Lab Report 2 ~ Notebooks

Mr. Danoff's Teaching Laboratory
Lab Report
#: Two
Topic: Notebooks
Date: 09 April 2011

freehand-bookA few years ago I came across Edward Tufte’s notebooks. Recently as I’ve been spending a lot of time at his site I found them more and more useful. Tufte starts a notebook on a subject he is working on or merely curious about, and people contribute to the notebooks with relevant ideas and resources. They’re essentially just glorified forums, but done in a far more tasteful way than forums are usually and far easier to use for people stumbling onto them.

Drawing inspiration from him I started my first notebook today. Its on “Video Editing Software” and I catalog my efforts trying to find free video software and ask the internet to help. I don’t know how to make a form in html yet, so I just took one from Google docs, which works well enough for now.

Hopefully some folks will contribute and I’ll get some more ideas. The notebooks will also be useful for me as a reference for various things I’m studying. I’ve been keeping notes on different topics on Wikiversity (my accounting class, how to build an NBA dynasty) and perhaps down the line I’ll move those over to the Laboratory.

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Copyright (C) 2011 Mr. Danoff. Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Japan Licensed.
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image: Freehand Book by aungkarns. 2010. The Open Clipart Gallery.Creative Commons Zero.

Lab Report 1 ~ Exploring how to release something into the public domain

Mr. Danoff's Teaching Laboratory
Lab Report
#: One
Topic: Exploring how to release something into the public domain
Date: 01 April 2011

Cf. = an abbreviation for the Latin word confer (the imperative singular form of “conferre”), literally meaning “bring together”, is used to refer to other material or ideas which may provide similar or different information or arguments. via Wikipedia


“I am wondering what the policy is on developing public domain resources here. That is, if I created a resource (e.g. lesson plan) and as the creator dedicated it to the public domain, then brought it into Wikiversity. Afterwards, could it still be a public domain resource? Given images that are edited by the community can remain public domain, I don’t see why not. I did a rough draft of a license for this, built off one from another Wikimedia project where this goes on. –Charles Jeffrey Danoff 21:16, 21 February 2011 (UTC)”

sparked a long discussion in the Wikiversity colloquium.

Led me to this from the a U.S. Copyright Office – Regulations webpage.

§ 201.26   Recordation of documents pertaining to computer shareware and donation of public domain computer software.

(a) General. This section prescribes the procedures for submission of legal documents pertaining to computer shareware and the deposit of public domain computer software under section 805 of Public Law 101–650, 104 Stat. 5089 (1990). … (b) Definitions … (1) The term computer shareware is accorded its customary meaning within the software industry.  … (2) A document designated as pertaining to computer shareware means licenses or other legal documents governing the relationship between copyright owners of computer shareware and persons associated with the dissemination or other use of computer shareware.  … (3) Public domain computer software means software which has been publicly distributed with an explicit disclaimer of copyright protection by the copyright owner.

Examples I’ve seen of people putting their work out into the public domain include the Mediawiki Wiki Template:PD Help Page (Cf. Project:PD help). And a similar template on the Microformats Wiki (Cf. Category:public domain license: 1.1 Why Public Domain?).

micro-formats-wiki-public-domain-templateFigure 0.1
Microformats Wiki Template

Then there’s this from The United States Army | FAQ

I have a site on the Internet, and was wondering if I could post some of your pictures on my site?

Images, pictures, and other media depicting Army personnel carrying out their official duties may be used by non-Federal entities in communication venues which are solely informational in nature, such as newspapers, news magazines, or other media that focus on reporting social or industry news, and are not directly or indirectly associated with a marketing, advertising, or a self-promoting activity (including company annual reports).

Photographs and imagery on the Army’s website at, unless otherwise noted, are in the public domain. Attribution of the source is always appreciated by the military photographer.

Army imagery is provided without talent releases on any individual portrayed. Imagery is provided with the understanding that the Army has no authority to waive the privacy rights of any individual depicted in government media. And no exclusive rights to official records may be claimed by any organization or individual.

OVO‘s dedication is slightly different:

The person or persons who have associated their work with these documents (the “Dedicators”) hereby dedicate the entire copyright in the works of authorship identified below (the “Work”) to the public domain. Dedicators make this dedication for the benefit of the public at large and to the detriment of the Dedicators’ heirs and successors. Dedicators intend this dedication to be an overt act of relinquishment in perpetuity of all present and future rights under copyright law, whether vested or contingent, in the Work. Dedicators understand that such relinquishment of all rights includes the relinquishment of all rights to enforce (by lawsuit or otherwise) those copyrights in the Work. Dedicators recognize that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.

I’ve made some efforts of my own

wikiversity-public-domain-template-attemptFigure 0.2
Wikiversity User:Charles Jeffrey Danoff/PD Sandbox 6. Template Attempt
oercisian-article-public-domain-licensing-screenshotFigure 0.3
Finding Concerts for OERcisians: Independent Academics & Scratch (Money) Copyright Information

Although advice from the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain, which eventually led me to some reading from the Free Software Foundation by rms. After considering the idea of copyleft I did a draft of something that might be more appropriate:

metapad-screenshotFigure 0.4
Screenshot of Metapad on my computer.


Probably helpful also to read the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works and/or Robert A. Baron’s Making the Public Domain Public.

Acknowledgment: I’d like to thank Rebecca Blood’sThe Weblog Handbook” for inspiring me to explore new ways to use my weblog with this post.

Amplifications & Corrections

  1. I re-did the link to the USA Army FAQ, it was broken. 01 April 2011
  2. The Oxford English Dictionary’s second definition of public domain is “The state or condition of belonging or being generally available to all, esp. through not being subject to copyright. Chiefly in in the public domain.” [sic] Their second example of usage is “1938 Lowell (Mass.) Sun 20 Apr. 20/1 First published in 1904, ‘Pinocchio’ is in the public domain for America.” 07 April 2011.
  3. I sent this post to the Public Domain discuss list. A kind reader sent me an e-mail suggesting “I think that the metapad screenshot should say ‘It has been given <license list> licenses.’, not ‘It has been give a <license list>’.” I agree. 10 April 2011.
Copyright (C) 2011 Charles Jeffrey Danoff (Mr. Danoff). Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Japan Licensed. :: :: :: ::

down time

Thursday, September 10th, 2010 (Written after midnight that evening)
My Room, Mom & Dad’s Home, Winnetka, IL, USA

Following a loop and a half, dinner, a large desert, some nachos at home and a difficult-to-watch White Sox loss, I fell asleep on the couch last night. On account of not preparing for the following day I did not arrive at the course this morning till eight, and if not for some help it would have been later.

Had a lot of down time, which I used to chat with colleagues, eat, write, read and work on two of my websites: danoff dot org and Mr. Danoff’s Teaching Homepage. They are not totally ready, but I posted the works in progress tonight, which are viewable by clicking on the links. Better just to get them up there, even if they need some work – hat tip to agile development.

Over dinner, desert, mellower home snack of prosciutto, onion and vinegar and an enjoyable Saints Vikings opening NFL season game, I did not fall asleep on the couch. I tried to re-set up my phone which I lost, again, on Monday, to no avail. Was impressed with both teams and QB’s and the better team in ‘Orleans won.

And tonight I also luckily uploaded another lesson plan: Mr. Danoff’s FWE 8A Lesson 6. It’s an addition to a resource I have been building with all my lesson plans from last year in China for my own reviewal/archival purposes and for others to benefit from via re-use, modification, inspiration or ?