Prince and Copyright

Prince and Copyright

Posted by: on June 29, 2017   |Comments (0)|Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright disputes over Prince’s material and image have been making news, and two stories of note have emerged in recent months.

The first centers around a fair use debate (similar to the fair use case covered in an earlier post, regarding Shepard Fairey’s Obama HOPE poster and his use of a reference photo as inspiration for the piece). The estate of Andy Warhol has filed suit against New York City photographer, Lynn Goldsmith, as a preemptive strike against her to protect Warhol’s legacy; according to the NY Daily News, Goldsmith had been expected to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against the estate. Goldsmith alleges that Warhol used a photo she took of Prince in 1981 as inspiration for his Prince Series (created in 1984) without asking or crediting her.

The estate argues that Warhol’s appropriation of the photo was transformative enough to be considered new work (therefore, fair use under U.S. copyright law) and Goldsmith is ignoring this aspect in an extortion attempt. Estate lawyer, Luke Nikas, stated in court documents that, “Although Warhol often used photographs taken by others as inspiration for his portraits, Warhol’s works were entirely new creations. As would be plain to any reasonable observer, each portrait in Warhol’s Prince Series fundamentally transformed the visual aesthetic and meaning of the Prince Publicity Photograph.” When asked why she did not pursue legal measures at any point over the past 30 years, Goldsmith said that she was only made aware of the pieces in 2016, when Condé Nast published a special issue called, The Genius of Prince. The estate counters that she knew of the pieces as far back as 1984, when she granted permission to Vanity Fair to publish one of them.

Prince’s image isn’t the only thing sparking debate – his catalog of work is, as well. While his Warner Bros. music catalog was released earlier this year to digital streaming platforms, his videography remains largely inaccessible to the public due to copyright dispute. Will his full videography be made available at some point? And further, will the public ever gain access to the material in his Paisley Park estate’s storied vault? It’s been speculated that nearly all of the contents of the vault lack thorough rights contracts. Prince’s estate has been in flux for some time, as it battles to resolve contractual disputes with Universal and Warner over rights. Since his passing in April 2016, various issues involving rights have arisen – the hope is for speedy resolution to all issues of copyright, so the public may freely access his work. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Copyright disputes over Prince’s material and image have been making news, and two stories of note have emerged in recent months. The first centers around a fair use debate (similar to the fair use case covered in an earlier post, regarding Shepard Fairey’s Obama HOPE poster and his use of a reference photo as inspiration […]MORE

Cornell’s Hip Hop Collection Releases Hundreds of Digitized Images

Posted by: on April 21, 2017   |Comment (1)|Digital Asset Management

According to an article from last week’s Cornell Chronicle, the Cornell University Library has recently added hundreds of digitized images to their Hip Hop Collection. The images help tell the story of hip hop’s inception and history. The new pieces include news articles, photos, and press packets, and are sourced from American music journalist Bill Adler‘s personal archive. Adler served as director of publicity for Def Jam Records and Rush Artist Management from 1984-1990, where he worked alongside producers Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons, during an era when the label released notable albums by Public Enemy, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys, Slick Rick, Run-DMC, EPMD, and De La Soul. Cornell’s curator of rare books and manuscripts, Katherine Reagan, comments that, “Bill’s files are a rich and deep resource for the study of hip-hop’s emergence in the popular press and as a force within the music industry, and they enrich our understanding of hip-hop’s 40-year history.”

The Hip Hop Collection is part of the Cornell Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. They received Adler’s archive in 2013, but the newly added pieces represent only 5 percent of the full archive – the rest can be seen in person at the library, for now. The library plans to digitize the rest of Adler’s archive over the next few years, and this recent batch includes over 1700 images. Adler started collecting in the 70s, when there were few resources about hip-hop and the internet did not exist. “But there was a tremendous explosion of writing about hip-hop in real time,” he said. “I’m thrilled to know that the collection is going to be made available to anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection, anywhere in the world.” (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

According to an article from last week’s Cornell Chronicle, the Cornell University Library has recently added hundreds of digitized images to their Hip Hop Collection. The images help tell the story of hip hop’s inception and history. The new pieces include news articles, photos, and press packets, and are sourced from American music journalist Bill […]MORE

Library of Congress Unveils New Homepage

Posted by: on November 9, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights
The Library of Congress's new homepage (Source)

The Library of Congress’s new homepage (Source)

On Tuesday, November 1st, the Library of Congress unveiled the new redesign of their website homepage. The unveiling comes as part of the larger redesign of their site, currently in the works. The Library’s blog, The Signal, recently published an interview (conducted by Jaime Mears) with Natalie Buda Smith, User (UX) Team supervisor for the Library of Congress, where she discussed user experience (UX) and the importance of design focus in libraries.

