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Daily Archives: December 19, 2018

All Copyrighted Works First Published In the US In 1923 Will Enter Public Domain On January 1st

Smithsonian.com: “A beloved Robert Frost poem is among the many creations that are (finally) losing their protections in 2019…

“A beloved Robert Frost poem is among the many creations that are (finally) losing their protections in 2019”. “Whose woods these are, I think I”—whoa! We can’t quote any more of Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” because it is still under copyright as this magazine goes to press. But come January 1, 2019, we, you, and everyone in America will be able to quote it at length on any platform.

At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S. That deluge of works includes not just “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which appeared first in the New Republic in 1923, but hundreds of thousands of books, musical compositions, paintings, poems, photographs and films. After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit “Yes! We Have No Bananas,” any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt’s stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis with her own extensive annotations. Any artist can create and sell a feminist response to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal Dadaist piece, The Large Glass (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even) and any filmmaker can remake Cecil B. DeMille’s original The Ten Commandments and post it on YouTube.

“The public domain has been frozen in time for 20 years, and we’re reaching the 20-year thaw,” says Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain. The release is unprecedented, and its impact on culture and creativity could be huge. We have never seen such a mass entry into the public domain in the digital age. The last one—in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond—predated Google. “We have shortchanged a generation,” said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. “The 20th century is largely missing from the internet.” For academics fearful of quoting from copyrighted texts, teachers who may be violating the law with every photocopy, and modern-day artists in search of inspiration, the event is a cause for celebration. For those who dread seeing Frost’s immortal ode to winter used in an ad for snow tires, “Public Domain Day,” as it is sometimes known, will be less joyful. Despite that, even fierce advocates for copyright agree that, after 95 years, it is time to release these works. “There comes a point when a creative work belongs to history as much as to its author and her heirs,” said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the Authors Guild….”

Statistics of the Year 2018: Winners announced

Royal Statistical Society: “This year’s Statistics of the Year announcement has a distinctly environmental theme as statistics relating to plastic waste and the use of solar energy emerged as the winners of this year’s International and UK categories respectively. The commended entries cover a plethora of other issues, from the reduction in global ‘absolute poverty’… Continue Reading

[email protected]: Why Books Matter for the Long Run

“Book publishing is a business and increasingly a technical one, but at its heart it is an art, writes Peter J. Dougherty in this opinion piece. He is the editor-at-large at Princeton University Press, for which he was the director from 2005 until his retirement in 2017, and currently sits as the Fox Family Pavilion… Continue Reading

US Treasury sanctions Russians for hacking and election meddling

engadget: “The US government isn’t done taking action against Russians accused of hacking and interference campaigns. The Treasury Department has leveled sanctions against 16 current and former GRU intelligence officers (some of whom were targeted in earlier indictments) for their involvement in multiple campaigns against the US, including the Democratic National Committee hacks, World Anti-Doping… Continue Reading

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

The New York Times: “For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews. The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained… Continue Reading

Why the World Needs to Rethink Retirement

The New York Times: “The golden years look very different depending on where in the world you are, and, increasingly, which generation you are in. Aging populations and decreasing birthrates are spurring countries across the globe to reassess how retirement works — and what needs to change in order to extend the benefits available today… Continue Reading

The Fresno Bee and the War on Local News

GQ: “Local newspapers like The Fresno Bee have long been an endangered institution in America, and that was before California Rep. Devin Nunes began waging a public campaign against his hometown paper. Zach Baron spent time with the reporters fighting to keep news alive in an age when the forces they cover are working equally… Continue Reading

Researchers try to cope without HHS public medical guideline database five months after its takedown

Sunlight Foundation: “When the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ) shut down its National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) in July, medical professionals who relied on the database, hosted at guideline.gov, reacted with alarm. For nearly 20 years, AHRQ’s repository of medical guidelines had served as the gold standard for clinicians, helping guide day to day… Continue Reading

Bookstore’s viral tweet calls out shoppers who buy on Amazon

Business Insider: The Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia, called out shoppers for “showrooming” in a viral tweet. It said that customers have been coming in and taking pictures of books, then buying them on Amazon. It said some are even bragging about doing it. Showrooming is still a problem for small, independent retailers without an… Continue Reading

The 550 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List

The New York Times: “Insults since Mr. Trump became president are highlighted in yellow; the most recent updates are shaded purple. (This list covers tweets since Mr. Trump declared his candidacy.)” Continue Reading

Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to

ars technica: “With Microsoft’s decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That’s a worrying turn of events, given the company’s past behavior. Chrome itself has about 72 percent of the desktop-browser market share. Edge has about 4 percent.… Continue Reading