Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Public Domain Project


"I think Wikipedia is one of the greatest inventions ever!" 

I bet you thought you'd never hear a professor say that. But when thinking deeper about the information highway, what I really love is that with a tad bit of effort you can find anything.


The Public Domain Project over at Pond5 has so far collected 10,000 film clips, 64,000 images and hundreds of audio files free for public access.

But what does one have access to exactly?

“The project includes digital models of NASA tools and satellites, Georges Méliès’ 1902 film, A Trip To The Moon, speeches by political figures like Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr., recordings of performances from composers like Beethoven," boasts one of its bloggers.

There are also every one's favorite cat videos . . . Very early cat videos.

Open Culture imagines that some future creator "could make creative use of this stuff indeed, and if they need a score, they could use a concerto for pizzicato and ten instruments, Chopin’s “Nocturne in E Flat Major,” or maybe “Johnny Get Your Gun.” Alternatively, they could part out the very first documentary and use the Public Domain Project’s bits and pieces of Dziga Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera. Whatever you want to create, the usable public domain can only grow more fruitful, so you might as well get mixing, remixing, and sharing."

What kind of material would you like free access to? How could this be public domain site be used in the classroom? What mash-ups can you imagine?