public domain in Adema 2009

ly devoted
to research into truth and meaning.’

Society of Control has a [library
section]( which contains works from
some of the biggest thinkers of the twentieth century: Baudrillard, Adorno,
Debord, Bourdieu, Deleuze, Habermas, Sloterdijk und so weiter, and so much
more, a lot in German, and all ‘typed out’ texts. The library section offers a
direct search function, a category function and a a-z browse function.
Dillemuth states that he offers this material under fair use, focusing on not
for profit, freedom of information and the maintenance of freedom of speech
and information and making information accessible to all:

_“The Societyofcontrol website site contains information gathered from many
different sources. We see the internet as public domain necessary for the free
flow and exchange of information. However, some of these materials contained
in this site maybe claimed to be copyrighted by various unknown persons. They
will be removed at the copyright holder 's request within a reasonable period
of time upon receipt of such a request at the email address below. It is not
the intent of the Societyofcontrol to have violated or infringed upon any

![Vilem Flusser, Andreas Strohl, Erik Eisel Writings
andreas-strohl-erik-eisel-writings-2002.jpg?w=547)Important in this respect is
that he put the responsibility of reading/using/downloading the texts on his
site with the viewers, and not with himself: _“Anyone reading or looking at
copyright ma

public domain in Bodo 2015

ere far too valuable to
simply delete them from the servers. Instead, what happened to most of these collections was that they
retreated from the public view, back into the access-controlled shadows of darknets. Yesterday’s gophers
and anonymous ftp servers turned into closed, membership only ftp servers, local shared libraries residing
on the intranets of various academic, business institutions and private archives stored on local hard drives.
The early digital libraries turned into book piracy sites and into the kernels of today’s shadow libraries.
Libraries and other major actors, who decided to start large scale digitization programs soon needed to
find out that if they wanted to avoid costly lawsuits, then they had to limit their activities to work in the
public domain. While the public domain is riddled with mind-bogglingly complex and unresolved legal
issues, but at least it is still significantly less complicated to deal with than copyrighted and orphan works.
Legally more innovative, (or as some would say, adventurous) companies, such as Google and Microsoft,
who thought they had sufficient resources to sort out the legal issues soon had to abandon their programs
or put them on hold until the legal issues were sorted out.
There were, however, a large group of disenfranchised readers, library patrons, authors and users who
decided to ignore the legal problems and set out to build the best library that could possibly be built using
the digital technologies. Despite the increased awareness of rights holders to the issue of digital book
piracy, more and more communities around t

public domain in Bodo 2016

deal with the lack of access to
legal distribution channels, and running gray and black markets to survive in
a shortage economy (Bodó 2014b). Their skills and attitudes found their way to
the next generation, who now runs some of the most influential pirate
libraries. In a culture, where the know-how of how to resist information
monopolies is part of the collective memory, the Internet becomes the latest
in a long series of tools that clandestine information networks use to build
alternative publics through the illegal sharing of outlawed texts.

In that sense, the pirate library is a utopian project and something more.
Pirate librarians regard their libraries as a legitimate form of resistance
against the commercialization of public resources, the (second) enclosure
(Boyle 2003) of the public domain. Those handful who decide to publicly defend
their actions, speak in the same voice, and tell very similar stories. Aaron
Swartz was an American hacker willing to break both laws and locks in his
quest for free access. In his 2008 “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” (Swartz
2008), he forcefully argued for the unilateral liberation of scholarly
knowledge from behind paywalls to provide universal access to a common human
heritage. A few years later he tried to put his ideas into action by
downloading millions of journal articles from the JSTOR database without
authorization. Alexandra Elbakyan is a 27-year-old neurotechnology researcher
from Kazakhstan and the founder of Sci-hub, a piratical collection of tens of
millions of journal articles that provides unauthorized access to paywalled