Project One is the name of the Library’s redesign initiative, led by Smith. One of Project One’s biggest challenges, says Smith, is that the Library started sharing their (vast amount of) content early on the web, using older technologies, and a substantial amount of “re-work” is necessary to integrate the old content with new technologies. Also challenging has been the task of conceptualizing a framework for the site that is optimized for search; decisions need to be made about which objects need metadata and appropriate metadata needs to be assigned to items. Once that foundation is laid, the team aims to build structures for packaging the content in different ways to appeal to certain audiences.

For more on the design process and to view the interview with Natalie Buda Smith, please visit the post on The Signal‘s site here. To view the Library of Congress’s new homepage, please visit loc.gov.

On Tuesday, November 1st, the Library of Congress unveiled the new redesign of their website homepage. The unveiling comes as part of the larger redesign of their site, currently in the works. The Library’s blog, The Signal, recently published an interview (conducted by Jaime Mears) with Natalie Buda Smith, User (UX) Team supervisor for the […]MORE

Report Finds 65% of Digital Media Consumed via Mobile

Posted by: on June 30, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights

A report from comScore reveals that 65% of digital media in the U.S. is now consumed via mobile devices. According to a review of the report by Wireless Week, total usage of digital media has tripled since 2010 and is up more than 30% since 2013, with smartphones accounting for more than 90% of the increase.

When smartphone and tablet usage are combined, time spent mobile-viewing climbs to 65%, up 12 points since 2013. In contrast, browsing via desktop has decreased, dropping from 47% in 2013 to 35% in 2015. Millennials ages 18-34 have the highest volume of mobile usage, with 97% stating they use mobile platforms to access digital content; 20% report as mobile-only users, while 3% report as desktop-only. Millennials say that 20% of their time is spent on social networks, 61% of which is done via smartphone apps.

As mobile usage has increased, so have screen sizes: Since September 2014, devices with 4.5-inch screens (or larger) have seen the greatest increase in usage, while tablets and smartphones with screens smaller than 4.5″ have plateaued and decreased. To learn more and access the report, click here. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

A report from comScore reveals that 65% of digital media in the U.S. is now consumed via mobile devices. According to a review of the report by Wireless Week, total usage of digital media has tripled since 2010 and is up more than 30% since 2013, with smartphones accounting for more than 90% of the […]MORE

Beatles Anthology Now Available to Stream

Posted by: on April 7, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights

Several news outlets reported this week that the Beatles Anthology albums have just been released by Apple Records to digital streaming services worldwide. This is a significant development, as the Beatles’ music was long withheld from digital streaming services; it was not until December 2015 that the first of their catalog became available across platforms, a release which included the band’s thirteen U.K. studio albums and four compilation sets.

Anthology, Volumes 1-3, originally released in 1995 and 1996, are compilation albums that include rarities, studio outtakes, and alternative versions of iconic tracks They have been remastered at Abbey Road Studios by the same engineers who worked on the 2009 reissue of the same set. All three albums are available now on Apple Music, Spotify, GooglePlay, Tidal, Deezer, and Rhapsody, as well as other platforms. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4)

Several news outlets reported this week that the Beatles Anthology albums have just been released by Apple Records to digital streaming services worldwide. This is a significant development, as the Beatles’ music was long withheld from digital streaming services; it was not until December 2015 that the first of their catalog became available across platforms, […]MORE

Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies

Posted by: on March 18, 2016   |Comments (0)|Digital Humanities

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fantastic roundtable on Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies in the Digital Scholarship Lab at Brown University’s John D. Rockefeller Library. The event was “part of an ongoing initiative at the JCB to encourage and support a new generation of scholars and community members as they build consciousness about Indigenous issues not only in New England, but also in the United States and internationally”. The discussion centered on “the use of digital media to foster education, research, and outreach within Indigenous communities and studies.” There was a focus on how digital media and tools can help to create connections between people and materials, as well as the importance of relationship-building with Native communities, the ethics surrounding these projects, and project management issues of resource allocation, stewardship, and sustainability.

I was particularly impressed with Tobias Glaza and Paul Grant-Costa’s Yale Indian Papers Project. They focused on the importance of Indigenous communities as stakeholders in the project and collaborating with community members right from the beginning to answer questions like – What’s most important to the community? How do they tell their stories? What information should remain private? How do they want to access and use their digital history? With this approach, they published the New England Indian Papers Series – “a scholarly critical edition of New England Native American primary source materials gathered into one robust virtual collection.” Built on Yale’s Ladybird software and using a Blacklight front-end, the platform is clean and easy-to-use, and includes a document reader, scholarly transcription, and extensive metadata.

