Category Archives: News

Archive for Amateur Radio Grows to 51,000 Items

Internet Archive’s Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications is quickly growing to become an important archive of radio’s past and present. The collection has blossomed to well over 51,000 items related to ham radio, shortwave listening, scanners, and related communications. The newest additions include books, journals and magazines, newsletters, and archives of early Internet discussion lists.

More than 3,300 books and magazines are now available via controlled digital lending in the DLARC lending library. These materials, including hundreds of magazine and journal issues including Popular Electronics, RF Design, and General Radio Experimenter, can be borrowed for online or offline reading, one reader at a time, by anyone with a free Internet Archive account. DLARC has also added amateur radio magazines QST from 1912-1961, Radio & Television News from 1919-1959, and Radio magazine from 1920-1947.

Nearly 1,300 episodes of The RAIN Report, an audio program that aired news and interviews relevant to the amateur radio community from 1985-2019, are now available, including hundreds of lost episodes, thanks to the help of the program’s producer, Hap Holly. DLARC has also added the 700-episode library of the National Radio Club DX Audio Service, which reported radio-related news from 1985 through 2015.

The archive of radio-related podcasts now includes QSO Today, Linux in the Ham Shack, RAIN Hamcast, Amateur Logic, and others. 

Radio clubs are utilizing the DLARC archive to provide long-term backup of content and increase their visibility to new audiences. The Milwaukee Radio Amateurs’ Club, one of the oldest ham radio groups, is uploading its entire historical archive, an unparalleled collection of newsletters, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and meeting minutes documenting the group’s history. 

Other group newsletters include British Amateur Television Club’s CQ-TV, the CWops Solid Copy newsletter for Morse code enthusiasts, Boulder Amateur Television Club TV Repeater’s REPEATER, and Scope, the newsletter of the Palomar Amateur Radio Club. The DLARC library has also added newsletters from radio clubs around the world, including the Dutch Amateur Radio Union, the Chester & District Radio Society (England), and the defunct Canadian Amateur Radio Operators’ Association.

DLARC now archives papers and presentation slides from 41 years of TAPR conferences, including the ARRL and TAPR Digital Communications Conference, and the Computer Networking Conference. The collection is accessible like never before, full-text searchable and with detailed metadata. In addition, TAPR’s Packet Status Register newsletter, published since 1982, is also archived.

DLARC has also begun archiving amateur radio email discussion lists, so far making tens of thousands of discussion threads available and searchable — going as far back as the late 1980s — for the first time in decades. The selection includes INFO-HAMS Digest, Boatanchors (a mailing list for fans of vacuum tube radios), Packet-Radio Digest, and Ham-Digital Digest.

DLARC is funded by a significant grant from Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) to create a digital library that documents, preserves, and provides open access to the history of this community.

The Digital Library of Amateur Radio & Communications invites radio clubs and individuals to submit collections of material, whether they are already in digital format or not. Anyone with material to contribute, questions about the project, or interest in creating a digital library for other professional communities, please contact:

Kay Savetz, K6KJN
Program Manager, Special Collections
kay@archive.org
Mastodon: dlarc@mastodon.radio

Still from Gnats Gonzalez short film Echo Echo

Public Domain Day Film Contest Highlights Works of 1927

At Internet Archive we love to see how creative people can get with the material we make available online. As part of this year’s Public Domain Day celebration we asked the greater community to submit short films highlighting anything that was going to be made available in the Public Domain in 2023.

For the contest, vintage images and sounds were woven into creative films of 2-3 minutes. Many of the films were abstract while others educational, they all showcased the possibility when public domain materials are made openly available and accessible for download.

 “The Internet Archive has spent  24 years collecting and archiving content from around the world…now is the time to see what people can do with it,” said Amir Saber Esfahani, director of special arts projects at the Internet Archive. He was an organizer and judge in the January short-film contest along with Yuanxiao Xu, who serves as Counsel at Creative Commons, and Rick Prelinger, who is an archivist and filmmaker, as well as a board member for the Internet Archive.

The judges reviewed 47 entries and chose a winner based on creativity, technique, engagement, and variety of 1925 content (including lists of all sources).

Contest Winners

First Place: Echo Echo by Gnats Gonzales

Second Place: The Public Domain Race by José Domingues and Leonardo Domingues

Third Place: Seeing Cats by Alex T. Jacobs

Honorable Mentions

There were so many amazing films that did not win the contest, so below are a selection of artists that we feel should get honorable mentions for their short films.