public domain in Constant 2009

what has been
viewed before it. Thus YouTube makes no visible use of a particular viewing history (though the fact that this information is stored
has been brought to the attention of the public via the ongoing Viacom lawsuit,
In this way it's difficult to get a sense of being in a particular ‘story
arc' or thread when moving from clip to clip in YouTube as in a sense
each click and each clip restarts the narrative experience.
No licenses for sharing / reuse
The lack of a download feature in YouTube could be said to protect the interests of those who wish to assert a claim of copyright.
However, YouTube ignores and thus obscures the question of license
altogether. One can find for instance the early films of Hitchcock,
now part of the public domain, in 10 minute chunks on YouTube;
despite this status (not indicated on the site), these clips are, like all
YouTube clips, unavailable for any kind of manipulation. This approach, and the limitations it places on the use of YouTube material,
highlights the fact that YouTube is primarily focused on getting users
to consume YouTube material, framed in YouTube's media player, on
YouTube's terms.
Traditional models for (software) authorship
While YouTube is built using open source software (Python and
ffmpeg for instance), the source code of the system itself is closed,
leaving little room for negotiation about how the software of the
site itself operates. This is a pity on a variety of levels. Free and
open source software is inextricably bound to the web not only in
terms of providing many o

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 58, 71,
73, 81, 93, 98, 155, 215, 254, 275
Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike license
Dmytri Kleiner & Brian Wyrick, 2007. Anti-Copyright. Use as desired in whole or in part. Independent or collective commercial use
encouraged. Attribution optional.
Free Art License 38, 70, 75, 131, 143, 217
Fully Restricted Copyright 95






The text is under a GPL. The images are a little trickier as none of
them belong to me. The images from ap and David Griffths can
be GPL as well, the Scratch Orchestra images (the graphic music
scores) were always published ‘without copyright' so I guess are
public domain. The photograph of the Scratch Orchestra performance can be GPL or public domain and should be credited to
Stefan Szczelkun. The other images, Sun Ra, Black Arts Group
and Lester Bowie would need to mention ‘contact the photographers'. Sorry the images are complicated but they largely come
from a time before copyleft was widespread.






This publication was produced with a set of digital tools that are
rarely used outside the world of scientific publishing: TEX, LATEX and
ConTEXt. As early as the summer of 2008, when most contributions
and translations to Tracks in electronic fields were reaching their final
stage, we started discussing at OSP 1 how we could design and produce
a book in a way that responded to the theme of the festival itself. OSP
is a design collective working with Free Software, and our relation to
the software we design

f Constant, Association for Art
and Media, Brussels.
Translations: Steven Tallon, Anne Smolar, Yves Poliart, Emma Sidgwick
Copy editing: Emma Sidgwick, Femke Snelting, Wendy Van Wynsberghe
English editing and translations: Sophie Burm
Design: Pierre Huyghebaert, Femke Snelting (OSP)
Photos, unless otherwise noted: Constant (Peter Westenberg). figure 5-9: Marc
Wathieu, figure 31-96: Constant (Christina Clar, video stills), figure 102-104:
Leiff Elgren, CM von Hausswolff, figure 107-116: Manu Luksch, figure A-Q:
elpueblodechina, figure 151 + 152: Pierre Huyghebaert, figure 155: Cornelius
Cardew, figure 160-162: Scratch Orchestra, figure 153 + 154: Michael E. Emrick
(Courtesy of Ben Looker), figure 156-157 + 159: photographer unknown, figure
158: David Griffths, pages 19, 25, 35, 77 and 139: public domain or unknown.
This book was produced in ConTEXt, based on the TEX typesetting engine, and
other Free Softwares (OpenOffce, Gimp, Inkscape). For a written account of
the production process see The Making Of on page 323.
Printing: Drukkerij Geers Offset, Gent




Copyright © 2009, Constant.
Copyleft: this book is free. You can distribute and modify it according to the
terms of the Free Art Licence. You can find an example of this licence on the
site ‘Copyleft Attitude'
Copyleft : cette oeuvre est libre, vous pouvez la redistribuer et/ou la modifier selon les termes de la Licence Art Libre. Vous trouverez un exemplaire de
cette Licence sur le site Copyleft Attitude ainsi que sur
d'autres sites.
Copyleft: dit boek is een vrij werk. Je k

public domain in Constant 2015

u upload a .gml file, can you insert a licence?

