Thanks Massachusetts Library Association!

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of presenting at the 2012 Massachusetts Library Association conference. I must say that having been to more than a dozen state library conferences this was one of the best experiences I ever had. Everyone I met was lovely and I hope to stay in touch with (at least on Twitter) in the future. Thanks to all of you who made it such a wonderful experience.

For those looking for more regarding my presentation on the Creative Commons here are the related links and below are the slides. (With the typo corrected!)

CPD23 Thign #17: Prezzi

I looked at Prezzi back when it first arrived on the scene and even did a version of my Creative Commons presentation using Prezzi. This thing was enough to make me consider updating that version from 2009 in order to present it next week at the Wyoming Library Association Conference. After thinking about it I’ve decided to stick with PowerPoint for the forseeable future. Let’s just say that I’ve only ever seen one Prezzi-based presentation that actually pulled it off…

I’m no Chris Anderson.

Using images found online

All Rights ReservedRegular readers should be well aware of my feelings on Copyright and fair use here in the US. But a combination of factors lead me to this post.

The first was the Google Secrets presentation (video will be posted when available) I gave yesterday for NNYLN. While talking about the features of Google image search I tossed out the obligatory “just because you can find it in Google images doesn’t mean it’s free to use” line and then moved on.

The second was this article from KTVN Reno: “Copyright lawsuits filed over pat-down photo” Here’s the relevant bit:

The Post published its TSA photograph on Nov. 18, and it was distributed to media outlets by The Associated Press. The picture was widely used to illustrate the debate surrounding increased security measures at airports.

In a notice to readers published Nov. 14, the Post said it would use all legal remedies to address copyright infringement. MediaNews did not return messages seeking comment about the lawsuits.

1[sic] of those sued by Righthaven is Brian Hill, 20, of Mayodan, N.C. Hill said he found the Post picture on Google Images and posted it on his news and politics website, not knowing it was copyrighted. [emphasis added]

Hill said an attorney from Righthaven called him Feb. 10 and said he could be liable for up to $150,000 in damages but could settle a lawsuit filed in Denver on Jan. 27 for $6,000.

Hill, who said he receives Social Security disability payments, said he cannot afford that amount and noted he had taken down the photo from his website. The suit is pending, and he’d like to represent himself in court in Denver.

"I was scared and fearful, and then I decided to speak out on the matter," Hill said. "We told them that we couldn’t afford it, and we were going to continue our court case."

It’s probably a good thing I didn’t read that article yesterday morning lest my presentation on search be derailed and turn into a copyright talk.

So, as a reminder, how can you be sure the photo you’re reprinting is ok to reprint? Head on over to Compfight and limit your searches to Creative Commons: Only to the right of the search box. Any results you received will be CC-licensed content that you’re free to use within the limits of the particular CC license. In most cases, just remember to give credit and the chances of you being sued is practically zero.

30 Posts in 30 Days #26: Socially Protected Content

On my way home yesterday afternoon I was listening to episode #176 of the Beyond the Book podcast from the Copyright Clearance Center. The episode featured two speakers on “Interactive Textbooks: Poised for Success?” The episode is only about 30 minutes long and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this that has anything to do with college textbooks.

What prompted this post however is something that presenter Jeff Shelstad of Flat World Knowledge said. His business publishes textbooks which are available in many formats (electronic and print), editable, and CC licensed. The electronic copies are DRM free yet “socially protected". What he means is that every PDF downloaded by a student contains the name of that student on every page. In other words, if that student starts passing it along, you’ll immediately know who did it.

I must say this is an interesting concept. I suppose it would make me think twice before sharing something I’m not supposed to. I’m not sure it would stop me from downloading the material though.

Participating in the Creative Commons

Here’s a video of the most recent version of my Creative Commons presentation. There’s not much different from the last few iterations but this one does include color commentary from my colleague Christa Burns. (It’s also the first video I’m posting via SlideShare, which now does video.)

James Boyle – The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

I’m listening to the audio version of this right now and it’s brilliant. Here’s the video for your viewing pleasure.

In his new book The Public Domain, Professor James Boyle describes how our culture, science and economic welfare all depend on the delicate balance between those ideas that are controlled and those that are free, between intellectual property and the public domain —the realm of material that everyone is free to use and share without permission or fee

Intellectual property laws have a significant impact on many important areas of human endeavour, including scientific innovation, digital creativity, cultural access and free speech. And so Boyle argues that, just as every informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment or civil rights, every citizen in the information age should also have an understanding of intellectual property law.

Is the public domain as vital to knowledge, innovation and culture as the realm of material protected by intellectual property rights? James Boyle thinks so and visits the RSA to call for a new movement to preserve it. If we continue to enclose the “commons of the mind”, Boyle argues, we will all be the poorer.

New copyright statement in Flickr for “government work”

For a while now, photos posted on flickr by the White House have been licensed under a CC-BY license. While this was the most lenient of the CC licensing options it wasn’t exactly appropriate as these photos were technically in the public domain. Because of this, the attribution requirement of the CC license, although a great suggestion that everyone should follow, was technically adding a requirement that wasn’t allowed by law.

The only other option previously available was that of the Flickr Commons project “no known copyright restrictions”. Again, not appropriate as in this case we know that there can’t possibly be even the potential of a copyright claim by anyone. Again, close but technically not appropriately.

So, the folks at flickr have come up with a new designation: “United States Government Works”.

New copyright statement for White House on Flickr

What does this mean? Well, if you click on the link you’ll be taken to the relevant page of copyright law giving you the relevant information. At that point you’re on your own. Thanks, I think.

Why doesn’t flickr just have a “public domain” option? That’s a completely different discussion which I’m not going to have here. Check out the flickr discussion and flickr’s official opinion on the matter if you’re interested.

Imagining a Smithsonian Commons

I’m back from Computers in Libraries 2009 and I’ve got a lot to share. The first is Wednesday’s keynote talk from Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy at the Smithsonian Institution. It was streamed live online (a first for CIL) and was recorded. Listen to him and then go read all the books he mentions in his talk. (I’ve read all but one of them and I’m on the list at LCL for it now.)

Online TV Shows by Ustream

He also put up a text version of his presentation in SlideShare. I’ve embedded it here for you.

He also put up a text version of his presentation in SlideShare. I’ve embedded it here for you.