What Is Public Domain?

Surprisingly, some of my most liked posts are public domain poems. I’ll admit, I post them to keep myself from infringing copyright, but I also believe it is important to read from an historical standpoint. And I try to pick ones that have bearing on current events. Poetry is truly timeless.

So what exactly is the public domain? According to Copyright.laws.com, “they are works that are considered to be in the public domain are not protected by copyright. To be in the public domain means that the works can be used, copied, and distributed without any particular authorization from the copyright holder. This situation occurs when a copyright term expires or the rights themselves have been forfeited.”

In United States copyright law – each country and jurisdiction has its own – it is not a cut and dry date for all conditions of how and when a work is produced. Anonymous works can even be copyrighted. Cornell University hosts a downloadable PDF to explain conditions and dates. (Make sure to figure correct dates, based on the date of the PDF.)

Public Domain Day starts on January 1 of every year for all countries/jurisdictions depending on their own laws, and determines what goes into the public domain. Oregon has its own special case regarding unpublished works.

At the beginning of every year, you can surf the intenet and usually find a list of works that enter the public domain. For 2021, The Mary Sue entertains us with its list, along with the basics of when a work enters the public domain.

Creative Commons explains two different ways artists can choose to release their works into the public.

Copyright law protects an artist’s ability to receive recognition and financial reward from work that is created. But at some time in the future, they are released into the public for everyone’s benefit.

Feeds for a New Era

My blog post today may be old-hat to some, but because of the censorship issues today, I am revisiting it.

The technology of RSS feeds some consider to be old-hat, and they have been since the rise of social media. But they have been under the radar, not obsolete like others have proclaimed over the years. Twitter had a feed many years ago.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Netscape created it in 1999 under the different name of RDF Site Summary, and through the years it morphed into the current name.

The format is in XML language, which is a plain text file. Another file associated with RSS is OPML, which is XML’s outline format for exporting the feeds you have created in a feed reader for backup.

This is a screenshot of the XML feed icon from my website. Most icons are orange, but obviously they can be customized.

Feed readers consolidate feeds from websites that use this form of syndication. Blogs, podcasts, emails, websites, and news sites (this is not an exhaustive list) publish the XML files to their sites so that feed readers can pull in articles that are newly published. Most feed readers are free. Another file form of aggregating websites is called Atom. Most feed readers support both.

I will use mine to illustrate. I use the Linux program named QuiteRSS. (I have blogged about other programs, but like this one the best.) It allows you to add folders to organize subject matter. For example, I have folders called Oregon, News, Church, Writing, and Personal. I can update all at once, only certain folders, or certain sites. There is a rudimentary browser so that you can read the feeds on their home website. Or you can open an external browser to read articles. Filters are available to further help sort information. And the articles can be labeled or deleted as needed. I clean mine daily so I am not overwhelmed.

The fall of popularity of RSS, a decentralized form of gathering data for the user, instead traveled to companies centralizing data on us users, was planned? If so, it is time to stake our claims on the World Wide Web and raise the flag of our RSS mailboxes.

Moses’ Song of Praise

“I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted;
The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.
The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
The Lord is a warrior;
The Lord is His name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has thrown into the sea;
And the choicest of his officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
The waters cover them;
They went down into the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, Lord, is majestic in power;
Your right hand, Lord, destroys the enemy.
And in the greatness of Your excellence You overthrow those who rise up against You;
You send out Your burning anger, and it consumes them like chaff.
At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up,
The flowing waters stood up like a heap;
The depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoils;
I shall be satisfied against them;
I will draw my sword, my hand will destroy them.’
You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Who is like You among the gods, Lord?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?
You reached out with Your right hand,
The earth swallowed them.
In Your faithfulness You have led the people whom You have redeemed;
In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.
The peoples have heard, they tremble;
Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.
Then the chiefs of Edom were terrified;
The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan have despaired.
Terror and dread fall upon them;
By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone,
Until Your people pass over, Lord,
Until the people pass over whom You have purchased.
You will bring them and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance,
The place, Lord, which You have made as Your dwelling,
The sanctuary, Lord, which Your hands have established.
The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

Exodus 15:1-18 NASB