Not yet. Right now there is not even a ‘private mode’ on the
000000book site. If you upload, everything is public. There is a lot of
interesting issues with respect to the licence that I have been reluctant to
deal with yet. Once you start talking too much about it, you will scare
off people on either side of the fence. I think that will have to happen at
some point but for now I have decided to refer to it as an ‘open database’
and I hope that people will play nicely, like I said.


But just imagine, what kind of licence would you need?

It might make more sense to go for a media-related licence than for
a code licence. Creative Commons licences would lend themselves easily
for this. People could choose non-commercial or pure public domain.
Does that make sense?


Tying the story to data

Well, yes but if you look at the objects that people share, we’re much
closer to code than to a video file?



Functionally it is code. But would a graffiti writer know what GPL

I am interested in the apprentice-system you were talking about earlier.
Like a young writer learning from someone else they admire. The GML
notation of x-y-time might help someone to learn as well. But would you
ever really copy someone else’s tag?

One of the reasons I think graffiti writing has this history of apprenticeship is because you don’t really have a chance to learn otherwise. You
don’t turn on the TV and see someone else doing it. You only see how it
is being written if you see other people actually do it. That was one of t

the eighties was to me a hack, a way to have giant paintings circulating in
the city ... There is a lot of room to explore there.

Your experience with the Blender community 14 did not sound like an
easy bridge?


Recently I released a piece of software that translates a .gml file and
translates it into a .stl file, which is a common 3D format. So you can
basically take a graffiti gesture and import it into software like Blender.
I used Blender because I wanted to highlight this tool, because I want
these communities to talk to each other.
So I was taking a tag that was created in the streets of Vienna and pulling
it into Blender and in the end I was exporting it to something that could


The Free Art and Technology (F.A.T.) Lab is an organization dedicated to enriching the
public domain through the research and development of creative technologies and media.
Release early, often and with rap music.
Blender is a free Open Source 3D content creation suite.


Tying the story to data

be 3D printed, to become something physical. The video that I posted intentionally showed online showed screenshots from Blender and it ended
up on one of the bigger community sites. I only saw it when my cousin,
who is a big Blender user, e-mailed me the thread. There is about a hundred dedicated Blender users discussing the legitimacy of graffiti in art
and how their tools are used 15 ; pretty interesting but also pretty conservative.

Why do you think the Blender community responded in that way?

It doesn’t surprise me that much. Graffiti is h

am entitled to do?

I have my reasons for which I would and would not use certain pieces
of data in certain contexts, but I like the fact that it is open for people
that might use it for other things, even if I would not push some of those
boundaries myself.

Even when I am sometimes disappointed by the actual closedness of
F/LOSS, at least in theory through its licensing and refusal to limit who is
entitled and who’s not, it is a liberating force. It seems GML is only half

I agree. I think the lack of that is related to the data. The looseness of
its licence makes it less of an invitation in a sense. If the people that put
data up there would sit down and really talk about what this means, when
they would really walk through all the implications of what it means to
public domain a piece, that would be great. I would love that. Then you
could use it without having to worry about all the morality issues and
people’s feelings. It would be more free.
I think it would be good to do a workshop with graffiti writers where
beyond capturing data, you reserve an hour after the workshop to talk to
everybody about what it would mean to add an open licence. I’ve done
workshops with graffiti writers and I talked to everyone: Look, I am
going to upload this tag up to this place where everyone can download them
after the workshop, cool? And they go cool. But still, even then, do I really
feel comfortable that they understand what they’ve gotten into? Even if
someone has chosen a ShareAlike licence, I would be nervous I think.
Maybe I am putting too much weight on it. People

a used in e-learning solutions.
And also often an argument for cutting down on teaching hours.

That actually is and isn’t true. You can and will (almost certainly) have
less and less traditional classes, but if the teachers and tutors are dedicated,

they will be more available than ever! This will mean that students and
teachers will be working together in a more informal relationship. But it
can also provoke an invasion of the personal space of teachers ...
It is hard to put a border when you are that much involved. I am
just thinking how you could use the community around Open Source
software to help out. I mean ... if the online teaching tools would be
open to others outside the school too, this would be the advantage. It
would also mean that as a school, you contribute to the public domain
with your classes and courses.

