Sunday, January 07, 2007

Public Domain Registry? McLean delivers another instalment...

Almost a year ago, Access Copyright ("AC") announced - with great fanfare and some acclaim - a public domain registry project.

Some notable people and organizations were involved, especially Creative Commons ("CC") - both in the USA and Canada. I always wondered what was in this partnership for the CC organizations, since AC has no obvious particular expertise or comprehensive database of death dates to contribute to this effort. AC does have oodles of money - but I don't know why a Wiki-based project would need to cost a lot of money. CC would appear to have much more to contribute than AC. On the other hand, the halo effect of a partnership with Larry Lessig, CC, etc. for Access Copyright was quite obvious. Anyway, I and others have waited to see what might materialize. So far, I'm not aware of any more specifics or publicly announced deliverables, or even a timetable. I'm confident that the project was conceived in good faith and with much enthusiasm, and would serve a useful purpose if it ever materializes. But so far, it appears to remain at the announcement stage...

On the other hand, the redoutable Wallace McLean continues with his third annual edition of Public Domain Day 2007 - with a list of some notable (Billy Bishop, H.L. Mencken, etc.) and many forgotten creators whose work became part of Canada's proud public domain on January 1, 2007 and some material on US PD issues. And some good, trenchant commentary. Wallace doesn't have grants, committees, partnerships, or anything of the sort. What he lacks in resources, he makes up with resourcefulness and enthusiasm.


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