View all of the submissions at archive.org.

As the US Public Domain Expands, 20-Year Pause for the Canadian Public Domain Begins

Festivities are planned on January 19 to recognize Public Domain Day and embrace the possibilities of new works freely available from 1927.

In the United States, the recent declaration of the federal year of Open Science and the White House memo unlocking publicly funded research outputs has buoyed the open community and its outlook on knowledge sharing.

However, the celebration will be muted in Canada where librarians and educators are assessing the impact of a vast expansion of the copyright term. 

Canada’s copyright protection for artistic works was extended as 2022 came to a close from life of the author plus 50 years—to life of the author plus 70 years. The change was the result of international trade negotiations in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requiring Canada to bring its terms closer to that of the U.S.

Once items are in the public domain, they can be republished or repurposed without seeking permission or paying a rights holder. This allows libraries, museums, and archives to use materials freely for research and historical purposes, as well as post online archives of the important documents and creative works.

The change in Canada means books, movies, plays, and songs that were previously scheduled to be free from copyright  will not be in the public domain until 2043.

“It’s a disappointment and a feeling of mourning,” said Andrea Mills, executive director of Internet Archive Canada, of the policy change that prompted the cancellation of Public Domain Day parties in the country. “It feels more like we should have a wake.”

(Others share similar concerns about the negative impact of the policy change. See Reconsidering the Copyright Bargain: by Adian Sheppard, director of the University of Alberta’s copyright office; A bizarre 20-year hiatus: Changes to copyright term in Canada by Jennifer Zerkee, Simon Fraser University library copyright specialist; and an article Interminable pause: Government must address harm caused by extension of copyright term by Mark Swartz, a scholarly publishing librarian an Queen’s University.)

Canadians used to feel good about the annual Public Domain Day, with its shorter copyright term than the U.S., said Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa. Now, the country is beginning to consider the ramifications of the new terms, including disruptions to digitization projects and the increased cost of materials that will remain under copyright for educational institutions.

“Not having an enriched public domain for 20 years creates some real harms,” said Geist, who is also a member of the Internet Archive Canada board. “The vast majority of works that have no commercial value at the end of their life will be locked down for an additional 20 years.”

The change will limit access to little-known Canadian authors whose works are often out of print, Mills said. (See her blog post: A Missed Opportunity to Revive Obscure Canadian Literature – Internet Archive Canada)

The policy change was buried in a budget bill and there was no public announcement, leaving many Canadians unaware, Geist said.

The extended protection was agreed to as part of closed trade negotiations, said Peter Routhier, a copyright attorney who is on the Internet Archive’s policy team. That kind of negotiation does not follow the same sort of open process as a democratic legislature. In these kinds of settings, commercial interests are often prioritized, and there are very few ways for the public to engage, he said.

Mills said these recent changes by the government have an “overall chilling effect” on copyright policy.

Before the copyright terms were extended, the Canadian government did hold hearings to consider registration solutions and exceptions to works entering the public domain. In the end, those proposals were not adopted.

When looking at thousands of works, there is value in the overall collective rights for the authors, Geist said. But, he noted, there are also education costs to acquire works and loss of creativity to revise works in new ways when materials remain under copyright.

“It’s hard to be optimistic,” Geist said. “But it’s in the realm of possibility the government could consider some [copyright exceptions], particularly for groups like librarians, archives, and museums. “The government has not shown a lot of interest in this issue. If anything, it has sort of done its best to try to keep it below the radar screen. We’ll have to wait and see.”

To advance the public interest, librarians in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere are pushing for reforms to licensing agreements to e-books. With the pause for new works entering the Canadian public domain, advocacy to make knowledge open by default is even more important. 

The events in Canada are a reminder that what is—and isn’t—in the public domain is ultimately a policy decision and vigilance is needed to ensure the public interest is elevated in policy conversations about copyright.

Tune in to learn more about Public Domain Day at an event hosted by the Internet Archive in collaboration with partner organizations on January 19 at 4 p.m. ET. Register here. This year’s event will celebrate the theme, “The Best Things in Life Are Free,” and feature a host of entertainers, historians, librarians, academics, activists, and others.