That is another question. I think schools should contribute to public
domain knowledge. Right now I am not sharing any of the knowledge
about implementing OSS on a school like ours with the community. But
if all goes well I’ll have this working by December 2006. I’m working on
a website where I can post the handbooks for workshops and other useful
I am really curious about your experiences. However convinced I am
of the necessity to do it, I don’t think it is easy to open education up to
the public, especially not for undergraduate education.

I do have my doubts too. If you look at it on a commercial perspective,
students are paying for their education ... should we share the same content
to everyone? Will other people explore these resourc

r project done the Belgian way.
We have developed a signage system, or actually a typeface, which is defined
through the strange material and construction work going on on site. We
use holes in the facade that are in fact handles of beer crates as connector
points to create a modular font that is somewhere between Pixacao graffiti
and Cuneiform script. It is actually a play on our long fascination with
engineered typefaces such as DIN 1451; mixing universal application with
specific materials, styles and uses – this all links back to our interest in Free
Besides producing the signage, OSP will co-edit and distribute a modest
publication documenting the whole process; it makes legible how this temporary yellow cathedral came about. And the font will of course be released
in the public domain.
It is not an easy project but I don’t know how much of it has to do with
our software politics; our commissioners do not really care and also we have
kept the production process quite simple on purpose. But by opening our
sources, we can use the platform we are given in a more productive way; it
makes us less dependent because the work will have another life long after
the deadline has passed.
On this project, and in relation to the seeming omnipresence in F/LOSS of the
idea that this technology is ‘universal’, how do you see that in relation to fonts,
and their longer history of standards?

That is indeed a long story, but I’ll give it a try. First of all, I think the idea
of universal technology appears to be quite omnipresent everywhere; the
mix-up between ubiquitousness a

public domain in Dekker & Barok 2017

ld library and
Sebastian resuscitated Besides that, there are
overlaps in titles hosted in each library, and Monoskop bibliographies extensively link to scans on Libgen and Aaaaarg,
while artists’ profiles on the website link to audio and video
recordings on UbuWeb.




It is interesting to hear that there weren’t any archivist or
professional librarians involved (yet), what is your position
towards these professional and institutional entities and

As the recent example of Sci-Hub showed, in the age of
digital networks, for many researchers libraries are primarily free proxies to corporate repositories of academic
journals.9 Their other emerging role is that of a digital
For more information see,
repository of works in the public domain (the role
news/2016/04/whosneered in the United States by Project Gutenberg and
downloading-piratedInternet Archive). There have been too many attempts
Accessed 28 May 2016.
to transpose librarians’ techniques from the paperbound
world into the digital domain. Yet, as I said before, there
is much more to explore. Perhaps the most exciting inventive approaches can be found in the field of classics, for
example in the Perseus Digital Library & Catalog and the
Homer Multitext Project. Perseus combines digital editions
of ancient literary works with multiple lexical tools in a way
that even a non-professional can check and verify a disputable translation of a quote. Something that is hard to
imagine being possible in print.

I think it is interestin

public domain in Hamerman 2015

oskop, UbuWeb, and Public Library build a record of critical and
artistic discourse that is held in common, user-responsive and networkable.
Amateur librarians sustain these projects through technological ‘hacks’ that
innovate upon present archival tools and push digital preservation practices

Pirate libraries critique the ivory tower’s monopoly over the digital book.
They posit a space where alternative communities can flourish.

Between the cracks of the new information capital, the digital text-sharing
underground fosters the coming-into-being of another kind of information
society, one in which the historical record is the democratically-shared basis
for new forms of knowledge.

From this we should take away the understanding that _piracy is normal_ and
the public domain it builds is abundant. While these practices will continue
just beneath the official surface of the information economy, it is high time
for us to demand that our legal structures catch up.

