Support Us

You are browsing the archive for COMMUNIA.

7th Communia Workshop, Luxembourg

Jonathan Gray - February 3, 2010 in COMMUNIA, External, Ideas and musings, Legal, Open Data, Policy, Public Domain, Talks

Communia workshop

We recently attended a workshop in Luxembourg as part of Communia, the EU policy network on the digital public domain. There was a focus on bringing together themes from previous events to make a series of policy recommendations to the European Commission (watch this space!).

Below are a few notes highlighting some of the talks and discussions that we thought might be of particular interest to readers here:

  • We had a meeting to review where we are up to with the Public Domain Calculators. So far it looks like we have 10 EU countries covered, 8 maybe covered and 6 that we are still looking for help with (namely: Cyprus, Denmark, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia). If you’d like to help out – please drop us a line!
  • Jill Cousins from the European Digital Library Foundation spoke about the latest state of play with respect to licensing the content of Europeana, a collection of over 6 million images, texts, sound recordings and videos. In particular she spoke about the possibility of libraries and cultural heritage organisations releasing digital content into the public domain or under an open license. There has been some opposition – but we very much hope that institutions contributing to Europeana have the foresight to give this serious consideration!
  • Paul Keller and Lucie Guibault presented their work on the recently released public domain manifesto – discussing the rationale behind it, its genesis and various versions, and an overview of its main principles and recommendations. At the time of writing it has been signed by over 50 organisations and 1800 individuals.
  • Francesco Fusaro of the European Commission DG Research spoke about the EU initiatives to support open access to scientific publications and data – from background research in this area to piloting open access to approximately 20% of FP7 funded projects.
  • Patrick Peiffer gave an excellent presentation on licensing options for bibliographic metadata. In particular he suggested that non-commercial restrictions could cause substantial transaction costs and technical complications. On the other hand using an ‘attribution, sharealike’ type license that allowed commercial reuse which would cause no transaction costs, create a level playing field, allow interoperability with projects like Wikimedia and Wikimedia Commons, avoid exclusive deals and open up new channels of discovery. It would be a big step if Europeana libraries and institutions follow the lead of CERN Library, who last week announced that they were opening up their metadata!
  • Mathias Schindler spoke about tools developed by the Wikipedians using open bibliographic metadata. He also described what the Wikipedia community had done to add value to collections of cultural works – such as improving the quality of metadata, adding descriptions to images and so on.
  • Rufus Pollock spoke about his work at the University of Cambridge to estimate the size and value of the public domain in Europe.

See also:

Public Domain Manifesto

Jonathan Gray - January 27, 2010 in COMMUNIA, External, Public Domain

On Monday the Public Domain Manifesto went live:

From the introductory paragraph:

The public domain, as we understand it, is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers to access or reuse usually associated with copyright protection, either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have decided to remove these barriers. It is the basis of our self-understanding as expressed by our shared knowledge and culture. It is the raw material from which new knowledge is derived and new cultural works are created. The Public Domain acts as a protective mechanism that ensures that this raw material is available at its cost of reproduction – close to zero – and that all members of society can build upon it. Having a healthy and thriving Public Domain is essential to the social and economic well-being of our societies. The Public Domain plays a capital role in the fields of education, science, cultural heritage and public sector information. A healthy and thriving Public Domain is one of the prerequisites for ensuring that the principles of Article 27 (1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (‘Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.’) can be enjoyed by everyone around the world.

The manifesto gives a series of principles and recommendations for promoting and protecting the digital public domain. For example, a point that we have mentioned in the past:

What is in the Public Domain must remain in the Public Domain. Exclusive control over Public Domain works must not be re-established by claiming exclusive rights in technical reproductions of the works, or using technical protection measures to limit access to technical reproductions of such works.

The manifesto was drafted under the auspices of Communia, the EU thematic network for the digital public domain. In particular it was created by Working Group 6, of which I am co-lead. If you support the manifesto, please consider signing it!