[Cross posted with SPARC]

Welcoming 1927 to the Public Domain

This year we are welcoming works from 1927 into the public domain in the United States, including books, periodicals, sheet music, and movies

Big events of 1927 include the first transatlantic phone call from New York to London, the formation of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the first successful long distance demonstration of television, the release of the first popular “talkie,” The Jazz Singer, and the first nonstop transatlantic solo airplane flight, from New York to Paris, by Charles Lindbergh.

Movies

Despite the popularity of The Jazz Singer, movies were still mostly silent in 1927, including the gorgeous Metropolis by Fritz Lang. Laurel and Hardy’s first film, Putting Pants on Phillip, was released that year, along with an early Gary Cooper Western, Nevada, Joan Crawford in Spring Fever, Mary Pickford in My Best Girl, Clara Bow in Get Your Man, and Cecil B. DeMille’s King of Kings.

I was particularly taken with No Man’s Land, which gives top billing to a horse (Rex the Wonder Horse, in case you were wondering – if you’d like to follow his career he also starred in The King of Wild Horses and Black Cyclone). 

Or we can time travel with Koko the Clown in Koko in 1999 where they apparently thought that at the turn of the last century everything would happen via automation and you’d get a wife from a vending machine for 25 cents.  

Music

No new recorded music enters the public domain in the US this year — the next group of recorded music becomes available in 4 years, due to how the music modernization act is written — but we do have some fun new sheet music to explore. The biggies that are most remembered today are probably The Best Things in Life Are Free and I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream. But you should also take some time to play Dream Kisses, The Desert Song, My Ohio Home, and Girl of My Dreams.

Periodicals

Thousands of issues of periodicals from 1927 are entering the public domain, some from titles that are still well known today like:

You may also want to check out copies of The American Girl (published by the Girl Scouts), check up on the financial markets leading up to the Great Depression in the The Financial Times, or research bling in The Jewelers Circular.

Books

The Sherlock Holmes books came to an end in 1927, and with it the release of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan-Doyle (vol I and vol II). Other biggies include Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather and Mosquitoes by William Faulkner.

But as always, the most fun is to be had perusing the books from 1927 for hidden gems. Enjoy the gorgeous art deco designs in Ideas & studies in stencilling & decorating, for instance.

Some other fun titles include

Celebrate Public Domain Day

You can join us to celebrate public domain day two ways this year, virtually or in person.

We are having a virtual party on January 19, 2023 at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern. REGISTER FOR THE VIRTUAL EVENT HERE!

And the next day we will have an in-person Film Remix Contest Screening Party on January 20, 2023 at 6pm at 300 Funston Ave in San Francisco, to watch this year’s Public Domain Day Remix Contest winning entries. REGISTER FOR THE IN-PERSON PARTY IN SAN FRANCISCO HERE!

2022 Empowering Libraries Year in Review

The Internet Archive launched the Empowering Libraries campaign in 2020 to defend equal access to library services for all. Since then, threats to libraries have only grown, so our fight continues. As 2022 draws to a close, here’s a look back through some of our library’s milestones and accomplishments over the year.

In the news

  • When the war in Ukraine started, volunteers began using the Wayback Machine and other online tools to preserve Ukrainian websites and digital collections. The effort, Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO), now has more than 1,500 volunteers working to preserve more than 5,000 web sites and 50TB of data. 
    • Watch a compelling story about SUCHO from CBS News featuring Quinn Dombrowski, one of the project leaders from Stanford University, and Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine.
    • In May, we partnered with Better World Books on a book drive supporting Ukrainian scholars. BWB customers were able to donate $1 at checkout to acquire books cited in the Ukrainian-language Wikipedia for the Internet Archive to preserve, digitize, and link to citations in Wikipedia.
  • In October, we introduced Democracy’s Library, a free, open, online compendium of government research and publications from around the world. We hosted an in-person celebration that highlighted the critical importance of free and open access to government publications, and have continued framing out what Democracy’s Library is and why it’s necessary.
  • Internet Archive Canada opened its new headquarters in Vancouver, BC, alongside the Association of Canadian Archivists 2022 Conference.
  • More than 1,000 authors have spoken out on behalf of libraries, demanding that publishers and trade associations put the digital rights of librarians, readers, and authors ahead of shareholder profits. 
  • In a tumultuous year on social media, Internet Archive has added a Mastodon server. Why? We need a game with many winners, not just a few powerful players.
  • In an OpEd for TIME, Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive, warned, “the instability occasioned by Twitter’s change in ownership has revealed an underlying instability in our digital information ecosystem.”

