That first metric -- length -- proved resilient to the copyright divide. Words are easy to rescue from private-ownership, and the Wikipedia authors simply rewrote the information still owned by the Digest. Every article, post-digitization, became on average much longer.
But Nagaraj found was that the availability of public domain material dramatically improved the article's images. Before the digitization, players from between '44 and '64 had an average of .183 pictures on their articles. The '64 to '84 group had about .158 pictures. But after digitization, those numbers dramatically changed: there were 1.15 pictures on each of the older group's articles -- but only .667 in the new group. More recent players, covered by privately-owned parts of Baseball Digest, had half as many images on their pages as did old-timers.And the effects of this -- of just having an image on the page -- cascaded to other metrics. "Out-of-copyright" players's pages saw a significant boost in traffic.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Copyright and disproportionate effects on images
A researcher tested the effect of copyright expiration via Wikipedia articles using images from Baseball Digest.