---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Inside Google Book Search <inside-book-search(a)google.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 2:54 PM
Subject: [Inside Google Book Search] U.S. copyright renewal records
available for down...
Posted by Jon Orwant, Engineering Manager, Google Book Search
If I handed you a book and asked whether it was in copyright or in the
public domain, you'd probably turn to the copyright page first.
Unfortunately, a copyright page can't answer that question definitively --
at best, it could tell you when the book in your hands was published, and
who owned the rights to it at that time. Ownership can change, though:
rights revert back to authors, and after enough time has passed, the book
enters into the public domain, letting people copy and adapt it as they
So how much time is "enough"? It
often depending on the country, on when the book was published, and whether
the author is living. For U.S. books published between 1923 and 1963, the
rights holder needed to submit a form to the U.S. Copyright Office renewing
the copyright 28 years after publication. In most
books that were never renewed are now in the public domain. Estimates of how
many books were renewed vary, but everyone agrees that most books weren't
renewed. If true, that means that the majority of U.S. books published
between 1923 and 1963 are freely usable.
How do you find out whether a book was renewed? You have to check the U.S.
Copyright Office records. Records from 1978 onward are online (see
http://www.copyright.gov/records) but not downloadable in bulk. The
Copyright Office hasn't digitized their earlier records, but Carnegie Mellon
scanned them as part of their Universal Library Project, and the tireless
folks at Project Gutenberg <http://pg.net> and the Distributed
Proofreaders<http://www.pgdp.net/c/>painstakingly typed in every word.
Thanks to the efforts of Google software engineer Jarkko Hietaniemi, we've
gathered the records from both sources, massaged them a bit for easier
parsing, and combined them into a single XML file available for download
There are undoubtedly errors in these records, but we believe this is the
best and most comprehensive set of renewal records available today. These
records are free and in the public domain, and we hope you're able to use
them to determine the copyright status of books that interest you.
At Google, we're committed to making as many books available online to users
as possible while respecting copyright, and this is one example of that
commitment. Watch this space for more to come.
Posted By Inside Google Book Search to Inside Google Book
6/23/2008 09:45:00 A
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As of today, the "FlaggedRevs" extension is available to any wiki
community that wishes to use it. FlaggedRevs is a tool for patrolling
changes, identifying high quality article versions, and changing the
default version shown to unregistered users. It's highly configurable.
As such, we're making it available in two configurations:
1) A minimally intrusive "patrolling" configuration;
2) Custom configurations per your request.
== Who needs this feature and where can I see it? ==
Larger wiki communities will probably benefit more from the use of
this feature than smaller ones. If you have problems keeping vandalism
in check, and/or want to experiment with new ways to identify high
quality content, you should look into this functionality.
You can see an English language demo installation of the feature at:
The feature is in production use on the German Wikipedia:
The German Wikipedia uses a custom configuration where the most recent
vandalism-patrolled version, if any, is shown to unregistered users.
You can track the progress of their use of the patrolling feature
== Patrolling Configuration ==
In the Patrolling Configuration, any user who has been registered for
more than 21 days and has made at least 150 edits will be
automatically given the permission to patrol changes for vandalism.
Only changes made by users who are not permitted to patrol changes
need to be patrolled.
In addition, sysops will be given the permission to flag versions of
"featured articles" in accordance with existing nomination processes.
(In other words, this gives you the ability to identify specific
_versions_ of an article as "featured", rather than the article as a
whole.) Finally, sysops will be permitted to define on a per-page
basis that changes need to be patrolled before being visible to
unregistered readers. This is an alternative to semi-protection; it
doesn't make sense to use both on a given page.
The use of these features is subject to policies that your wiki
community will need to develop. They should be used carefully until
such a policy is in place.
To activate the patrolling configuration,
1) File a request on http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org/ of type
"enhancement", component "site request". You may need to create a
BugZilla account to do this.
2) Title your request "Enable FlaggedRevs Patrolling Configuration on
(my project name)".
3) Post a link to your BugZilla request to your project's "Village
pump" and mailing list, if available.
If there are no objections on the BugZilla page, the request will be
considered valid after 7 days. (It may still take a while longer to
== Custom Configurations ==
The FlaggedRevs extension is highly flexible in its configuration. We
are willing to accommodate custom requests. Since some configurations
of FlaggedRevs could be considered highly disruptive, the requirements
are somewhat higher.
1) Read about the configuration options at:
and experiment with the live demo at:
2) Create a page in the "Project:" namespace (e.g. "Wikipedia:",
"Wikibooks:") of your wiki community describing the configuration you
want to use.
3) Create a BugZilla request as above, titled "Enable FlaggedRevs
custom configuration on (my project name)" pointing to the proposal
page you have created. Provide an English translation of all relevant
information if possible - or we may not be able to help you.
4) Post a link to your proposal and to the BugZilla request to the
various relevant channels of your wiki community, e.g. "village pump",
If there are no objections within 14 days, your request will be
considered valid. If there are objections, please try building
consensus. If necessary, you can also resort to a poll (a very large
majority, at least two thirds, is generally necessary).
Note that custom configurations will take longer to process, and might
sit in the technical support queue for several weeks.
Our developers will _only_ look at the information attached to the
BugZilla request, so please make sure that everything relevant is at
least linked from there.
== Translators needed ==
The user interface of the FlaggedRevs extension needs to be translated
into as many languages as possible. The extension can be localized
using http://translatewiki.net/ - please follow the instructions there
to become a translator.
== User interface developers needed ==
in improving the user interface experience (by improving the CSS or
adding AJAX features) would be appreciated. Just check out a fresh
copy of the MediaWiki code and the FlaggedRevs code and get started:
If you need committer access to our version control system, please
e-mail <commitaccess at wikimedia dot org>, attaching your SSH key and
desired username as per the above link.
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate