection. Professor Townsend Gard has just released an in-depth paper giving libraries guidance as to how to implement Section 108(h) based on her work with the Archive and other libraries. Together, we have called them “Last Twenty” Collections, as libraries and archives can copy and distribute to the general public qualified works in the last twenty years of their copyright.

Sidenote by Rex: Here are a couple of articles I wrote a few years ago for SmallBusiness.com about the founding fathers, patents, and copyrights.

Benjamin Franklin Never Sought a Patent or Copyright

Thomas Jefferson’s Views on Patents and Intellectual Property Rights

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Competitive Outrage http://www.rexblog.com/2015/08/01/51265 http://www.rexblog.com/2015/08/01/51265#respond Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:41:28 +0000 http://www.rexblog.com/?p=51265

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I haven’t commented on the outrage of the week, the killing of Zimbabwe’s “most beloved lion,” Cecil, by a big game hunting dentist from Minnesota named Walter Palmer.

By the time I was aware of the Cecil killing, the internet outrage was far more than anything I could come up with, so I passed even tweeting about it. Besides, the only thing I could think of to say that I hadn’t seen before was how white the dentist’s teeth were — obviously, a Photoshop job.

The competitive nature of internet outrage is fascinating.

My recent post about the Confederate flag could certainly be categorized in the competitive outrage genre. And I’ve been holding off on a review of Go Set a Watchman because, after reading it, I haven’t been able to care enough about the book to conjure up the competitive outrage it deserves.

Rather than attempt to explain what I mean by competitive, I’ve decided I can’t come close to the essay, “My Outrage is Better Than Your Outrage,” by James Hamblin at TheAtlantic.com.

He does it so much better. Quote:

“The Internet launders outrage and returns it to us as validation, in the form of likes and stars and hearts. The greatest return comes from a strong and superior point of view, on high moral ground. And there is, fortunately and unfortunately, always higher moral ground. Even when a dentist kills an adorable lion, and everyone is upset about it, there’s better outrage ground to be won.

“The most widely accepted hierarchy of outrage seems to be (note: I’ve added rearranged Hamblin’s following list into a graphic hierarchy):

*************End of all life due to uninhabitable planet
***********Systematic killing of humans
*********Systematic oppression/torture of people
******Systematic killing of animals
****Multiple animals killed
**Single animal killed
Single animal injured

“To say that there’s a more important issue in the world is always true, except in the case of climate change ending all life, both human and animal. So it’s meaningless, even if it’s fun, to go around one-upping people’s outrage. Try it. Someone will express legitimate concern over something, and all you have to do is say there are more important things to be concerned about.

“All you have to do is use the phrase “spare me” and then say something about global warming. You can literally write, “My outrage is more legit than your outrage! Ahhh!”

Read the entire essay here.

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