Duke Law School Center for the Study of the Public Domain, Director Jennifer Jenkins heralds that on January 1, 2024 thousands of copyrighted works from 1928 entered the US public domain, along with sound recordings from 1923. They will be free for all to copy, share, and build upon. This year’s highlights include Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence and The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht, Buster Keaton’s The Cameraman and Cole Porter’s Let’s Do It, and a trove of sound recordings from 1923. And, of course, 2024 marks the long-awaited arrival of Steamboat Willie – featuring Mickey and Minnie Mouse – into the public domain. That story is so fascinating, so rich in irony, so rife with misinformation about what you will be able to do with Mickey and Minnie now that they are in the public domain that it deserved its own article, “Mickey, Disney, and the Public Domain: a 95-year Love Triangle.” Why is it a love triangle? What rights does Disney still have? How is trademark law involved? Here is just a handful of the works that will be in the US public domain in 2024. They were first set to go into the public domain after a 56-year term in 1984, but a term extension pushed that date to 2004. They were then supposed to go into the public domain in 2004, after being copyrighted for 75 years. But before this could happen, Congress hit another 20-year pause button and extended their copyright term to 95 years. Now the wait is over.
Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and online security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: New Law Library Report Examines Cybersecurity Laws of Several Countries; Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month Toolkit; Microsoft Exposes Octo Tempest, One of the Most Dangerous Financial Threat Actors to Date; and People Search Data Brokers, Stalking, and ‘Publicly Available Information’ Carve-Outs.
Nicole A. Cooke, Augusta Baker Endowed Chair and a Professor at the School of Library and Information Science, at the University of South Carolina, identifies the significant and socially charged work of librarians who are defending the rights of readers and writers in the battles raging across the U.S. over censorship, book challenges and book bans. Cooke states, “as long as there have been book challenges, there have been those who defend intellectual freedom and the right to read freely. Librarians and library workers have long been crucial players in the defense of books and ideas. At the 2023 annual American Library Association Conference, scholar Ibram X. Kendi praised library professionals and reminded them that “if you’re fighting book bans, if you’re fighting against censorship, then you are a freedom fighter.”
Why Does the U.S. Copyright Office Require Libraries to Lie to Users about Their Fair Use Rights? They Won’t Say.
Rick Anderson, university Librarian at Brigham Young University, contends that the copyright warning notice prescribed by the US Copyright Office misleads library patrons about their fair use rights, and must change.
In preparation for a presentation about race and academic libraries, Curtis Kendrick, formerly Dean and currently Binghamton University Libraries Faculty and Staff mentor, tried ChatGPT (Jan 9 version) to see what it (they?) had to say. He was curious about how it worked and how accurately it responded to queries. For our consideration, Kendrick offers his analysis of this interaction.
Disquiet in the archives: archivists make tough calls with far-reaching consequences – they deserve our support
Stuart Kells, Adjunct Professor, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce, La Trobe University explains why for technological, ethical and political reasons, the world’s archivists are suddenly very busy. Advances in digital imaging and communications are feeding an already intense interest in provenance, authorship and material culture. Two recent discoveries – a woman’s name scratched in the margins of an 8th-century manuscript, and John Milton’s annotations in a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio held in the Free Library of Philadelphia – are examples of how new tools are revealing new evidence, and how distant scholars are making fascinating connections. At the same time, and even more importantly, the holdings of archives, libraries and museums – “memory institutions” – are being scrutinised as the world grapples with legacies of racism, imperialism, slavery and oppression. Some of the holdings speak to heinous episodes and indefensible values. And some of them were flat-out stolen.
David H. Rothman may have identified one reason why the Kindle Scribe has gone on sale. For $400, Lenovo later this year is to sell a Scribe rival able to record lectures with two built-in mikes and turn handwritten notes into searchable text. Handily, you can sync the audio recordings with notes. Perhaps a tool for journalists, too, not just students?
I, Lemba Adula, happen to be the hero of Drone Child: A Novel of War, Family, and Survival. So here I am, a Congolese villager turned self-taught hacker turned child soldier turned military drone expert turned sea-going pirate turned university student turned entrepreneur turned major industrialist. Just why did David Rothman write what he says is my fictional war memoir? Rather presumptuous, if you ask me. But here’s Monsieur Rothman’s side of the story about that detail and a few others.
David H. Rothman has been writing about the issues inherent in publisher control of e-books and e-readers and the impact of digital rights management for many years. Whether you use personal devices or institutional devices, the issues Rothman raises here will impact you.
David H. Rothman is a former poverty beat reporter, founder of TeleRead.org ebook site, veteran tech writer, a staunch library advocate and an accomplished young adult book author. In this brief article he shares his thoughts on age appropriate reading in the content of a war novel and contemporaneous global events.