Our Nation's Attic

A Reception Celebrating the Smithsonian Institution

The New America Foundation is pleased to invite you to a reception for Our Nation's Attic, an open source protest beer honoring the Smithsonian Institution. This American Pale Ale is hand-crafted by members of the International Amateur Scanning League, a group of volunteers who help make images and videos from our national cultural institutions more broadly available on the Internet. The beer is made with Victory Malt and Liberty Hops and features art from the Smithsonian's Seed Display Catalogs on the labels.  Samples of Our Nation's Attic will be served.

Our Nation's Attic is part of a national dialogue about how organizations such as the Smithsonian, the National Archives, and the Library of Congress can make their holdings available to the world, creating a national digital public library for the increase and diffusion of knowledge. At the forefront of this dialogue is whether the Smithsonian Institutions should stop their long-standing practice of prohibiting re-use of materials in their possession through license restrictions and copyright assertions, a policy that is unique in the federal government. You can learn more about this dialogue at wwlbd.org.  This site was created in support of Our Nation's Attic and other volunteer efforts that are reusing Smithsonian artwork without permission.

In addition to sampling this American Pale Ale, at this reception you will be able to view postcards, posters, and other creations in art and commerce that use Smithsonian artwork. You'll hear from Thomas Gideon of the New America Foundation, who volunteers in his spare time to put government video on-line and is one of the creators of Our Nation's Attic. You'll also hear from Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.Org, who will discuss the legal basis for copyright in federal government institutions.

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Thomas Gideon
New America Foundation

Carl Malamud