Here’s a puzzle: when is the public domain not in the public domain?

Walled Culture is a big fan of the public domain. The amazing artistic uses that people are able to make of material only once it enters the public…

Research shows that, when given the choice, most authors don’t want excessively-long copyright terms

Last week Walled Culture mentioned the problem of orphan works. These are creations, typically books, that are still covered by copyright, but unavailable because the original publisher or…

Public domain: a belated step forward, two huge steps back

The first day of the year is a special time in the copyright world. It’s when a flood of works whose copyright has expired finally emerge from behind…

How Minecraft’s “End Poem” ended up in the public domain

Minecraft is the best-selling video game of all time according to Wikipedia, with hundreds of millions of copies sold. The game concludes with the End Poem by the…

A database of public domain works could reduce upload filter overblocking; it’s absurd we need one

One of many problems with the upload filters that Article 17 of the EU Copyright Directive will bring in is that they are likely to overblock. That is,…

A concept that should not exist at all is already implemented: the “paying” public domain

A couple of weeks ago, Walled Culture reported on a terrible idea in France: requiring companies to pay for the use of public domain material. As the post…

Coming soon: the next phase of copyright maximalism – destroying the public domain

The public domain is the natural state of creative material. It’s where creations end up once copyright’s monopoly has expired. Crucially, it is the quid pro quo for…

New Zealand is about to commit copyright theft – the real kind

When modern copyright was invented with the Statute of Anne in 1710, it consisted of a bargain. In return for a time-limited, government-enforced monopoly, creators agreed that their…

Auguste Rodin’s sculptures are in the public domain; 3D scans of them should be, too

Auguste Rodin is without doubt one of the greatest sculptors in history. Equally without doubt, his works are now in the public domain, since he died in 1917.…

ResearchEquals: step-by-step academic publishing, where the default is openness and CC0

There are a number of problems with academic publishing, which open access has been trying to fix for over two decades. Back in 2020, a “Manifesto to Liberate…

Interview | Katherine Maher: The Monkey Selfie, Public Domain, Freedom of Panorama, the EU Copyright Directive, Remix Culture, & the 20th Century Black Hole

Katherine Maher, advocate for free and open societies, is the former CEO and Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Her background is in the field of information and…

Interview | Alex Sayf Cummings: Music Piracy, Alternative Remuneration Models, Blurred Lines, SOPA, and Out of Control Copyright Terms and Penalties

Alex Sayf Cummings is a historian of law, technology, labor, public policy, and American cities. A leading voice on pop culture and public history, she has published on…

Interview | Salvador Alcántar Morán: Mexican Copyright Unfit-for-purpose in the Digital age, the Public Domain as a Human Right, and the Need for a True Multistakeholder Approach and a Global Perspective on Copyright

Salvador Alcántar Morán is a lawyer, focused on digital copyright, educational technology and digital communications. He is the co-founder of Wikimedia Mexico and of Creative Commons Mexico. He…

Public Domain Day is here again: it should be an occasion for condemnation, not celebration

Once copyright’s walls come down, creative material enters the public domain. It is free for all to use, modify and build upon. It is part of the matrix…

An unprecedented loss of digital culture looms thanks to copyright; here’s how to avoid it

A few weeks ago, we wrote about copyright’s absurdly long term, which typically lasts for 70 years after a creator’s death. That it makes it hard for other…
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