[cc-community] Question to the Group about Public Domain
art at newmediarights.org
Fri Mar 20 21:16:21 EDT 2009
Thought I'd give this hypothetical a go...
2009/3/20 FolkPhilosophy.info <sobriquet at folkphilosophy.info>:
> Greetings group, and thank you for reading this,
> Here is a hypothetical question for you. Lets say I downloaded this video
> file here:
> Lets also say I edited it, put my business logos in it, make other changes,
> burned it to a DVD, and then sold it.
> I have questions regarding the above situation:
> 1) This is completely within the rights of the license displayed, correct?
> In fact, what are all the CC licenses that the above scenario would be
You must have a copyrighted work to use a Creative Commons license.
The indication made on the Internet Archive webpage is that the work
is in the public domain, not that it is using any of the Creative
Commons licenses. Creative Commons provides this logo for users to
identify and represent that works are in the public domain, but this
is not the same as the typical Creative Commons licenses (Having
specific license terms including requiring attribution and setting
various conditions regarding downstream use such as noncommercial, no
If this work really is in the public domain, the elements that are in
the public domain will stay in the public domain. The public domain
work as it is then would not be copyrightable, and therefore couldn't
be licensed under Creative Commons.
That said, the specifics of your use would determine if any possible
rights are created. However, even if you add material or make enough
changes to constitute a derivative work, any copyright you might get
would be limited to the subsequent expression you contributed/added.
Therefore any Creative Commons license would be limited as well to the
> 2) Do I need to cite my source? If yes, what format do I use? Is it
> sufficient to only site the Producer, or do I need to be more thorough?
If this work is really in the public domain, you are generally not
required to attribute in the United States. In the US, there is only
VARA and a few state laws protecting visual art (usually painting,
sculpture, etc and not audiovisual).
However, certain business practices may trigger laws such as unfair
competition or various torts, so your hypothetical of a user putting
logos on and selling the work may have legal consequences.
Also, many other countries have moral rights issues that may be
triggered by this type of use. (right to be attributed, right to
publish anonymously, right to maintain integrity of work) The
commercial exploitation aspect may be relevant to this analysis.
> 3) How can I trust that archive.org has the proper license for this video?
I find this video showing up all over the Internet on public domain
blogs, file storage websites, bittorrent websites, etc. I'm not sure
of any 100% proof way one can ensure a work is in the public domain
but you can always refer to this helpful chart. The work you point to
was apparently published around 1952, so the 1923 date which marks
works that are clearly in public domain is not operating (this doesn't
mean the work isn't public domain, just not as easy a question).
New Media Rights
3100 5th Ave. Suite B
San Diego, CA 92103
art at newmediarights.org
> In gratitude,
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