Public Domain Day 2010: A roundup

Jonathan Gray - January 5, 2010 in COMMUNIA, Public Domain, Public Domain Works, Texts, WG Public Domain

January 1st 2010 was Public Domain Day, when around the world various works fell out of copyright and into the public domain. Back in November we put together a rough list of which works fall into the public domain:

You can find the list of 563 authors on our Public Domain Works project, which is a simple registry of artistic works that are in the public domain:

The list can be sorted by author surname, birth date, death date and number of works by clicking on the relevant headings. Notable authors include the poets William Butler Yeats and Osip Mandelstam, as well as the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud.

There were celebrations in Poland and Switzerland. Communia, the EU policy network for the digital public domain launched a new website at:

The Telegraph celebrated Public Domain Day with an editorial from Shane Richmond, Head of Technology:

Happy Public Domain Day everyone! Today is the day that copyright expires on a whole range of works. As we reported this morning, from today works by Sigmund Freud, WB Yeats, Ford Madx Ford and illustrator Arthur Rackham are today part of the public domain. They can be made cheaply available as educational editions, translated into braille or made into audiobooks, all without anyone needing to give permission or any fees changing hands. They are also available to be reinterpreted and re-used by new artists.

The Telegraph also reported an announcement from Wikimedia UK inviting people to upload sources to Wikimedia Commons:

Wikimedia UK anticipates January 1, “Public Domain Day”, 2010 being a great year for additions to the digital Wikimedia Commons. The poetry of W. B. Yeats, the works of Sigmund Freud, and Arthur Rackham’s classic children’s book illustrations all enter the public domain. When the complexities of copyright no longer encumber reuse of old works, a work that has been a “sleeper” can become a new classic. Perhaps the definitive example of this is “It’s a Wonderful Life“, the 1946 Frank Capra film that became a Christmas classic in the 1980s.

Wikimedia UK promotes the uploading of copyright-free text to Wikisource, a sister site to Wikipedia, so that it can be widely enjoyed. Audio recordings of public domain works may be added to the Wikimedia Commons site, and Wikimedia UK invites you to join us and help digitise and preserve our common cultural heritage. You can make it available for everyone to share, build on, and simply enjoy.

On a less happy note, copyright scholar James Boyle at the Center for the Study of the Public Domain writes:

What is entering the public domain in the United States? Sadly, we will have nothing to celebrate this January 1st. Not a single published work is entering the public domain this year. Or next year. Or the year after. Or the year after that. In fact, in the United States, no publication will enter the public domain until 2019. And wherever in the world you live, you now have to wait a very long time for anything to reach the public domain. When the first copyright law was written in the United States, copyright lasted 14 years, renewable for another 14 years if the author wished. Jefferson or Madison could look at the books written by their contemporaries and confidently expect them to be in the public domain within a decade or two. Now? In the United States, as in most of the world, copyright lasts for the author’s lifetime, plus another 70 years. And we’ve changed the law so that every creative work is automatically copyrighted, even if the author does nothing. What do these laws mean to you? As you can read in our analysis here, they impose great (and in many cases entirely unnecessary) costs on creativity, on libraries and archives, on education and on scholarship. More broadly, they impose costs on our entire collective culture. […] We have little reason to celebrate on Public Domain Day because our public domain has been shrinking, not growing.

More detailed comment and analysis from the Centre is available at:

See also posts from:

Public Domain Calculators Meeting, 10-11th November 2009

Jonathan Gray - October 7, 2009 in COMMUNIA, Events, News, Open Knowledge Foundation, Public Domain, Public Domain Works, WG Public Domain

Public Domain Calculators

There is often a tendency to talk of ‘the public domain’ and of works falling out of copyright and ‘into the public domain’ – as though there is a single set of works which are out of copyright all over the world. In fact, of course, there are different national laws about the nature and duration of copyright in different types of works – and hence what is in the public domain is different in different countries.

We’re currently coordinating work to build a series of public domain calculators – which will help to determine whether or not a given work is in copyright in a given jurisdiction. At the time of writing we have been in touch with groups and individuals interested in helping to build the calculators in 17 jurisdictions.

