The New York Public Library is a treasure trove of public domain images. Among them are the Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings, which have images of space as observed throughout the late 1800s. Above is Mars from 1877, which looks less like we see in NASA images and more like an artist’s impression an octopus stuck in a…
While it’s easy to forget just how many things are actually in the public domain, the New York Public Library is very much into making sure that its collection is as available as possible. Which is why over 187,000 public domain images were put online today.
Under a full moon, the demons gather in a circle. They dance until a mysteroius power lifts them off the ground, and they float above us all. What do you think is happening in this picture? And what happens to the people who encounter these demons?
I don’t know what to tell you. It is what it is.
It’s a folktale that’s been reworked and re-told for centuries. Disney’s making it into an animated film slated for next year (the live-action version is scheduled for two years after that). The monk, caught in a life of contemplation, hears a sound in the kitchen. Grabbing a spoon for protection, he encounters a…
Do you remember when the Moon was conquered in 1889 and, to cement their victory, a number of giant dishes were erected?
The British Library has used its flickr page to upload over a million obscure images that have passed into the public domain. It is an amazing collection, and I’m going to be featuring a bunch of them in the coming weeks.
Supersymmetry is a short film made by Trent Jaklitsch as an ode to his father. But really, it's an inspirational tale for all of us. Using personal footage from his childhood along with NASA archival footage and other publicly available clips, he stitches together a story about how the universe created us and how we…
Some older fictional characters turn up again and again and again: Count Dracula and his foes, Victor Frankenstein, Dorothy Gale and the denizens of Oz. But Western literature's public domain is filled with excellent characters, many who deserve a bit more limelight.
Current US law extends copyright for 70 years after the date of the author's death, and corporate "works-for-hire" are copyrighted for 95 years after publication. But prior to the 1976 Copyright Act (which became effective in 1978), the maximum copyright term was 56 years—an initial term of 28 years, renewable for…
Below the jump is the only remaining fragment of Winsor McCay's 1921 animation The Centaurs. It was produced by Rialto Productions and there's a certain charm to it. Except for the centaur foal at the end, which is just creepy.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has put a collection of 400,000 (and growing) images online and made it all available for free use.
If you've had a Sherlock Holmes in space novel idea kicking around your head, now might be a good time to start writing it. A United States federal judge has ruled that Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and other elements of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories are no longer covered by US copyright law.
As any steampunk will gleefully tell you, the Victorian era was a period of incredible discovery, where scientific breakthroughs occurred at an astonishing rate. Which was the perfect environment for a book like Scientific Amusements to be published - a hodgepodge of science, illusion, party tricks, naturalism, and…
Happy New Year! You know what would have made it even happier? The non-existence of the Copyright Act of 1976, which blocked classic works of film and literature from the public domain (and your laptop and e-reader) this January 1st.
Near my iPad's iBooks bookshelf sits a new vBookz bookshelf. It looks awfully similar, but it's much better stocked: It has every public domain novel and text-to-speech tech to read them aloud. But a true audiobook text-to-speech is not.
Here are 10 stories that belong to everybody, stories that still have plenty of juice in them — even if their earlier incarnations left something to be desired.
Graphic novel Channel Zero was a turn-of-the-millennium, visually-groundbreaking entry in the "corporate-dystopian America" genre, winning awards and making a name for its creator, writer/designer Brian Wood. Such was its success that a collection of sketches, mini-comics and preparatory design work for the graphic…