public domain in Mars & Medak 2017

has acquired a smaller
humanities publisher Ashgate and shut it down in a matter of months (Save
Ashgate Publishing petition, 2015).
The system of academic publishing is patently broken. It syphons off public
funding of science and education into huge private profits, while denying living
wages and access to knowledge to its producers. This business model is legal, but
deeply illegitimate. Many scientists and even governments agree with this
conclusion – yet, situation cannot be easily changed because of entrenched power
passed down from the old models of publishing and their imbrication with
allocation of academic prestige. Therefore, the continuous existence of this model
commands civil disobedience.
PJ & AK: The Public Library project (Memory of the World, 2016a) operates
in various public domains including art galleries. Why did you decide to develop
The Public Library project in the context of arts? How do you conceive the
relationship between arts and activism?
MM & TM: We tend to easily conflate the political with the aesthetic.
Moreover, when an artwork expressedly claims political character, this seems to
grant it recognition and appraisal. Yet, socially reflective character of an artwork
and its consciously critical position toward the social reality might not be outright
political. Political action remains a separate form of agency, which is different than
that of socially reflexive, situated and critical art. It operates along a different logic
of engagement. It requires collective mobilization and social transformation.
Having said that, socially reflexive, situated and c

public domain in Medak, Sekulic & Mertens 2014

ow open them
from the Abbyy FineReader running in the Virtual Box, OCR them and export them into a PDF.
To use Abbyy FineReader transfer the output files in your 'out' out folder to the shared folder of the
VirtualBox. Then start the VirtualBox, start Windows image and in Windows start Abbyy
FineReader. Open the files and let the Abbyy FineReader read the files. Once it's done, output the
result into PDF.

Your road from a book on paper to an e-book is complete. If you want to maintain your library you
can use Calibre, a free software tool for e-book library management. You can add the metadata to
your book using the existing catalogues or you can enter metadata manually.
Now you may want to distribute your book. If the work you've digitized is in the public domain
(, you might consider contributing it to the Gutenberg
oject_Gutenberg_volunteer.3F ), Wikibooks ( ) or
If the work is still under copyright, you might explore a number of different options for sharing.

0. Before you start:
- loosen the book binding by opening it wide on several places
- switch on the scanner
- set up the cameras:
- place cameras on tripods and fit them tigthly
- plug in the automatic chargers into the battery slot and close the battery lid
- switch on the ca

public domain in Sekulic 2018

owledging responsibility for sci-hub
transformed what was seen as the act of illegality (piracy) into the act of
civil disobedience. In the context of sci-hub and Library Genesis, both
projects from the periphery of knowledge production, “copyright infringement
opens on to larger questions about the legitimacy of the historic compromise –
if indeed there ever even was one – between the labor that produces culture
and knowledge and its commodification as codified in existing copyright
regulations.”(6) Here, disobedience and piracy have an equalizing effect on
the asymmetries of access to knowledge.

In 2008, programmer and hacktivist Aaron Swartz published Guerilla Open
Access Manifesto triggered by the enclosure of scientific knowledge production
of the past, often already part of public domain, via digitization. “The
world's entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in
books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful
private corporations […] We need to download scientific journals and upload
them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.”(7)
On January 6, 2011, the MIT police and the US Secret Service arrested Aaron
Swartz on charges of having downloaded a large number of scientific articles
from one of the most used and paywalled database. The federal prosecution
decided to show the increasingly nervous publishing industry the lengths they
are willing to go to protect them by indicting Swartz on 13 criminal counts.
With a threat of 50 years in prison and US$1 million fine, Aaron committed
suicide on January 11, 2013. But he left us with an assignment – if you have
access, you have a responsibility to share with those who do not; “with enough
of us, around the world, we'll not just send a strong message opposing the
privatization of knowledge — we'll make it a thing of the past. Will you join
us?” (8) He pointed to an important issue – every new cycle of technological
development (in this case the move from paper to digital) brings a new threat
of enclosure of the knowledge in the public domain.

While “the core and the periphery adopt different strategies of opposition to
the inequalities and exclusions [digital] technologies start to reproduce”
some technologies used by corporations to enclose can be used to liberate
knowledge and make it accessible. The existence of projects such as Library
Genesis, sci-hub, Public Library/Memory of the World,, monoskop,
and ubuweb, commonly known as shadow libraries, show how building
infrastructure for storing, indexing, and access, as well as supporting
digitization, can not only be put to use by the periphery, but used as a
challenge to the normalization of enclosure offered by the core. The people
building alternative networks of distribution also build networks of support
and solidarity. Those on the peripheries need to 's

public domain in Stalder 2018

in highly developed capitalist and socialist societies,
and it did so for the same reason: the paradigm of "industrialism" had
reached the limits of its productivity. Unlike the capitalist societies,
which were flexible enough to tame the crisis and reorient their
economies, the socialism of the 1970s and 1980s experienced stagnation
until it ultimately, in a belated effort to reform, collapsed. See
Manuel Castells, *End of Millennium*, 2nd edn (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell,
2010), pp. 5--68.