An eye-opening takeaway from Alyssa Mt. Pleasant’s presentation on the American Indian Studies (AIS) resources portal that she built at Yale, is the importance of maintaining a project’s stewardship to ensure its longevity. Unfortunately, the AIS portal, which took 3 years to build, wasn’t taken on by anyone else when she left Yale, and consequently, is no longer accessible.

Lisa Brooks from Amherst College gave a fantastic talk on the problem of trying to understand the history of Native spaces when the main existing reference points are colonial maps. She’s worked extensively on creating new historical maps of Indigenous spaces to support her research and is also engaged in the idea of maps as storytelling, often combining her maps with present-day photos of the locations to bring them to life. Her work is included in Amherst’s digital map collection, which was created using Esri’s ArcGIS platform, and is definitely worth checking out.

Another standout was Dana Leibsohn’s project, Vistas, which “seeks to bring an understanding of the visual culture of Spanish America to a broad audience.” Vistas was designed as a non-linear platform, in an effort to encourage multiple pathways between content that would support research in a variety of scholarly disciplines, as well as less formal modes of education and learning. Launched in the late 90’s, Vistas has undergone three major evolutions, from a website hosted by Smith College, to a DVD, and now back to an online version hosted by Fordham University. Dr. Leibsohn’s stewardship of the project over the years has clearly been integral to its longevity, which includes her commitment to tackling the challenges of migrating the platform to keep up with ever-evolving technologies.

There were also a couple of great discussions surrounding endangered Native languages, including a conversation on the power of digital activism to increase online, and particularly social media usage of these languages, as a way of preserving them.

Obviously all of these projects are contributing to content-collection, digital preservation, and scholarship needs, but it was great to hear that so many are focused on supporting Indigenous communities by facilitating access to their histories, preserving them, and ultimately, helping to amplify the voices of these communities.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fantastic roundtable on Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies in the Digital Scholarship Lab at Brown University’s John D. Rockefeller Library. The event was “part of an ongoing initiative at the JCB to encourage and support a new generation of scholars and community members as they build consciousness about Indigenous […]MORE

The 120 Minutes Digital Archive

Posted by: on March 3, 2016   |Comments (0)|Spotlights
Source

Photo via Source

New to the online world is an extensive digital archive of MTV’s late night show, 120 Minutes. The show, which ran from 1986 through 2000 without cessation, and later on MTV2 from 2001-2003, was the 2-hour alternative music block that ran after hours and featured videos, interviews, and performances by alternative, underground, and fringe bands and artists. In May of 2003, the show was canceled without formal announcement, with the final episode co-hosted by Jim Shearer, the host at the time, and past hosts Dave Kendall and Matt Pinfield. The show made a brief return to MTV2 under the name 120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield in 2011, but was canceled for good shortly after in 2013. The 120 Minutes digital archive is the product of a collaboration between its founder, identified as Tyler (no last name), and a team of volunteers. The archive does not present each episode in its original recorded form, but rather, lists the videos contained within each episode (and links out to their YouTube versions) and notes hosts and guest artists by episode. Visitors can view the archival listings by year and episode; the site is presented in a tiered layout, with years listed at the top of each page that expand down into episode listings.

Source – the Cramps on 120 Minutes

During its tenure, 120 Minutes was hosted by a slew of notable guest artists, including Iggy Pop, Bob Mould, Lou Reed, Robert Smith (the Cure), Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman (Operation Ivy/Rancid), Superchunk, and Weezer. It featured interviews with the likes of Joe Strummer, the Cramps, John Lydon, Sonic Youth, and Mojo Nixon; spotlights on bands and artists like Bauhaus, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Sisters of Mercy; and live performances by the Dead Milkmen, the Pixies, and Helmet.

The show aired thousands of videos, featuring artists like the Pogues, the Stone Roses, Hüsker Dü, Billy Bragg, John Doe, Big Audio Dynamite, PiL, the English Beat, X, Anti-Nowhere League, Descendents, the Mighty Lemon Drops, Ministry, the Smithereens, the Ramones, Nick Cave, Dinosaur Jr., Charlatans UK, and TSOL. Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” made its world premiere on 120 Minutes, but was quickly moved to daytime rotation due to popularity. To check out the archive, please visit the site here. (Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

New to the online world is an extensive digital archive of MTV’s late night show, 120 Minutes. The show, which ran from 1986 through 2000 without cessation, and later on MTV2 from 2001-2003, was the 2-hour alternative music block that ran after hours and featured videos, interviews, and performances by alternative, underground, and fringe bands […]MORE