The internet reacts to the lawsuit against our library

  • On July 7, 2022, the Internet Archive filed a motion for summary judgment, asking a federal judge to rule in our favor and end a radical lawsuit, filed by four major publishing companies, that aims to criminalize library lending. Check out the Hachette v. Internet Archive page at EFF for all filings and resources.
  • We hosted a press conference on July 8 about the lawsuit featuring statements from Brewster Kahle (Internet Archive) and Corynne McSherry (EFF), plus powerful impact statements from medical school librarian Benjamin Saracco and author and editor Tom Scocca.
  • Interest in the lawsuit crossed over into mainstream channels following a viral tweet about the filing, which kicked off a lengthy online conversation about library rights, digital lending and digital ownership.
  • After a series of standard filings across the summer and early fall, on October 8, Internet Archive filed the final brief in support of our motion for summary judgment, asking the Court to dismiss the lawsuit because our lending program is a fair use.
  • What does the lawsuit mean for the future of libraries? Internet Archive’s policy counsel, Peter Routhier, considers how the publishers view libraries based on their filings.
  • Check out the Hachette v. Internet Archive page at EFF for all filings and resources.
  • One message really resonated online—people were surprised to learn that the Internet Archive has a physical archive that preserves all the physical books we’ve acquired and digitized. 

eBooks, #OwnBooks & digital ownership

  • 2022 might go down as the year that people started to really understand what it means when libraries & individuals can no longer own content, like when streaming-only content vanishes from media platforms.
  • Musician Max Collins wrote in Popula how “owning media is now an act of countercultural defiance,” walking readers through his first-hand example of how the streaming model doesn’t work for artists, only corporations.
  • Brewster Kahle published, “Digital Books wear out faster than Physical Books,” countering the notion put forward by publishers that ebooks don’t wear out. In fact, Brewster notes that ebooks require “constant maintenance—reprocessing, reformatting, re-invigorating or they will not be readable or read.”
  • Brewster’s post sparked the interest of LA Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik, who expanded on the issues around digital ownership in “Here’s why you can’t ‘own’ your ebooks.”
  • To celebrate why it’s important to own books, and to help bring visibility to issues around digital ownership, we launched the participatory #OwnBooks campaign, which invited people to share photos with the oldest book, or most treasured volume, from their personal collection, like this signed copy of The Phantom Tollbooth.
  • Author Glyn Moody published his latest book, Walled Culture, as a free ebook that you can download and own, or as a physical book that you can purchase in print.
  • More publishers joined the movement to sell—not license—ebooks to libraries, including independent publisher 11:11 Press.

The future of libraries

  • In February, we launched Library as Laboratory, a new series exploring the computational use of Internet Archive collections. The series included segments from digital humanities scholars, computational scientists, web archiving professionals and other researchers.
  • To help librarians and other information professionals better understand the decentralized web, Internet Archive partnered with the Metropolitan New York Library Council, DWeb, and Library Futures for a six-part series, Imagining a Better Online World: Exploring the Decentralized Web
  • During this year’s National Library Week, we invited readers to Meet the Librarians who work at the Internet Archive, highlighting the new roles our librarians lead in support of our mission, “Universal Access to All Knowledge.”
  • Internet Archive joined with Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation and others in the Movement for a Better Internet, a collaborative effort to ensure that the internet’s evolution is guided by public interest values.
  • Lila Bailey, Internet Archive’s senior policy fellow, and Michael Menna, policy fellow from Stanford University, released their report,”Securing Digital Rights for Libraries: Towards an Affirmative Policy Agenda for a Better Internet,” regarding libraries’ role in shaping the next iteration of the internet

Milestones

  • Dave Hansen, one of the authors of the white paper on controlled digital lending, was named the new executive director of Authors Alliance.
  • Carl Malamud received this year’s Internet Archive Hero Award for his lifelong mission to make public information freely available to the public.
  • We hosted the first in-person Library Leaders Forum in three years, preceded by a virtual Forum that brought together hundreds of digital library enthusiasts to explore issues related to digital ownership and the future of library collections.
  • We hosted a joint webinar with OCLC about our resource sharing pilots, including how to request articles from the Internet Archive via interlibrary loan.
  • The Music Library Association made its publications openly available at Internet Archive.
  • We began gathering content to support the newly announced Digital Library of Amateur Radio and Communications (DLARC), and then quickly surpassed 25,000 items in the collection.
  • DISCMASTER, a new software tool, allows users to search across the contents of the tens of thousands of archived CD-ROMs at the Internet Archive.
  • In August we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Live Music Archive with a historical tour of the effort, which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of live sets available for listening at archive.org.