In November, the Open Knowledge Foundation in association with the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law at the University of Cambridge are hosting a meeting of European experts on copyright and the digital public domain as part of the Communia project. The purpose of the workshop is to produce materials such as legal flow charts and public domain “algorithms” which will help with the representation of different national copyright laws and the determination of public domain status.

Details of the meeting are as follows:

2nd Communia Workshop, Torino

Jonathan Gray - July 7, 2009 in COMMUNIA, Events, Open Data, Open Science, Policy, Talks

Just over a week ago was the 2nd Communia Workshop, which took place in Turin. The theme was ‘Global Science and the Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions’ – and there was a great line up of scientists, economists, and legal scholars, as well as representatives from various research bodies and NGOs.

Papers, slides and audio will be published on the Communia website site in the near future.

Following are some highlights of the event:

  • Hans Hoffman at CERN mentioned how their archives of scheduled meetings exceeded 17,000 in 2008 with over 81,000 contributions. He said 100% of their research publications are green open access, and over 85% gold open access. Furthermore all material related to ‘life cycle description (software, blueprints, administrative records, etc.) are under a Creative Commons style license. (Though it is not clear whether or no this was open or not!) He cited the notion that the ‘value of knowledge increases with its use’. He also alluded to the ERC ‘5th freedom’ – the free movement of knowledge. He said that many of our biggest challenges cannot be tackled alone, and collaboration is crucial. He finished by emphasising the importance of a balance of IP between public and private interests.

  • Paul F. Uhlir at the National Academies spoke about environmental data sharing policies – which I was particularly interested to hear about given our interest in this area a couple of years ago. He spoke about how Federal US Government data was in the public domain – in contrast to the model in Europe which is often to commercialise information by ‘hoarding and selling’ it. Remote sensing data, he said, is often not shared on national security grounds. Hence it is slow to build up the large datasets we need. That said there is a general movement towards openness. As examples he cited the OECD recommendations and China’s data sharing policy. He said the value of data was greatly diminished if it was used only by the creators – and that this was especially true of environmental data. The GEOSS initiative was set up to improve environmental data sharing. The amount of data represented is the largest single collection in the world. He said that there was full exchange of data within GEOSS – though it was not clear to what extent data is shared externally.

  • Nicole Perrin of the Wellcome Trust spoke about open access and research funding policy.

  • Bernt Hugenholtz at IViR (who was also at the Amstrerdam Workshop) spoke about the threats IP law posed to the dissemination of knowledge. He spoke of the ‘paradox of IP’ to share knowledge by granting temporary monopolies. He identified the following threats: (i) rights in data, (ii) the commodification of government data (e.g. Landmark case), (iii) increasing contractualisation. To counterbalance these threats he suggested:

    • Broadening exceptions for copyright and DB rights.
    • Limiting/abolishing copyright/DB rights in government data.
    • Discourage ‘all rights’ transfers to publishers in academia.
    • Promote open licensing.
    • Require open access to publicly funded research.
    • Reconsider the privatisation of public data functions.
  • Jerry and Marie Thursby of Georgia Institute of Technology spoke about their research looking at how bio-scientists shared their research with each other, and generally with the public. Their talk gave a rich picture of the various incentives and behaviours involved in information sharing.

See also:

5th Communia Workshop: Post-Event Information + Statement

Jonathan Gray - April 23, 2009 in COMMUNIA, Events, News, Open Data, Open Knowledge Foundation, Policy, Talks, Technical

Participants at 5th COMMUNIA Workshop

The 5th Communia Workshop took place last month at the London School of Economics. It brought together researchers, policy-makers, stakeholders and representatives from across Europe, the United States and Australia for two days of talks and discussions about reusing public sector content and data.

