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Celebrate the Public Domain

These drawings from Kunst-Formen der Natur, by Ernst Haeckel are amazing. The drawings are from 1898 and someone uploaded the entire book to Flickr. All because the contents of this book belong to the public domain. Maybe I can’t enjoy the physical book, I can enjoy watching these drawings and also use one to write a little posting about the public domain.

Recently I have read a few novels about the Cold War and as you probably know this war was all about NOT sharing any information or knowledge. Access to-, or sharing information and knowledge are vital to peace. The more we share the less secrets we have, the less we have to guess.

In one of his podcasts, the Dutch history writer Geert Mak (in dutch) refers to the first simple computer that was build in the Second World War and that the inventor could not tell anyone about because of national security (defense strategy). After the war he had to return to his old job and society had to wait until someone else invented a sort of computer, again!

There are no long term benefits in withholding information or knowledge.

2 replies on “Celebrate the Public Domain”

I am the person who uploaded this book to Flickr – and I totally agree with you about the public domain! It is a critical resource for our society, to learn from past knowledge and not let it languish in the dark forever…

Thanks for spreading the joy of this public domain book!

-Eric Gjerde

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