Donations

  • Colgate University donated more than 1.5 million microfiche cards for preservation and digitization, covering topics including Census data, documents from the Department of Education, Congressional testimony, CIA documents, and foreign news translated into English.
  • Facing an uncertain future, Hong Kong bookstore owner Albert Wan closed his pro-democracy, independent bookstore and donated the books to the Internet Archive for preservation and digitization.
  • Do you have physical collections you’d like to donate to the Internet Archive? Check out our help document.

Book talks

Book Talk: Internet for the People

Join Internet Archive’s senior policy counsel LILA BAILEY in conversation with author BEN TARNOFF about his book, INTERNET FOR THE PEOPLE: THE FIGHT FOR OUR DIGITAL FUTURE.

JANUARY 12 @ 6PM PT
THIS EVENT WILL BE HELD IN-PERSON AT THE INTERNET ARCHIVE, 300 FUNSTON AVE, SAN FRANCISCO. THE DISCUSSION WILL BE RECORDED.

REGISTER NOW

Why is the internet so broken, and what could ever possibly fix it? The internet is broken, Tarnoff argues, because it is owned by private firms and run for profit. Google annihilates your privacy and Facebook amplifies right-wing propaganda because it is profitable to do so. But the internet wasn’t always like this—it had to be remade for the purposes of profit maximization, through a years-long process of privatization that turned a small research network into a powerhouse of global capitalism. Tarnoff tells the story of the privatization that made the modern internet, and which set in motion the crises that consume it today.

SESSION RECORDING

If you can’t make it to our in-person event, the discussion will be recorded and available for viewing the next day. To receive a notification when the recording is available, select the “Watch Recording” free ticket at registration.

Book Talk: Internet for the People
IN-PERSON AT THE INTERNET ARCHIVE
January 12, 2023 @ 6pm PT
Register now for the free, in-person event

Recap: Data Cartels Book Talk

Sarah Lamdan was working as an academic law librarian at the City University of New York in 2017 when something concerning caught her eye. 

“I was really startled and confused because I didn’t understand how Lexis and Westlaw would be doing ICE surveillance,” said Lamdan, who wondered about the potential impact on the campus’ immigrant population and her role as a librarian in giving away data.

Lamdan and a colleague wrote a blog for the American Association of Law Libraries raising questions. However, within minutes, at the “advice of legal counsel,” the post was removed, Lamden said. She didn’t know why they were not allowed to raise the issue, and her quest for answers began.

“It made me really, really curious,” Lamdan said. “That started this five-year course of research to unpack what these companies really are, what they’re doing, how they can be the main legal information providers and also be building surveillance systems.”

She shares her findings in “Data Cartels: The Companies that Control and Monopolize Our Information” published in November by Stanford University Press. Lamdan talked about her book with SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph at an online webinar November 30 sponsored by the Internet Archive and the Authors Alliance. [Recording available here

Watch Session Recording

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was building an invasive data surveillance system and journalists reported that Thomson Reuters and LexisNexis were interested in participating. She quickly realized that those were the parent companies of the gold-standard legal databases, Westlaw and Lexis, that Lamdan regularly taught students to use.

The book chronicles the unregulated underworld of a few companies that operate as “data cartels,” highlighting how selling data and informational resources perpetuate social inequalities and threaten the democratic sharing of knowledge.

In her research, Lamdan, who has a law degree and master’s in library science, said she was surprised to discover the scope of the enterprises and ways they leveraged users’ personal data without consent. 

“I saw Lexis and Westlaw as these little mom-and-pop legal information expert shops that gave us tote bags and helped sponsor our annual meeting,” Lamdan said. “I didn’t realize that they are actually parts of these multi-billion-dollar giant corporations that are basically like informational warehouses.”

The library community has been increasingly concerned about companies’ commoditization of research, said Joseph, and the book spells about the trend with a sense of urgency.

