ERIC Number: EJ1131168
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
How Large Is the "Public Domain"? A Comparative Analysis of Ringer's 1961 Copyright Renewal Study and HathiTrust CRMS Data
Wilkin, John P.
College & Research Libraries, v78 n2 p201-218 Feb 2017
The 1961 Copyright Office study on renewals, authored by Barbara Ringer, has cast an outsized influence on discussions of the U.S. 1923-1963 public domain. As more concrete data emerge from initiatives such as the large-scale determination process in the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) project, questions are raised about the reliability or meaning of the Ringer data. A closer examination of both the Ringer study and CRMS data demonstrates fundamental misunderstandings and misrepresentations of the Ringer data, as well as possible methodological issues. Estimates of the size of the corpus of public domain books published in the United States from 1923 through 1963 have been inflated by problematic assumptions, and we should be able to correct mistaken conclusions with reasonable effort.
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Copyrights, Misconceptions, Test Reliability, Test Validity, Bayesian Statistics, Statistical Data, Library Research, Research Methodology, Primary Sources, Annual Reports, Academic Libraries
Association of College and Research Libraries. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://crl.acrl.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A