[5](#f6-note-0005a){#f6-note-0005}  Felix Stalder, *Der Autor am Ende
der Gutenberg Galaxis* (Zurich: Buch & Netz, 2014).

[6](#f6-note-0006a){#f6-note-0006}  For my preliminary thoughts on this
topic, see Felix Stalder, "Autonomy and Control in the Era of
Post-Privacy," *Open: Cahier on Art and the Public Domain* 19 (2010):
78--86; and idem, "Privacy Is Not the Antidote to Surveillance,"
*Surveillance & Society* 1 (2002): 120--4. For a discussion of these
approaches, see the working paper by Maja van der Velden, "Personal
Autonomy in a Post-Privacy World: A Feminist Technoscience Perspective"
(2011), online.

[7](#f6-note-0007a){#f6-note-0007}  Accordingly, the "new social" media
are mass media in the sense that they influence broadly disseminated
patterns of social relations and thus shape society as much as the
traditional mass media had done before them.

[8](#f6-note-0008a){#f6-note-0008}  Kim Cascone, "The Aesthetics of
Failure: 'Post-Digital' Tendencies in Contemporary Computer Music,"
*Computer Music Journal* 24/2 (2000): 12--18.

[9](#f6-note-0009a){#f6-note-0009}  Florian Cramer, "W

public domain in Thylstrup 2019

thusiasm, whereas others, such as the Library of
Congress, saw a red flag pop up: copyright, one of the most fundamental
elements in the rights of texts and authors.19 The Library of Congress
questioned whether it was legal to scan and index books without a rights
holder’s permission. Google, in response, argued that it was within the fair
use provisions of the law, but the argument was speculative in so far as there
was no precedent for what Google was going to do. While some universities
agreed with Google’s views on copyright and shared its desire to disrupt
existing copyright practices, others allowed Google to make digital copies of
their holdings (a precondition for creating an index of it). Hence, some
libraries gave full access, others allowed only the scanning of books in the
public domain (published before 1923), and still others denied access
altogether. While the reticence of libraries was scattered, it was also a
precursor of a much more zealous resistance to Google Books, an opposition
that was mounted by powerful voices in the cultural world, namely publishers
and authors, and other commercial infrastructures of cultural memory.


Figure 2.2 Joseph K. O’Sullivan, Alexander Proudfooot, and Christopher R.
Uhlik. “Pacing and error monitoring of manual page turning operator.” U.S.
Patent 7619784B1. Assigned to Google LLC, Google Technology Holdings LLC.

While Google’s announcement of its cooperation with publishers at the
Frankfurt Book Fair was received without drama—even welcomed by many—the

is _the_ greatest obstacle against mass
digitization. Copyright effectively prohibits mass digitization of any kind of
material that is still within copyright, creating large gaps in digitized
collections that are often referred to as “the twentieth-century black hole.”
These black holes appear as a result of the way European “copyright interacts
with the digitization of cultural heritage collections” and manifest
themselves as “marked lack of online availability of twentieth-century
collections.” 33 The lack of a common copyright mechanism not only hinders
online availability, but also challenges European cross-border digitization
projects as well as the possibilities for data-mining collections à la Google
because of the difficulties connected to ascertaining the relevant
public domain and hence definitively flagging the public domain status of an

While Europeana’s twentieth-century black hole poses a problem, Europe would
not, as one worker in the EC’s Directorate-General (DG) Copyright unit noted,
follow Google’s opt-out mass digitization strategy because “the European
solution is not the Google solution. We do a diligent search for the rights
holder before digitizing the material. We follow the law.”35 By positioning
herself as on the right side of the law, the DG employee implicitly also
placed Google on the wrong side of the law. Yet, as another DG employee
explained with frustration, the right side of the law was looking increasingly
untenable in an age of mass digitization. Indeed, as she noted, the demands
for diligent search was making her work near impossible, not least due to the

eur librarians.”14 The
steadily accumulating numbers of added works, digital distributors, and online
access points expanded not only the range of the shadow collections, but also
their networked affordances. and its offshoots thus grew into an
influential node in the global mass digitization landscape, attracting both
political and legal attention.