“We think of these companies as content providers, but they’re more than that,” Joseph said. “They have a multiplicity of companies that have different functions under the umbrella company name and what those divisions do is critically important. For example, having one company essentially, owning the legal corpus of the United States and then controlling the data of people who access that information and distributing it is unbelievable.”

Purchase from the publisher, Stanford University Press

Too often, people view legal or academic publishers as benign distributors of useful information, Joseph said, but it is big business driven by profit. Companies are increasingly seeing opportunities to expand their services and become data analytic brokers. With so much information in the hands of so few players, these companies have a stronghold over predictive platforms affecting people’s privacy, health and finances. 

Information is a unique commodity, Lamdan said, because one information product cannot be replaced with another similar product. Libraries can’t merely unsubscribe to these services or journals because students and attorneys rely on the unique informational products they provide. This has created a classic monopoly problem where consumers have little choice about which products they use, which Lamdan said should be addressed.

“Together, these companies are pivoting from publishing, towards data analytics. They are changing the way our information systems work and the way their markets work,” Lamdan said in the online talk. “They are acting in a way that drives us from information access to these closed walled garden data analytics systems that exploit our personal data and limit access to certain types of information.”

Lamdan is clear that there is no one fix to address the concentration of power in these information companies. She does, however, suggest that federal antitrust laws be revisited and revised to better address digital and data problems. Regulators could intervene to say that companies should not be allowed to be in both the business of providing critically important information to the public, and the business of selling personal data products to the government simultaneously.

Joseph said the broader community can break its dependency on these companies by expanding open access and creating an infrastructure that does not rely on commercial enterprises for information. Approaching knowledge as a public good, rather than a private commodity, can also shift the framework for how information is disseminated.

To find out more about Lamdan’s book or to purchase a copy, click here.

Internet Archive Releases Report on Securing Digital Rights for Libraries

We are excited to announce the release of our report, “Securing Digital Rights for Libraries: Towards an Affirmative Policy Agenda for a Better Internet,” and the culmination of a months-long process consulting with leading experts from libraries, civil society, and academia regarding libraries’ role in shaping the next iteration of the internet. The Internet Archive did this work in collaboration with the Movement for a Better Internet, so as to help model how this community can work together towards building an internet centered on public interest values.

You can download and read the free, openly-licensed report HERE.

The consultation focused on two core questions: How can libraries (1) sustain their traditional societal function and (2) build on their strengths to support a better information ecosystem in the 21st Century? Participants discussed a wide range of challenges, including consolidation in the publishing industry, mis/disinformation, and providing equitable access to information despite these obstacles. The conversation was anchored in libraries’ traditional support of public interest values—i.e. democracy, equity, diversity and inclusion, privacy, freedom of expression, and more.

The key takeaway from this consultation process is simple: The rights that libraries have always enjoyed offline must also be protected online. The report articulates a set of four digital rights for libraries, based on the core library functions of preserving and providing access to information, knowledge, and culture. Specifically, if libraries are to continue ensuring meaningful participation in society for everyone in the digital era, they must have the rights to:

  • Collect digital materials, including those made available only via streaming and other restricted means, through purchase on the open market or any other legal means, no matter the underlying file format;
  • Preserve those materials, and where necessary repair or reformat them, to ensure their long-term existence and availability;
  • Lend digital materials, at least in the same “one person at a time” manner as is traditional with physical materials;
  • Cooperate with other libraries, by sharing or transferring digital collections, so as to provide more equitable access for communities in remote and less well-funded areas.

The report is intended as a guide for meaningful policy discussions among librarians, public interest advocates, and lawmakers. We encourage you to read it and join us next Thursday, December 8th for a webinar discussion about the report with leaders from Internet Archive, Public Knowledge, Creative Commons, and the Association of Research Libraries. Come with your feedback, questions, and ideas for translating the conclusions of the report into actionable policy goals. We also encourage you to check out the Movement for a Better Internet, and join us there as we continue to work with different communities to build an internet that works better for everyone.

The Best Things in Life Are Free: Two Ways to Celebrate Public Domain Day in 2023

The moon belongs to everyone, so says the 1927 hit musical composition, “The Best Things In Life Are Free.” We agree! In January of 2023, a treasure trove of new cultural works will become as free as the moon and the stars, and we at Internet Archive, Creative Commons and many other leaders from the open world plan to throw a party to celebrate!

