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Saturday, March 5, 2005

Discussion on NYPL Copyright

Alterego quotes the NYPLs clarification on their strange copyright notes. In a nut-shell, the New York Public Library opened up a digital gallery (as previously mentioned), and now they are asking for a fee if you use material from their web site, even when the material is in the public domain. The NYPL wrote:

“NYPL provides free and open access to its Digital Gallery and images may be freely downloaded for personal, research and study purposes only. However, as the physical rights holder of this material most of which is in the public domain for copyright purposes, the Library charges a usage fee if images are to be used in any nonprofit or commercial publication, broadcast, web site, exhibition, promotional material, etc. The usage fee is not a copyright fee. You are free to obtain a copy of these images from a source other than NYPL. Usage fees help ensure that the Library is able to continue to acquire, preserve and provide access to the accumulated knowledge of the world.”

I’m all for setting up a system of voluntary private donations, like Project Gutenberg does when they are asking for a percentage of revenues made from their material. But the NYPL says it prohibits any publication of the material, apparently even when it is in the public domain. In their usage conditions, they write:

“The contents of this website are made available for individual private study, scholarship and research only. Any other use, including but not limited to any type of publication or commercial use, is prohibited without the payment of usage fees and the prior written permission of The New York Public Library as well as any owners of rights in the materials, if applicable. Regarding such permission, please contact the NYPL Photographic Services & Permissions office for additional information.”

Looks like yet another gray area in copyright. [Thanks Alterego.]

Google Maps Standalone

With a little Google hacking, you can include Google Maps as standalone application right on your own page. Here’s a demo, and as the disclaimer says, this is not authorized. [Thanks Phil in the forum.]

Yahoo API Related Suggestions

If you’ve blinked, you missed it: the great Yahoo API “Related Suggestions” query. For example “madonna” returns “madonna lyrics”, “madonna pictures”, “madonna video”, “80’s madonna”, and so on. (This feature of the API is sorted under the web search category, as are spelling suggestions.)

AutoLink Petition

Steve Rubel, who doesn’t like Google’s Marissa Mayer to ponder auto-linking even more information bits – like telephone area codes, or UPC or bar codes – urges readers to sign the Anti-AutoLink petition (actually, only a request for Google to provide a way to opt-out of AutoLinks for webmasters).

Untargeted Radio Ads

Battelle has a nice rant on contextual advertising* and the lack of real conversation in mainstream ad channels (it happens in web pop-ups and similar too).

*As you can see from my right-side ads, contextual advertisement comes natural. What you probably guess is that I removed Google AdSense, which while often within the right context, wouldn’t pay nearly well enough to be interesting. What you can’t see are the offers I rejected even though payment would have been great – that’s because it would have felt kind of spammy to link to completely unrelated sites (say, the instant mortgage casino poker debt niche).


The Zuggest tool by Francis Shanahan is like Google Suggest, except it searches the Amazon database. According to Francis this engine is built on the currently popular “Ajax” concept, using a mixture of JavaScript, Amazon Web Services, SOAP, XMLHTTP, XML, C#, ASP.NET and SQL Server.


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