ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

When Is Public Domain Not Public Domain?

with 2 comments

When Google say so?

Techdirt discusses
the issue of documents already in the public domain and the wording often attached to them by Google:

“Computer scientist Steven Bellovin notes a troubling trend: companies that republish public domain works are increasingly trying to use contract law to place restrictions on their use. For example, Google is apparently in the habit of “requesting” that people only use the out-of-copyright works they’ve scanned for “personal, non-commercial purposes.” Even more troubling, works like this one that were produced by the US federal government—and have therefore never been subject to copyright—come with copyright-like notices stating that any use other than “individual research” requires a license. Fundamentally, this is problematic because copyright law is supposed to be a bargain between authors and the general public: we give authors a limited, temporary monopoly over their works, in exchange for those works being created. But in this case, the restrictions are being imposed by parties—Google and Congressional Research Services, Inc., respectively—who had nothing to do with the creation of the works. The latter case is particularly outrageous because taxpayers already paid for the works once, through our tax dollars.”

Written by modernityblog

17/03/2009 at 22:53

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. It’s unbelievably cheeky isn’t it?

    On a brighter note, the Sound Copyright vote at the EU is postponed until April.

    Mira Vogel

    19/03/2009 at 17:42

  2. I didn’t know that, thanks 🙂

    modernityblog

    19/03/2009 at 18:50


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