Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Public Domain lives

Public Domain, the notion of work given freely to the public after the copyright has expired, almost expired thanks to Sonny Bono, the unlamented late congressional rep who extended copyright, AKA The Micky Mouse Act,, with aid from the Supremes, from 30 years to 70 years after the death of the person creating the work, something that would, in theory, prohibit the special theory of relativity from entering the PD space as Einstein died in 1955, which means said work, written in 1905, could not, in theory, enter the PD until 2025. 

But something's afoot with the introduction of The Public Domain Project from Pond 5, a new site presenting a wealth of free public domain content available for use by anyone from any country in the world. To pay for providing this treasure trove of material to the public, Pond 5, like Getty Images, does the royalty free stock art route to pay the bills, a tradeoff that makes eminent sense to artists like yours truly. Note: There are many other sources of PD content as well beginning with NASA, JPL, The Smithsonian, Wikipedia along with PD works made available from the Library of Congress.

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