In the afternoon of the first day, participants co-drafted a simple statement. If you support the statement, we encourage you to sign – regardless of whether or not you attended the workshop:

In addition many of the speakers made suggestions for policy recommendations, which are available at:

Documentation, including audio, video and slides, will be published at:

Material published so far includes:

You can also see:

5th COMMUNIA Workshop: Programme Details

Jonathan Gray - March 18, 2009 in COMMUNIA, Events, News, Open Knowledge Foundation, Policy, Talks

The 5th COMMUNIA Workshop will take place in London next week – on the 26-27th March. There’s a great programme of speakers – and details of which are below. There are a handful of tickets left – so if you’d like to come along, make sure and register now! If you aren’t able to make it – we are going to publish audio and video documentation after the event.

Also, if you plan to attend OKCon 2009, which will take place on Saturday 28th March – we encourage you to get your ticket as spaces are limited!

5th COMMUNIA Workshop: Accessing, Using, Reusing Public Sector Content and Data

Across the world there is a growing recognition of the social and commercial value of public sector content and data: be that the text of laws, the holdings of public museums, or the geospatial and environmental information collected by government agencies. Moreover, it is likely that better access to and use of such information is central to improving governance and increasing democratic participation.

The 5th COMMUNIA workshop, co-organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and London School of Economics, will focus on how we can unlock the huge potential of public sector material. It will also examine the current obstacles to doing this — legal, technological and social — as well as how they can be overcome. In particular, much of the value of public sector material can only be realized if it is reused and interlinked — both activities that are currently difficult for a variety of legal and technological reasons.

The workshop will bring together researchers, policy-makers, stakeholders and representatives from across Europe for presentations and discussions about projects, policies and practices aimed at disseminating, connecting and building upon public sector material.


26th March

27th March

5th COMMUNIA Workshop: Accessing, Using and Reusing Public Sector Content and Data, London, 26-27th March 2009

Jonathan Gray - December 19, 2008 in COMMUNIA, Events, News, Open Data, Open Knowledge Foundation, Policy

Update (2009-02-23): registration for this workshop is now open. There is also a provisional programme.

We are pleased to announce that the 5th COMMUNIA Workshop, “Accessing, Using and Reusing Public Sector Content and Data” will take place in London in March 2009. Details are as follows:

  • When: 26-27th March 2009
  • Where: New Academic Building, London School of Economics, London UK

From the blurb:

Across the world there is a growing recognition of the social and commercial value of public sector content and data: be that the text of laws, the holdings of public museums, or the geospatial and environmental information collected by government agencies. Moreover, it is likely that better access to and use of such information is central to improving governance and increasing democratic participation.

The 5th COMMUNIA workshop, co-organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and London School of Economics, will focus on how we can unlock the huge potential of public sector material. It will also examine the current obstacles to doing this — legal, technological and social — as well as how they can be overcome. In particular, much of the value of public sector material can only be realized if it is reused and interlinked — both activities that are currently difficult for a variety of legal and technological reasons.

The workshop will bring together researchers, policy-makers, stakeholders and representatives from across Europe for presentations and discussions about projects, policies and practices aimed at disseminating, connecting and building upon public sector material.

There will be four main sessions focusing on:

  1. Social and economic value of public sector material
  2. Getting the rights right: law and policy
  3. Getting the right tools for the job: technology and communities
  4. Exemplars and Obstacles: case studies

A full list of speakers and presentations will be published in the New Year!

OKF joins COMMUNIA network!

Jonathan Gray - November 25, 2008 in COMMUNIA, Events, External, News, Open Knowledge Foundation, Policy, Public Domain


We’re pleased to announce that (subject to final confirmation) the Open Knowledge Foundation is now a member of the EU funded COMMUNIA network, which is “the European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain”. (We blogged about the first workshop in January and the third workshop in October.)

As it says on the goals page:

The COMMUNIA Thematic Network aims at becoming a European point of reference for theoretical analysis and strategic policy discussion of existing and emerging issues concerning the public domain in the digital environment – as well as related topics, including, but not limited to, alternative forms of licensing for creative material; open access to scientific publications and research results; management of works whose authors are unknown (i.e. orphan works).

Funded by the European Commission within the eContentplus framework, the 3-years long project expects to provide policy guidelines that will help each stakeholder involved – public and private, from the local to the European and global level.

