What Could Have Entered the Public Domain in 2015

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2015?

If the pre-1978 laws were still in effect, we could have seen 85% of the works published in 1986 enter the public domain on January 1, 2015. Imagine what that would mean to our archives, our libraries, our schools and our culture. Such works could be digitized, preserved, and made available for education, for research, for future creators. Instead, they will remain under copyright for decades to come, perhaps even…

10423747_942699349082389_2598201141165410008_n
6

About that Cough, Rough, Pony, Bologna Meme

Do the spellings of cough & rough, pony & bologna bug you, too? English evolves organically, without our permission. Words that look similar but are pronounced differently generally came to the language from different sources and/or at different times, by an organic process that is not controlled by people in smoky board rooms. In our day, private organizations such as dictionary publishers or the Associated Press do regularly make decisions on…

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 10.42.44 AM
2

Open Source College Math Book

One day last year, David Lippman got an interesting Google Alert. 1,300 miles away, fellow math professor James Sousa had created free video tutorials for almost every example question in David’s basic math textbook. James did all of that without asking for David’s permission: David had already given permission by licensing his work under a Creative Commons license. David loves getting that kind of news. He’s dedicated his career to…

Screen Shot 2014-10-06 at 5.16.34 PM
2

Jeff Bezos Plan for News: The Washington Post Becomes an Amazon Product

For the past few months, a group inside the Post has been working on a new application that will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine-style, tablet-friendly format. The application will come preinstalled on Amazon’s newly updated Kindle Fire tablet, expected to be launched later this fall with the larger 8.9-inch screen, according to people with knowledge of the Post’s plans. The…

Dennis G. Jerz | Associate Professor of English -- New Media Journalism, Seton Hill University | jerz.setonhill.edu
15

When a Textbook Plagiarizes Your Student’s Work

In a few days I’ll be gearing up to teach my freshman writing students about plagiarism. Not the “terrify them and make them fear punishment from the authorities” speech, but the “why people who work in a community of minds take plagiarism so seriousy” speech. How interesting, then, that I found a textbook published in 2009 that includes whole passages from a handout that a student originally submitted as a…

Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 10.49.17 AM

Weaving: Breathing: Thinking: The poetics of Emerson’s Nature

Text derives from texere, which means “to weave” and “to construct.” As Emerson states later in the essay, nature weaves texts: “A life in harmony with nature . . . will purge the eyes to understand her text . . . so that the world shall be to us an open book . . . ” (CWI 23). As Emerson writes later in “Goethe,” “All things are engaged in writing…

IMG_3672.PNG
3

Kids Actually Read the Books That Movies Are Based On

If the seasonal fluctuation represents teachers assigning the books during school, then much of the pattern has little to do with kid’s choices, but it does look like the release of the The Hunger Games movie (orange bar) did spark a lot of interest in people reading the books. It turns out that movie releases do in fact spur kids to read the books they’re based on. Just look at…