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Licensing and Public Domain
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.1066  Thursday, 30 November 2006

From:         Sean B. Palmer <
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Date:         Wednesday, 29 Nov 2006 17:16:27 +0000
Subject: 17.1061 Licensing and Public Domain
Comment:     Re: SHK 17.1061 Licensing and Public Domain

Michael Best wrote:

 >There are, however, some arguments in favour of making scholarly texts
 >available in the public domain, and we will certainly be discussing these
 >alternatives as the site matures further.

I understand the inherent tension between the effort in preparing the 
works on the one hand and making them available to the public domain on 
the other. You might want to consider one of the funding sources buying 
works into the public domain. Jimmy Wales announced the possibility of 
one just last month:

  http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Copyright_wishlist
  http://mail.wikipedia.org/pipermail/wikipedia-l/2006-October/045481.html

I'm not sure how this would interact with the ISE being a non-profit 
organisation, but I'd assume and hope that if one were to bill only for 
the time and expertise of the editors it would come within the 
non-profit realm.

Note also that the digital scans of the quartos, first folio, and 
sonnets are already in the public domain in the United States, as far as 
I understand the following:

  "Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., 36 F.Supp.2d 191
  (S.D.N.Y. 1999), was a decision by the United States
  District Court for the Southern District of New York,
  which ruled that exact photographic copies of public
  domain images could not be protected by copyright
  because the copies lack originality"

  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgeman_Art_Library_Ltd._v._Corel_Corporation

At any rate, as I mentioned in my previous message, even were the ISE 
original spelling works to be released to the public domain, I think 
it's both polite and good academic practice for people to clearly 
reference where they found them; especially given the amount and quality 
of the work that's obviously gone into them.

Doing so would also avoid dissuading others from making similar items of 
historic value public domain works in the future, of course, so there 
are knock-on ramifications to such politeness.

Kindest regards,
Sean B. Palmer
http://inamidst.com/sbp/

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