Thursday, February 14, 2008

Folding Heart Card, Uncopyrighted

[NB: Updated; please see concluding paragraphs.]

As a matter of policy, we should favor love. It generates many private and public benefits. Individuals or communities short of love suffer terribly. Those rich in it thrive.

Please allow me to offer one small step towards encouraging love: An uncopyrighted (and thus public domain) card. Folding it for your love will prove your devotion, as the folds present a nice little origami challenge. A personalized card beats a store-bought one by a mile, too. Add messages inside and out, lock the heart up, hand it over, and brace yourself for some lovin'.

Folding Heart Card

Here are some details:

Folding Heart Card

Folding Heart Card

If I might geek out for a moment, I'd like to offer some pertinent observations about copyright law. That I've uncopyrighted Folding Heart Card by no means guarantees that those who copy it will escape all liability. I have placed in the public domain only mywork of authorship—the image and the folds portrayed above. Another might claim copyright privileges over the same work, or some part of it. I claim Folding Heart Card as an original, but I must also admit that, by definition, unconscious copying remains a risk. So while I encourage you to copy the work as you see fit, and thereby honor both my love and your own, you must assume full responsibility for the outcome. I think, on net, you'll like the results.

Update: On his eponymous, conspiratorial blog, Eugene Volokh kindly cited my Valentine's Day offering. That prompted a question about the copyrightability of origami creations--and another excuse for me to geek out.

Origami works probably merit copyright protection under U.S. law as works of sculpture, though the constraints imposed by paper-folding (there are only so many ways to fold a heart, for instance) might support a merger defense to any such claim. The sequence of folds required to make a particular origami work, in contrast, would probably fall outside the scope of copyright, instead qualifying as a "procedure, process, system, [or] method of operation," per § 102(b). A patent would better suit that subject matter. An illustration of a folding sequence, such as my photos showing how to make the Folding Heart Card, would of course enjoy copyright protection.

As long as I'm updating, I'll also caution those of you who create the Folding Heart Card that its front does not open. The back does open up, however, once you unlatch the paper locks that hold it closed. If you prefer a version that will not tempt the card's recipient to try to open the front, you can, by way of a minor variation on the technique I illustrated, close its face with a kimono fold. I leave the details of that method, which I rejected as unappealingly unsymmetrical, as an exercise for students of origami.

[Crossposted to Agoraphilia and The Technology Liberation Front.]


Blogger Unknown said...

who are you Tom Bell? you have not made a post her for two years. are you that bussy?

April 21, 2011 at 5:15 PM  

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