The network will now have 41 members – a full list of which is available on the membership list. We’re currently organising the 4th COMMUNIA workshop which will take place at London School of Economics in March 2009 – so watch this space!

Third COMMUNIA Workshop – Marking the public domain

Jonathan Gray - October 22, 2008 in COMMUNIA, Events, External, OKI Projects, Public Domain, Talks

3rd COMMUNIA workshop

The third COMMUNIA workshop ‘Marking the public domain: relinquishment & certification’ (which we mentioned last week) took place in Amsterdam on Monday and Tuesday.

It brought together COMMUNIA members and other relevant parties from across Europe for talks and workshops focusing on legal issues related to the public domain, and how public domain works can be found and re-used.

I spoke about our work on Public Domain Calculators, and the possibility of working more closely with the COMMUNIA network and its members, as well as with Europeana and CCi. We’re pleased to say that there will now be a new COMMUNIA Working Group – which will include work on Public Domain Calculators for across the EU.

Speakers included:

  • Bernt Hugenholtz, IViR Amsterdam
  • James Boyle, Center for the Study of the Public Domain
  • Mike Linksvayer, VP Creative Commons
  • Diane Peters, General Counsel Creative Commons
  • Lucie Guibault, IViR
  • Mireille van Eechoud, IViR
  • Jennifer Jenkins, Center for the Study of the Public Domain
  • Paul Keller, Knowledgeland
  • Patrick Peiffer, Bibliothèque nationale de Luxembourg
  • Mario Pena, Safe Creative
  • Antoine Aubert, European Copyright Policy Counsel, Google
  • Peter Gorgels, Web Director Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
  • Harry Verwayen, Knowledgeland/Europeana

There was a workshop on CC0 from a European perspective – which included interesting conversations with Jordan Hatcher of the PDDL. Mireille van Eechoud gave an informative presentation on Directive 2003/98/EC – on Public Sector Information, and its implementation across Europe.


Full documentation will be published by COMMUNIA in due course. Meanwhile, below are some rough notes from the opening session with James Boyle and Bernt Hugenholtz – which included a fascinating discussion on the history and future of the public domain in the EU and the US.

James Boyle

  • Discussion of conception of copyright in Scottish Enlightenment. A necessary evil and a temporary purgatory in which works languish before the paradise of the public domain.
  • ‘The best of a bad series of alternatives’. Better than patronage or subsidy.
  • The public domain available for re-use and adaptation. Copyright as the price of rich public domain.
  • Works would not fall into public domain – they would emerge into public domain.
  • Strand of liberalism from Scottish Enlightenment.
  • Default state of works (after relatively brief period of protection), rather than conception of public domain as dusty ‘lost and found office’.
  • Minimalist vs maximalist visions of copyright. This picture is too simple.
  • Booksellers stripped of privileges – hired Diderot as lobbyist.
  • Diderot argues literary property is highest form of property. Don’t impoverish common store, add to the common store.
  • Condorcet argues that copyright is placing restriction on freedom – not only of those who want to copy, but those who want copies. Question of use or harm to progress of enlightenment.
  • Condorcet and Diderot’s visions going to war. We have a mix of both.
  • Notion of works in the public domain as pre-requisite to ‘being a cultural hero’.
  • On both sides of atlantic discussions of pd more complex than we acknowledge
  • Writing and re-writing history of the public domain on both sides of the atlantic

Bernt Hugenholtz

  • Agrees that history of public domain is more complex than we may assume.
  • History of European copyright does not end at end of 18th century.
  • 19th century thinkers tried to rationalise knowledge as property
  • Nature of intellectual property, philosophical discussion.
  • IP as subcategory of personality right (a bit like a human right).
  • Lots of interesting ideas from German thinkers. Monist conception where copyright does not allow transfers. Copyright is other side of personality. Germany is most problematic.
  • What are the differences between EU/US systems and histories of copyright?
  • In EU copyright reflects personality and gives them human rights status
  • Absence of constitutional mandate in EU jurisdictions is a big difference
  • In US have the supreme court as an opportunity, constitutional scrutiny
  • Except in places like germany that are structurally more like the US
  • More difficult to come up with CC0 style declarations
  • Government/legislative intervention
  • Freedom of public sector information is not well grounded in europe

Discussion with James Boyle and Bernt Hugenholtz

  • JB: Theoretical dimension in addition to historical dimension. In US copyright expires then freedom. What is freedom? Access? Free trade? Notion of the commons. Privately created commons. Created by individuals. Jefferson, Diderot, et al were not thinking of privately created commons. We should pause and reflect on this.