Engaging Users and Remixing Content: New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

Posted by: on February 12, 2016   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools

As I’ve begun settling into Providence after my move from New York, I’m finally having some time to catch up on my library news. I had heard about NYPL’s recent release of more than 180,000 public domain items from their digital collections, including the first known photography by a woman and more than 40,000 stereoscopic views of the U.S., but as I delved deeper, I discovered all of the exciting tools and initiatives that they’ve integrated into the collections to encourage discovery, interaction, sharing, research, and reuse. In particular, I’ve been musing on the fantastic visual browsing tool. Data visualization is still often thought of simply as a graphic, sometimes interactive, representation of statistics and other data, but it also clearly has so much potential as a tool for discovery, by helping users to better understand the scope of the information that they’re searching or exploring.

A thousand skaters, Central Park

Strohmeyer & Wyman, “A thousand skaters, Central Park” (1889), stereoscopic image (via NYPL)

Beyond content visualization, NYPL is championing active user/content engagement with the Digital Collections API, a Remix Residency program and other tools from the creative folks at NYPL Labs, like The Green Book trip planner, which uses “locations extracted from mid-20th century motor guides that listed hotels, restaurants, bars, and other destinations where Black travelers would be welcome.”

For those of us who spend most of our days in the weeds of content management, NYPL’s Digital Collections initiatives are a great reminder to think innovatively about how we can better connect and engage users with digital collections.

For some Friday fun, check out their Stereogranimator and create some 3D images!

As I’ve begun settling into Providence after my move from New York, I’m finally having some time to catch up on my library news. I had heard about NYPL’s recent release of more than 180,000 public domain items from their digital collections, including the first known photography by a woman and more than 40,000 stereoscopic […]MORE

Rolling Stone Magazine Archive Available Now via Google Play

Posted by: on October 23, 2015   |Comments (0)|Spotlights

In January of this year, Rolling Stone Magazine released a vast digital archive of their content to the public for free. In collaboration with Google Play, the archive begins with their 1967 launch and spans five decades. Every issue ever published is available, providing viewers with open access to the wealth of musical, political, and cultural reporting Rolling Stone has generated through time. The archive can be accessed via the Google Play Newsstand app on both iOS and Android devices. Articles by notable writers, including David Fricke, Hunter S. Thompson, and Cameron Crowe, and imagery by Annie Leibovitz and David LaChapelle, are among the content featured. Rolling Stone’s daily news and coverage is available via the app, as well. Alongside the archive, Rolling Stone has introduced a feature on their website called CoverWall, which offers an immersive experience of the publication’s content, including every iconic cover from their 48-year tenure and extensive archival content. They follow in the footsteps of publications like WIRED and the New York Times with this immersive feature, which is noteworthy, as Rolling Stone was slow to enter into digital format. Gus Wenner, Head of Digital of Wenner Media notes that, “This collaboration is as much about our history as it is our future.” Brian Irving, global head of marketing for Google Play adds, “Rolling Stone produced some of the most iconic music and political coverage in America for the past five decades. We’re proud to offer this rich history to people for free, where they can explore and interact with every issue… It’s like a highway of information, revisited.” (Sources: 1, 2)

In January of this year, Rolling Stone Magazine released a vast digital archive of their content to the public for free. In collaboration with Google Play, the archive begins with their 1967 launch and spans five decades. Every issue ever published is available, providing viewers with open access to the wealth of musical, political, and […]MORE

Jerry Lewis Archive to be Preserved by Library of Congress

Posted by: on September 17, 2015   |Comments (0)|Spotlights

Photo by Don Ornitz
Globe Photos, Inc.

The Library of Congress announced Monday that it is set to house a large Jerry Lewis archive at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia. The collection is slated to include: Prints and pre-prints of Lewis’ most popular films; test footage of costumes, makeup, camera, and actor screen tests from leading films; home movies of Lewis at work and play; fully scripted motion pictures produced by Lewis at home; and rare footage of Martin and Lewis doing their nightclub act, among other material. Lewis himself will be present to perform at the opening event, “An Evening with Jerry Lewis”, on October 9th at Culpeper’s State Theatre. The Packard Campus houses collections for other comedians as well, including Lucille Ball, Groucho Marx, Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, and Sid Caesar. For more about the Library of Congress’s collections, please visit loc.gov. (Sources: 1, 2)

The Library of Congress announced Monday that it is set to house a large Jerry Lewis archive at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia. The collection is slated to include: Prints and pre-prints of Lewis’ most popular films; test footage of costumes, makeup, camera, and actor screen tests from leading films; […]MORE