Next year, works published in 1927 will join the myriad creative building blocks of our shared culture heritage. The public domain will grow richer with books from authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Marcel Proust, and Virginia Woolf, silent film classics like the controversial The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson and Fritz Lang’s dystopian Metropolis, and snappy musical compositions like You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream.

You can welcome new public domain works and party with us two ways:

Join us for a virtual party on January 19, 2023 at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern time where we will celebrate our theme, The Best Things In Life Are Free, with a host of entertainers, historians, librarians, academics, activists and other leaders from the open world, including additional sponsoring organizations Library Futures, SPARC, Authors Alliance, Public Knowledge, and the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain. REGISTER FOR THE VIRTUAL EVENT HERE!

The Internet Archive will also host an in-person Film Remix Contest Screening Party on January 20, 2023 at 6pm at 300 Funston Ave in San Francisco. We will celebrate 1927 as founding year of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, while watching this year’s Public Domain Day Remix Contest winning entries, eating popcorn and ice cream. Come dressed in your best golden age of Hollywood inspired costume and walk the red carpet with the Internet Archive as we celebrate the entry of “talkies” into the public domain. REGISTER FOR THE IN-PERSON PARTY IN SAN FRANCISCO HERE!

Public Domain Day 2023 Remix Contest: The Internet Archive is Looking For Creative Short Films Made By You!

We are looking for artists of all levels to create and upload a short film of 2–3 minutes to the Internet Archive to help us celebrate Public Domain Day on 20 January 2023!

Public Domain Day is a celebration of all the rich materials that will be newly available to the public free of copyright restrictions. On January 1, 2023, most works published in 1927 will ascend into the Public Domain in the United States. We want artists to use this newly available content to create short films using resources from the Internet Archive’s collections from 1927. 

The uploaded videos will be judged and prizes of up to $1500 awarded!! (Please see details below)

Winners will be announced and shown at the in-person Public Domain Day Celebration at the Internet Archive headquarters in San Francisco on 20 January 2023. All other participating videos will be added to a Public Domain Day Collection on archive.org and featured in a blog entry in January of 2023.

Here are a few examples of some of the materials that will become public domain on January 1, 2023:

Possible themes include, but are not limited to:  

  • The Best Things in Life Are Free
  • Sleuthing the Public Domain
  • What can 1927 teach us about 2023?

Guidelines

  • Make a 2–3 minute movie using at least one work published in 1927 that will become Public Domain on January 1 , 2023. This could be a poem, book, film, musical composition, painting, photograph or any other work that will become Public Domain next year. The more different PD materials you use, the better!
    • Note: If you have a resource from 1927 that is not available on archive.org, you may upload it and then use it in your submission. (Here is how to do that). 
  • Your submission must have a soundtrack. It can be your own voiceover or performance of a public domain musical composition, or you may use public domain or CC0 sound recordings from sources like Openverse and the Free Music Archive.
    • Note: Sound recordings published before 1923 are in the public domain. Sound recordings published later than Jan 1, 1923 are NOT public domain, even if the underlying musical composition is, so watch out for this!
  • Mix and Mash content however you like, but note that ALL of your sources must be from the public domain. They do not all have to be from 1927. Remember, U.S. government works are public domain no matter when they are published. So feel free to use those NASA images! You may include your own original work if you put a CC0 license on it.
  • Add a personal touch, make it yours!
  • Keep the videos light hearted and fun! (It is a celebration after all!)

Submission Deadline

All submissions must be in by Midnight, 16 January 2023 (PST)

How to Submit

Prizes

  • 1st prize: $1500
  • 2nd prize: $1000
  • 3rd prize: $500

*All prizes sponsored by the Kahle/Austin Foundation

Judges

Judges will be looking for videos that are fun, interesting and use public domain materials, especially those from 1927. They will be shown at the in-person Public Domain Day party and should highlight the value of having cultural materials that can be reused, remixed, and re-contextualized for a new day. Winners’ pieces will be purchased with the prize money, and viewable  on the Internet Archive under a Creative Commons license.

  • Amir Saber Esfahani (Director of Special Arts Projects, Internet Archive)
  • Rick Prelinger (Board Member, Internet Archive, Founder, Prelinger Archives)
  • Yuanxiao Xu (Deputy Counsel, Creative Commons)

Previous Winners: