17.196 A Call for Stories in Support of a Robust Public Domain

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty ) (willard@mccarty.me.uk)
Date: Fri Aug 22 2003 - 01:42:38 EDT

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 196.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

             Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2003 06:38:37 +0100
             From: sarah@ninch.org
             Subject: a call for public domain stories

    News on Networking Cultural Heritage Resources
    from across the Community
    August 21, 2003

    A Call for Stories in Support of a Robust Public Domain
    Public Knowledge, Creative Commons, and The Center for the Study of the
    Public Domain Collaborate on a Public Education Campaign

    From: "Ann Deville" <adeville@publicknowledge.org>
    Please accept our apologies for resending this email, but it was brought to
    our attention that an incorrect email address was provided within the body
    of the document. Public domain stories should be emailed to
    <mailto:pk@publicknowledge.org>pk@publicknowledge.org NOT
    <mailto:pk@publicknowledge.com>pk@publicknowledge.com. Thanks once again
    for your interest.


    Copied below are details of the collaboration between Public Knowledge,
    Creative Commons, and The Center for the Study of the Public Domain on a
    public-education campaign that will document creators' positive or negative
    experiences with current copyright,trademark and/or patent laws. We're
    interested in hearing from artists, filmmakers, musicians, computer
    programmers and anyone who has been hampered by restrictive intellectual
    property laws or assisted by the public domain. The stories will play an
    important role in demonstrating the need for policy change.

    We'd love it if you'd help us distribute the call--please forward it to
    anyone who may be interested, post it on appropriate mailing lists,
    use it in newsletters, insert it into bottles and cast them to sea or
    anyway you'd like.
    Information on how to participate is included.

    Thank you for your interest and we look forward to hearing from you.


    A Call for Stories in Support of a Robust Public Domain
    We know you've got a great story, and we want you to tell it.
    Public Knowledge, Creative Commons, and The Center for the Study of the
    Public Domain are collaborating on a public-education campaign that will
    highlight the struggles of creators with intellectual property law. We are
    collecting stories of citizens who are hampered by restrictive intellectual
    property laws. If you have a personal story of copyright, trademark or
    patent laws needlessly hindering your work and ideas, we want to hear from
    you. Conversely, if your work has benefited from the availability of art
    and information
    in the public domain, we want to know about it.

    We'd like to hear stories from artists, authors, musicians, filmmakers,
    computer programmers, entrepreneurs, librarians - or anyone with a personal
    story involving intellectual property law. Your stories are important
    because American copyright, trademark and patent law, grounded in Article I
    of the Constitution, are designed to promote individual creativity and
    innovation: we need to make sure they're functioning in this way.

    Unfortunately, the recent expansion of intellectual property laws has had
    the opposite effect. New laws are discouraging creativity and innovation
    rather than encouraging it, and stifling other important values such as
    freedom of speech. Longer copyright terms, the end of copyright
    registration requirements, stronger trademark laws and the expansion of
    patent eligibility are some of the changes that have spurred this trend.

    When intellectual property laws curtail creativity, we need to be creative
    in a different way by pushing for changes in the laws, ensuring that they
    are interpreted more narrowly, and working to change a culture in which
    large copyright and patent owners seek to extract large fees for even the
    most incidental use of their work. None of these changes will take place
    unless we can demonstrate that there is a need for change. Policymakers can
    be educated about these issues, but in order to make the case, we need your
    Maybe you are a filmmaker who has been told to pay a large licensing fee
    for a four second snippet of a copyrighted work. Or the director of a
    community orchestra who cannot afford to play any new music. Or maybe
    you're a writer who has taken the works of Margaret Mitchell, Dickens or
    Shakespeare and created successful derivative works. Perhaps you are an
    artist who has used commercial images like the Campbell's Soup can. We need
    your stories to embody the problems and successes of copyright, trademarks
    and patents for the general public.

    Please email your story to
    <mailto:pk@publicknowledge.org>pk@publicknowledge.org with "Public Domain
    Stories" in the header. We'll present your stories to legislators, press
    and the general public through a website, video and other media. Please
    provide your name and a phone number where we can reach you during the day
    and tell us if you would prefer to remain anonymous when we publish your story.

    Your story can help others to understand how access to ideas and creativity
    is being locked up by needlessly restrictive new laws. Questions? Comments
    or suggestions? Give us a call at (202) 518-0020 or email us

    Public Knowledge is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to ensure
    that copyright, patent, trademark and technology laws and policies promote
    the interests of the public. This Washington, D.C.-based group works with a
    wide spectrum of stakeholders, including libraries, educators, scientists,
    artists, musicians, journalists, consumers, programmers, civic groups and
    enlightened businesses, to promote certain fundamental democratic
    principles and cultural values - openness, access, and the capacity to
    create and compete - and to ensure these principles are reaffirmed in the
    digital age.
    For more information, see

    Creative Commons, a non-profit corporation, promotes the creative re-use of
    intellectual works whether owned or public domain. It is sustained by the
    generous support of The Center for the Public Domain and the John D. and
    Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Creative Commons is based at Stanford
    Law School, where it shares staff, space, and inspiration with the school's
    Center for Internet and Society. For more information, see

    The Center for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke Law School was
    founded in September of 2002, as part of the schools' wider intellectual
    property program. Its mission is to promote research and scholarship on the
    contributions of the public domain to speech, culture, science and
    innovation, to promote debate about the balance needed in our intellectual
    property system and to translate academic research into public policy
    solutions. For more information, see


    NINCH-Announce is an announcement listserv, produced by the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH). The subjects of announcements are not the projects of NINCH, unless otherwise noted; neither does NINCH necessarily endorse the subjects of announcements. We attempt to credit all re-distributed news and announcements and appreciate reciprocal credit. For questions, comments or requests to un-subscribe, contact the editor: <mailto:sarah@ninch.org> ----------------------------------------------------------------------- See and search back issues of NINCH-ANNOUNCE at <https://mail2.cni.org/Lists/NINCH-ANNOUNCE/>.

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