Copyright wishlist

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I would like to gather from the community some examples of works you 
would like to see made free, works that we are not doing a good job of 
generating free replacements for, works that could in theory be 
purchased and freed.

Dream big.  Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase 
copyrights to be made available under a free license.  What would you 
like to see purchased and released under a free license?

Photos libraries? textbooks? newspaper archives? Be bold, be specific, 
be general, brainstorm, have fun with it.

I was recently asked this question by someone who is potentially in a 
position to make this happen, and he wanted to know what we need, what 
we dream of, that we can't accomplish on our own, or that we would 
expect to take a long time to accomplish on our own.

-- Jimbo

Suggestions Summary[edit]

  • Establish endowment - perpetually use earnings to accomplish other suggestions.
    • Promoting open-source and open content
    • A philanthropic bank that funds new content to be published commercially for a limited time before being released under a free license, growing the endowment and providing an example of the benefits of a more limited copyright regime
    • Weaken copyright itself - lobby to reduce copyright duration, make public domain works default to an open-source license
    • Buy land to establish a state with no copyright
    • Buy state to establish land with no copyright (political organizing, lobbying)
    • Environmental charities
    • Pay experts to create free alternatives to proprietary works
    • Research existing "orphaned" copyrighted works and move them into the public domain.
  • Technology standards, specifications and codecs - MPEG-4, PDF, etc.
    • Open Sourced computer hardware and drivers
    • Schemes - of ships, engines, machines, electronics, etc.,
    • UNIX SVRx copyrights
    • Discontinued copyrighted software
    • Government-funded software
  • Create an open-source education system
    • Educational (University) Textbooks and How-To books for addition to "seed" Wikibooks and Wikipedias
    • Encyclopedias, especially on narrowed topics like art, science, history
    • Encyclopedias and books for children
    • Bible translations
    • Dictionaries
    • Libraries for the developing world
    • MIT press books
    • Development of a free standard decimal catalog system for all wiki-projects
    • Medical Reference material (classic reference content that could subsequently be added to openly)
      • The Merck Manual
      • The Netter image collection
  • Digitization of Public Domain works and buying copyrights
    • Text-books on all disciplines of science.
    • Digitize the Library of Congress Public domain works
    • Source material (ie, newspapers, journals, etc.,)
    • Scientific journals
    • University theses and research papers
    • Copyrights to works in other languages than English
    • ACM publications
    • Medical research, and patents to drugs
    • Gain access to digitalize works in Public Domain that aren't public accessible
    • Buy the Encyclopaedia Britannica
    • Integrate Project Gutenberg into Wikisource
    • Well known reference texts–Bartlett's, EB and OED
    • All pre-1942 sound recordings from Sony BMG and/or Universal Music Group
    • Unihan database (for Wiktionary)
    • US Foreign Service Institute language self-study courses/references (high quality, 40+ languages)
  • Media Archives - old movies, picture, songs
    • Educational Videos [i.e. BBC, PBS, etc.,]
    • Free "Fair use" (or not: Reuters, AP, Sigma, AFP ...) images
    • Medical photographs and diagrams
    • Music sheets and recordings (Happy Birthday song)
    • Geographical Maps and Earth imagery
    • Images of famous people and important events
    • Diagrams from some visual dictionary
    • The music owned by Michael Jackson (who could probably use some help with his debt) — not the music he made, the catalogs he owns
    • Historical content of newspapers of record, particularly obituaries.
  • New content enabling copyrights
    • Symphonic and other sound sample archives
    • BBC sound effects library
  • Others
    • Pay well known Professors of famous Universities to create stable version of the most important Wikipedia Articles, pay translators (less) to make those articles available in other languages

See the detailed explanations of the suggestions on the talk page.

See also[edit]