A Belated Gift: U.S. Copyright and the Public Domain
Autographed cover of Harrison Howe's "How I Love You, My Arkansas." Despite the cover text, the composition was never officially Arkansas' state song (in 1923, that honor was held by Eva Ware Barnett's "Arkansas"). While published compositions like this one were covered by federal copyright law at the time, sound recordings were not covered by federal copyright law until 1972.
The University Libraries launched a new digital exhibit in celebration of Public Domain Day Jan. 1. "A Belated Gift: U.S. Copyright and the Public Domain," which features Arkansan contributions from 1923 that are now in the public domain, is available to researchers worldwide, free of charge.
For 20 years, many copyright guidelines for students and researchers had a boilerplate statement that never needed to be updated: Materials published in the United States before Jan. 1, 1923 are in the public domain. On Jan. 1, 2019, that benchmark shifted forward, with materials published in 1923 entering the public domain. It is important to note that several things could have pulled works published in 1923 into the public domain before that day—publication without a valid copyright notice, failure to renew, or the creator having explicitly designated it to be so. Public domain works are free to be reproduced, reused and revitalized without infringing upon any copyright. Though a non-physical realm, the public domain offers very tangible benefits in terms of cultural exchange, creative activity and intellectual rediscovery.
This exhibit is designed to highlight both the creative contributions Arkansans made in 1923—contributions now fully within the public domain—and the continued policy development of copyright in the United States, as viewed through the political papers and constituent correspondence of Arkansas' congressmen and through the correspondence of authors impacted by this decision making.
Katrina Windon, collections management and processing unit head for the Special Collections department, was the subject selector for this exhibit. The project team included Lori Birell, head of Special Collections; Deborah E. Kulczak, head of Technical Services and Database Maintenance; Chelsea Hoover, music and media cataloging assistant; and Martha Anderson, head of the Digital Services Unit. Materials were digitized by Digital Services Unit personnel Lee Holt, Samuel Collins, Dexter Fairweather, Laine McGinty, Wendy McLean, Cassidy McManus, Hannah Mills, Alejandra Rubio, Hanna Williams and Shelby Osbourn. Dylan Hurd and Beth Juhl from Web Services contributed to the webpage design.
The North Little Rock design firm has given $50,000 to create an Advance Arkansas scholarship for Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design students.
The U of A Mock Trial teams competed in Alabama and Nebraska during the past weekend, taking second place at the Crimson Classic and third place at the Scarlet and Cream Invitational.
More than 200 professors attended sessions designed to bring new ideas related to teaching at the beginning of the spring term and was built around the theme of shedding light on good teaching practices.
George Bradley, a former chair of the U of A Department of Horticulture and Forestry from 1968 to 1991, died Jan. 28, 2023. He was 96.
The Communication Sciences and Disorders Program is seeking comments from the public about the graduate program in speech-language pathology in preparation for an accreditation site visit.