Patrimoine numérisé et Open Content : quelle place pour le domaine public dans les bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales ?

Auteur/Author : Laura Le Coz

Le mouvement d’ouverture des données dans lequel la France s’engage depuis 2011 témoigne d’une prise de conscience par les acteurs publics des enjeux de la réutilisation des données. Pourtant, les institutions culturelles sont longtemps restées a la traine de ce mouvement.

En ce qui concerne spécifiquement les reproductions numérisées d’oeuvres du domaine public, beaucoup d’institutions continuent de les soumettre a des conditions de réutilisation contraignantes,comme la loi les y autorise, du fait de l’assimilation de ces fichiers numériques a des données publiques.

Étant donné le caractère très hétérogène et souvent peu lisible des politiques de réutilisation a travers le paysage des institutions culturelles, ce mémoire vise d’abord a faire un état des lieux des pratiques des bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales, ainsi qu’un examen des raisons qu’elles font valoir en faveur des diverses politiques de réutilisation.

Il s’agira également d’éclaircir la situation juridique des bibliothèques numériques en analysant les nombreuses bases légales,plus ou moins solides, sur lesquelles elles s’appuient.

Puisque cette situation juridique a elle-même connu des évolutions récentes, il convient enfin de mettre en lumière les dynamiques de changement à l’œuvre, ainsi que les prises de position suscitées de divers côtés par la question du domaine public numérisé.

URL : Patrimoine numérisé et Open Content : quelle place pour le domaine public dans les bibliothèques numériques patrimoniales ?

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Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain

Authors : Yuenyong Nilsiam, Joshua M. Pearce

Although theoretically the patent system is meant to bolster innovation, the current United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is cumbersome and involves a significant time investment to locate inactive patents less than 20 years old.

This article reports on the development of an open source database to find these public domain ideas. First, a search strategy is explained. Then the operation and use of free and open source software are detailed to meet the needs of open hardware innovators.

Finally, a case study is presented to demonstrate the utility of the approach with 3-D printing. The results showed how the Free Inactive Patent Search enables users to search using plain language text to find public domain concepts and then provides a hyperlinked list of ideas that takes users to the USPTO database for the patent for more information.

All of the source code to operate the search and the website are open source themselves and provided in the public domain for free. In the case study on 3-D printing the time to identify public domain patents was cut by a factor of more than 1500.

This tool has the potential for accelerating the development of open hardware technologies to create high value for the public.

URL : Open Source Database and Website to Provide Free and Open Access to Inactive U.S. Patents in the Public Domain


The Valuation of Unprotected Works: A Case Study of Public Domain Photographs on Wikipedia

« What is the value of works in the public domain? We study the biographical Wikipedia pages of a large data set of authors, composers, and lyricists to determine whether the public domain status of available images leads to a higher rate of inclusion of illustrated supplementary material and whether such inclusion increases visitorship to individual pages. We attempt to objectively place a value on the body of public domain photographs and illustrations which are used in this global resource. We find that the most historically remote subjects are more likely to have images on their web pages because their biographical life-spans pre-date the existence of in-copyright imagery. We find that the large majority of photos and illustrations used on subject pages were obtained from the public domain, and we estimate their value in terms of costs saved to Wikipedia page builders and in terms of increased traffic corresponding to the inclusion of an image. Then, extrapolating from the characteristics of a random sample of a further 300 Wikipedia pages, we estimate a total value of public domain photographs on Wikipedia of between $246 to $270 million dollars per year. »


Enclosing the public domain: The restriction of public domain books in a digital environment

« This paper explores restrictions that are being applied to New Zealand public domain books once they have been digitized and hosted online. The study assesses access and usage restrictions within six online repositories, using a sample of 100 pre–1890 New Zealand heritage books. The findings indicate that new restrictions are being applied to works no longer protected by copyright. Out of the 50 titles that had been digitized, only three were hosted by repositories that do not restrict any type of subsequent use. Furthermore, 48 percent (24) were subject to access restrictions. Copyright law’s delicate balance between public and private interests is being eroded by the prevalence of online terms and conditions, which invoke the doctrine of contract law in an attempt to restrict the public domain and opt–out of limitations upon copyright. Furthermore, ambiguity surrounding the copyright status of some books is encouraging digitizers to adopt restrictive access policies, even when a work is highly likely to be in the public domain. Unless clear rules of online curatorship are articulated within legislation, previously liberated public domain works are at risk of being restricted by online intermediaries. »


