Archive for category: Public Domain Resources

Works of Shakespeare Copyrighted on Project Gutenberg?

September 24, 2010 | Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

As a followup to my earlier posting on the public domain, I noticed something rather curious. if you surf over to Project Gutenberg looking for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, you can look at the Copyright Status field, and it says “Copyrighted. Read the copyright notice inside this book for details.” Frown. Sure enough, […]

Teaching English, Ebooks, and the Public Domain

September 24, 2010 | Books I Read, Gutenberg Gems, Intellectual Property, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Forgive this slightly meandering diatribe, there are a few ideas that have been kicking around in my head, and today is the day I decided to try to give them form here on my blog. I’ve been thinking about three interwoven topics: the rather odd way we teach people “English” in high school, the oncoming […]

Gutenberg Gem: Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son, by John Mills

December 20, 2009 | Amateur Radio, electronics, Gutenberg Gems, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

I love old books, even  on technical subjects like radio.  Often, by looking at the books of the past, we find them more accessible (because there was less knowledge, they assume less as a precursor) and also possess considerable historical interest. Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son is a nice little book by John […]

Gutenberg Gem: Astronomical Instruments and Accessories, by Wm. Gaertner & Co.

December 10, 2008 | Astronomy, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

It’s been quite some time since I posted a “Gutenberg Gem”, a book from Project Gutenberg that might deserve some special attention. Today’s example contains a bunch of nice illustrations about telescopes and their associated astronomical instruments. Very nice. Not just traditional refracting telescopes, but also instruments like spectrum comparators and filar micrometers. The Project […]

Remember Girls!

December 7, 2005 | Link of the Day, Politics, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

The Free Information Society has links to a bunch of WWII era propaganda posters, including this rather amusing one linking promiscuity with dating Hitler. Holy crap. You can’t make stuff like this up.

Mars Rover Suspension Patent

April 26, 2005 | Public Domain Resources, Robotics, Toys and Gadgets | By: Mark VandeWettering

I ran across a reference to the patent on the wheel system used by NASA in their Mars Rovers, and thought that Patent 4,840,394 – Articulated Suspension System might be worth noting for future examination. A vehicle is provided which maintains a substantially constant weight, and therefore traction, on all wheels despite one wheel moving […]

FM 34-40-2 Basic Cryptanalysis

January 30, 2005 | Cryptography, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Interesting link of the day, courtesy of Boing Boing: FM 34-40-2 Basic Cryptanalysis. The truth is this kind of cryptography is pretty much of historical interest only, but I find historic codes to be, well, interesting.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

December 23, 2004 | Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

What can I say? It’s a cough cough classic, brought to you by

Digital Libraries Considered Bad

December 16, 2004 | Intellectual Property, Public Domain Resources, Rants and Raves, Stupidity | By: Mark VandeWettering

Sometimes, you just have to shake your head at the stupidity of people. Today’s installment comes from the editorial pages of the New York Times, where we find the following (registration required): To the Editor: Re “Google Is Adding Major Libraries to Its Database” (front page, Dec. 14): While having online access to some great […]

Google to Digitize Harvard University Library

December 14, 2004 | Intellectual Property, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Google is embarking on a pilot project to digitize and make available a large number of the 15 million books currently at the Harvard University Library. The goal is to make all of the public domain texts available. Wow. That’s awesome.

Charlie Chaplin Festival

December 9, 2004 | Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

The feature film section of has just released The Charlie Chaplin Festival, including the short films The Adventurer, The Cure, Easy Street and The Immigrant. Enjoy!

NPR : Political Speeches and the Public Domain

November 10, 2004 | Intellectual Property, Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

This morning Neda Ulaby of NPR reported on Political Speeches and the Public Domain, which covers a dilemma. Public speeches by politicians are normally considered to be in the public domain, but news networks recording such events often copyright their own recordings of these events, causing enormous difficulties for historians, students, and independent film makers […]

Bad Film? You are soaking in it!

October 30, 2004 | Public Domain Resources | By: Mark VandeWettering

Interested in fan films? Then try giving Attack of the Flesh-Eating Subterranean Bog-Monster from the Center of the Earth and Beyond the Moon: Apocalyptic Revenge! a try. (Link courtesy of Kevin).

Talking Boards Patents and Trademarks

August 19, 2004 | Link of the Day, Public Domain Resources, Quack of the Day, Stupidity | By: Mark VandeWettering

For some reason, I found a reference to an early patent on Ouija boards, and with a bit of digging, came up with this page of Talking Boards Patents and Trademarks. Most of these early patents declare it a game, rather than a legitimate way to contact the dead. Using pat2pdf, I extracted a few […]

How to ameliorate the outcome of Eldred v. Ashcroft

August 10, 2004 | Public Domain Resources, Rants and Raves | By: Mark VandeWettering

I’m nearing the end of Lessig’s Free Culture, and am at the point in the book where Lessig describes his loss in Eldred v. Ashcroft which challenged the consitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. It is very interesting on many levels: to see how Lessig strategized, to see what arguments were made […]