### and the Law

Until 2004, deployed a practice of handling copyright complaints by
simply removing works at the first request from the authors.15 But in 2004 the
library received its first significant copyright claim from the big Russian
publisher Kirill i Mefody (KM). KM requested that Moshkov remove access to a
long list of books, claiming exclusive Internet rights on the books, along
with works that were considered public domain. Moshkov refused to honor the
request, and a lawsuit ensued. The Ostankino Court of Moscow initially denied
the lawsuit because the contracts for exclusive Internet rights were
considered invalid. This did not deter KM, however, which then approached the
case from a different perspective, filing applications on behalf of well-known
Russian authors, including the crime author Alexandra Marinina and the science
fiction writer Eduard Gevorkyan. In the end, only Eduard Gevorkyan maintained
his claim, which was of the considerable size of one million rubles.16

During the trial, Moshkov’s library received widespread support from both
technologists and users of, expressed, for example, in a manifesto
signed by the International Union of Internet Professionals, which among other
things t

e political
battles waged on its maps, has changed considerably. Google Books—which a
decade ago attracted the attention, admiration, and animosity of all—recently
metamorphosed from a giant flood to a quiet trickle. After a spectacle of
press releases on quantitative milestones, epic legal battles, and public
criticisms, Google apparently lost interest in Google Books. Google’s gradual
abandonment of the project resembled more an act of prolonged public ghosting
than a clear-cut break-up, leaving the public to read in between the lines
about where the company was headed: scanning activities dwindled; the Google
Books blog closed along with its Twitter feed; press releases dried up; staff
was laid off; and while scanning activities are still ongoing, they are
limited to works in the public domain, changing the scale considerably.3 One
commentator diagnosed the change of strategy as the demise of “the greatest
humanistic project of our time.”4 Others acknowledged in less dramatic terms
that while Google’s scanning activities may have stopped, its legacy lives on
and is still put to active use.5

In the present context, the important point to make is that a quiet life does
not necessarily equal death. Indeed, this is the lesson we learn from
attending to the subtle workings of infrastructure: the politics of
infrastructure is the politics of what goes on behind the curtains, not only
what is launched to the front page. Thus, as one engineer notes when
confronted with the fate of Google Books, “We’re not focused on shiny features
and things that are very visible to users.

public domain in Weinmayr 2019

ing had written a sequel to The
Catcher in the Rye. The sequel, 60 Years Later Coming Through The Rye, depicts
the protagonist Holden Caulfield’s adventures as an old man. In 2009, the US
District Court Judge in Manhattan, Deborah A. Batts, issued a preliminary
injunction indefinitely barring the publication, advertising or distribution
of the book in the US. See Sewell Chan, ‘Judge Rules for J. D. Salinger in
“Catcher” Copyright Suit’, The New York Times, 1 July 2009,

‘In a settlement agreement reached between Salinger and Colting in 2011,
Colting has agreed not to publish or otherwise distribute the book, e-book, or
any other editions of 60 Years Later in the U.S. or Canada until The Catcher
in the Rye enters the public domain. Notably, however, Colting is free to sell
the book in other international territories without fear of interference, and
a source has told Publishers Weekly that book rights have already been sold in
as many as a half-dozen territories, with the settlement documents included as
proof that the Salinger Estate will not sue. In addition, the settlement
agreement bars Colting from using the title “Coming through the Rye”; forbids
him from dedicating the book to Salinger; and would prohibit Colting or any
publisher of the book from referring to The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger, the
book being “banned” by Salinger, or from using the litigation to promote the
book.’ Andrew Albanese, ‘J. D. Salinger Estate, Swedish Author Settle
Copyright Suit’, Publishers Weekly, 11 January 2011,


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