The Fight to Liberate the “Happy Birthday” Song, Told in a Short Documentary

≡ Category: Law, Music |1 Comment

You may have followed the story in the news lately–the song, “Happy Birthday to You,” has officially entered the public domain, thanks to a court battle fought by the documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson.


Artist Julie Green Paints the Last Suppers of 600+ Death Row Inmates on Ceramic Plates

≡ Category: Art, Food & Drink, History, Law, Life, Politics |Leave a Comment

What would you choose for your last meal?
The comfort food of your childhood?
Or some lavish dish you never had a chance to taste?
What might your choice reveal about your race, regional origins, or economic circumstances?
Artist Julie Green developed a fascination with death row inmates’ final meals while teaching in Oklahoma, where


Bound by Law?: Free Comic Book Explains How Copyright Complicates Art

≡ Category: Comics/Cartoons, Law |Leave a Comment

Let’s say you’re a filmmaker shooting a documentary in New York City. You wander through Times Square, through museums, through other destinations, letting your camera roll along the way.


Kandinsky, Mondrian, Munch & Fleming Entered Public Domain in 2015 — But Welles, Achebe, and “Purple People Eater” Didn’t

≡ Category: Art, Law |2 Comments

As you faithful readers of Open Culture know, we love nothing more than when important works of humankind fall into the public domain. According to current United States copyright law, a work stays out of the public domain for 70 years after its author’s death; for corporate “works-for-hire,” 95 years after its publication.


Edward Snowden Explains Why He Blew the Whistle on the NSA in Video Interview with Lawrence Lessig

≡ Category: Current Affairs, Law |Leave a Comment

Most likely everything you know about Edward Snowden’s unmasking of government surveillance programs has come through an indirect source — meaning, you haven’t had the chance to learn about Snowden’s motivations, thought processes, goals, etc. from Snowden himself. Here’s a chance to change that.


The Rise of the Patent Troll: An Animated Primer by Kirby Ferguson

≡ Category: Law, Media, Politics |Leave a Comment″>Rise

Recently, I’ve been spending time investigating copyrights, keen to find out if it’s cricket for me to impose my vision on certain authors’ long ago work.


What Books, Movies, Songs & Paintings Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?

≡ Category: Art, Books, Film, Law, Music |3 Comments

Every year, Duke University’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain highlights major works that would have entered the public domain had the copyright law that prevailed until 1978 still remained in effect today.


Sherlock Holmes Is Now in the Public Domain, Declares US Judge

≡ Category: Books, Law, Literature |3 Comments

Chief Judge Rubén Castillo of the United States District Court of the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that the characters and story lines used in 50 Sherlock Holmes texts published by Arthur Conan Doyle before Jan.


Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Discusses His Love for Reading Proust, and Why “Literature is Crucial to Any Democracy”

≡ Category: Law, Literature |2 Comments

Worth a quick note: The New York Review of Books has posted an intriguing interview with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who reflects on an important moment in his intellectual life — reading Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time) for the very  first time … in French.


Listen to Supreme Court Arguments on Prop 8 and DOMA Online

≡ Category: Current Affairs, Law |1 Comment

This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments about gay rights in America. And, no matter how the court decides, these cases will enter the history books.


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