The Digital Public Domain Foundations for an Open…

The Digital Public Domain : Foundations for an Open Culture :

« Digital technology has made culture more accessible than ever before. Texts, audio, pictures and video can easily be produced, disseminated, used remixed using devices that are increasingly user-friendly and affordable. However, along with this technological democratization comes a paradoxical flipside: the norms regulating culture’s use — copyright and related rights — have become increasingly restrictive. This book brings together essays by academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists… »


When Copyright Law and Science Collide: Empowering Digitally Integrated Research Methods on a Global Scale

Automated knowledge discovery tools have become central to the scientific enterprise in a growing number of fields and are widely employed in the humanities as well. New scientific methods, and the evolution of entirely new fields of scientific inquiry, have emerged from the integration of digital technologies into scientific research processes that ingest vast amounts of published data and literature. The Article demonstrates that intellectual property laws have not kept pace with these phenomena.

Copyright law and science co-existed for much of their respective histories, with a benign tradition of the former giving way to the needs of the latter. Today, however, the formidable array of legislative maneuvers to tighten the grip of copyright laws in defense of cultural industries whose business models were upended in the online environment have, deliberately or not, undermined the ability of the scientific community to access, use, and reuse vast amounts of basic knowledge inputs. Database protection laws, reinforced by electronic fences and contracts of adhesion, further subject copy-reliant technologies to the whims of publishers and hinder the pooling of publicly funded resources that empower collaborative research networks and the formation of science commons in general.

The authors analyze the different components of a complicated transnational legislative fabric that have changed world copyright law into a science-hostile environment. Given the global nature of digital scientific research, they focus attention on comparative laws that fragment research inputs into diversely accessible territorial compartments. This analysis shows that users of automated knowledge discovery tools will likely become collective infringers of both domestic and international property laws.

In response to this challenge, the authors discuss possible solutions to the problems that intellectual property laws have created for digitally integrated scientific research from two very different angles. First, the authors skeptically consider the kinds of legal reforms that would be needed if commercial publishers continued to act as intermediaries between producers and users of scientific information and data, as they do today, without regard to the likelihood that such reforms would ever be enacted.

The authors then reconsider the role of publishers and ask whether, from a cost-benefit perspective, it should be significantly modified or abandoned altogether. Finally, the authors examine alternative strategies that the scientific community itself could embrace in a concerted effort to manage its own upstream knowledge assets in ways that might avoid, or at least attenuate, the obstacles to digitally empowered scientific research currently flowing from a flawed intellectual property regime.

The Article concludes by stressing the need to bridge the current disconnect between private rights and public science, in the overall interest of both innovation and the advancement of knowledge.


The Myth of European Term Harmonisation 27 Public…

The Myth of European Term Harmonisation: 27 Public Domains for the 27 Member States :

« The term of protection of copyright and related rights is generally considered to be one of the best harmonised areas of European copyright law. However, close examination of the EU Term Directive’s intricate provisions reveals a piecemeal and permissive approach to harmonisation which preserves many differences between the national rules. In this report, four main sources of legislative variability are identified and analysed: a) contagion from unharmonised areas of substantive copyright law; b) explicit exceptions to the harmonisation of the term of protection; c) national related rights of unharmonised term; and d) incorrect implementation of the provisions of the Term Directive into national law.

As a result, the desired harmonising effect has not been fully achieved: although a single rule may be applicable across the EU in theory, drastically divergent terms of protection may attach to the same information product depending on the jurisdiction within which protection is sought. In this way, the territorial nature of copyright undercuts harmonisation efforts, forcing the public domain to contract and expand according to divergent national rules. The result is a legislative framework that makes cross-border rights clearance calculation difficult, hampering end-users and cultural heritage organisations from taking full avail of the new opportunities now technically available for the digitisation and exploitation of the public domain. If the EU wishes to establish a truly harmonised term of protection for copyright and related rights, a more committed and comprehensive approach will be a necessary. »