Category Archives: Culture and Society

Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint

Cross-posted from Open Knowledge Foundation blog. Tomorrow we’re holding the first Open Shakespeare Annotation ‘Sprint’. We’ll be getting together online and in-person to collaborate on critically annotating a complete Shakespeare play with all our work being open. All of Shakespeare’s texts are, of course, in the public domain, and therefore already ‘open’. However, most editions […]

Also posted in Copyright, Open Knowledge Foundation, Openness, Own Work, Shuttleworth Fellow | Leave a comment

The Public Domain in 2011

According to (which I helped build) there were 661 people whose works entered the public domain in 2011: Of course, I should immediately state that this is a fairly crude calculation based on a simple life+70 model and therefore not applicable to e.g. the US with its 1923 cut-off (for those interested in […]

Also posted in Copyright, Open Bibliographic Data, Open Knowledge Foundation, Openness, Shuttleworth Fellow | 1 Response

Slouching Towards Bethelehem by Joan Didion

Read some time ago Joan Didion’s extraordinary set of essays Slouching Towards Bethlemem1, a book filled with the sense of dislocation and anomie that seems so essential to the experience, at least in literature, of America itself. The most penetrating of the set was that which lends its title to the book2 and I marked […]

Also posted in Books | Leave a comment

Papers on the Size and Value of EU Public Domain

I’ve just posted two new papers on the size of and ‘value’ the EU Public Domain. These papers are based on the research done as part of the Public Domain in Europe (EUPD) Research Project (which has now been submitted). Summary Slides Covering Size and Value of the Public Domain – Talk at COMMUNIA in […]

Also posted in Academic, Copyright, Economics, Innovation and Intellectual Property, Own Work, Papers, Policy | 6 Responses

The Size of the Public Domain (Without Term Extensions)

We’ve looked at the size of the public domain extensively in earlier posts. The basic take away from the analysis was the finding that, based on library catalogue data, for books in the UK, approximately 15-20% of work was in the public domain — with public domain work being pretty old (70 years plus, due […]

Also posted in Academic, Copyright, Economics, EUPD, Own Work | 25 Responses

The Elusive Disappearance of Community

From Laslett ‘Phillipe Ariès and “La Famille”‘ p.83 (quoted in Eisenstein, p.131): The actual reality, the tangible quality of community life in earlier towns or villages … is puzzling … and only too susceptible to sentimentalisation. People seem to want to believe that there was a time when every one belonged to an active, supportive […]

Also posted in History, Musings, Notes | Leave a comment

Author “Significance” From Catalogue Data

Continues the series of post related to analyzing catalogue data, here are some stats on author “significance” as measured by the number of book entries (‘items’) for that author in the Cambridge University Library catalogue from 1400-1960 (there being 1m+ such entries). I’ve termed this measure “significance” (with intentional quotes) as it co-mingles a variety […]

Also posted in Data Digging, Economics, EUPD, Knowledge Systems, Own Work | 2 Responses

Size of the Public Domain II

This follows up my previous post. Here we are going to calculation public domain numbers based directly on authorial birth/death date information rather than on guesstimated weightings. We’re going to focus on the Cambridge University Library (CUL) data we used previously. Pub. DateTotalNo AuthorAny DateDeath Date 1870-1880505646634 (13%)23016 (45%)21876 (43%) 1880-1890668578225 (12%)31135 (46%)28570 (42%) 1890-1900668838733 […]

Also posted in Academic, Copyright, Economics, EUPD, Own Work | 2 Responses

Estimating Information Production and the Size of the Public Domain

Here we’re going to look at using library catalogue data as a source for estimating information production (over time) and the size of the public domain. Library Catalogues Cultural institutions, primarily libraries, have long compiled records of the material they hold in the form of catalogues. Furthermore, most countries have had one or more libraries […]

Also posted in Academic, Copyright, Economics, EUPD, History, Innovation and Intellectual Property, Own Work | 1 Response

Filesharing Costs: Dubious Figures Making the Rounds Again

The BBC ran a story yesterday headlined “Seven million ‘use illegal files’”. Its bolded first paragraph stated: Around seven million people in the UK are involved in illegal downloads, costing the economy tens of billions of pounds, government advisers say. [emphasis added] 7 million people involved in unauthorised file-sharing is possible, but costs of tens […]

Also posted in Economics, Filesharing, Innovation and Intellectual Property | 1 Response