    • One vision: Private commons are second best as we have bad IP law. CC would be unnecessary if we had better rules and systems. CC deals with screw ups of corrupt/broken system.
    • Another vision: Not second best but first best. E.g. viral licensing. Sharealike. Imposing condition that public domain could not impose. Not just absence of rights, but stipulation of regulation.
    • We need to be clear about which vision of commons we are talking about.
    • E.g. strong public domain conditions. Notion of attribution. E.g. with large databases. Lots of science unworkable with viral licensing. Attribution stacking. On theoretical level having a more complex view. Analogy with property. Initially on/off switch conception. Then to much more complex/granular notion involving mortgages, rent, environmental regulation, etc.
  • BH: What is public domain? Negative version of copyright? Or is it more than that? Is it a symbol or metaphor for a desirable situation in policy/legislation? Absence of IP right can lead to restriction on access. E.g. with databases. William Hill case in 2004. Events schedules not subject to copyright. Lots of events schedule data (sports schedules, etc.) is disappearing underground as a result of the fact there is no protection. Not saying it was a bad decision – but unintented consequences. Back to question – what is your conception of the public domain?

  • JB: Many public domains. Appropriate definitions fit with a particular purpose. Notion of public domain depends on ‘evil’ we are addressing. Free as in beer. Limitations/exceptions. Fair use. Every creative work has public roads running through it. Animating vision is one in which public domain is a cluster of ideas – not single idea – that motivate good policy. Often people project their experience from point of entry into debate. Bring presuppositions from point of entry. E.g. software people may think viral licensing is best. E.g. synthetic biologists keen on viral licensing. Able to convince some of them that this was a bad idea. BSD-type or public domain approach better. Different approaches for different circumstances. We should ask question ‘what do we want to do?’ first, then vision of freedom.

  • BH: Regarding CC0. Creative Commons has evoked criticisms. Like saying: on left there are always people left of you. Niva [Elkin-Koren] writes critically about Creative Commons. Proliferation of license-based approach adds to property rhetoric that movement wants to cut down on?

  • JB: Good question. CC started by people irritated by not being able to share things. Notion of a statement, a bit like a t-shirt, pen. A declarative idea – ‘I like the commons’. People found and loved it. Applied to genetics databases. Disregarding things like Database Right in EU. People motivated by irritation. CC0 came out of that.

  • Prodromos: Different visions. What about institutionalisation of PD? Interoperability of material?

  • JB: I view myself as hurried waiter rather than legal tsar handing down orders. Mechanic for CC. Where is CC0? Flipside is none of this will mean anything unless public have a sense of everything everyone has a stake in. Not just lawyers/companies. So.. metaphor of environmentalism or ecology. In 1950s there was no idea of ‘the environment’. People worried about species diversity, pollution, etc. Worried about different things. Then notion of ‘environment’. Similar vision for ‘public domain’ to unify different approaches.

  • BH: Not quite sure I understood Pro’s question. To rephrase: how to internalise norms? Software copyright situated in law. Existed long before it was codified. Institutions may agree on certain things, e.g. PSI should be free, publicly funded research should be free. Much prefer good norms/policies to CC0.

  • Bodo: Ethnographers have been talking about norms for years. Indigenous communities having norms. How doe PD/CC0 relate to indigenous knowledge? Are they opposed?

  • JB: Better solution is government data is free – period. Not even WIPO would forbid sharing of indigenous knowledge. Not opposed. CC0 is agnostic. E.g. rapacious capitalist and tree-hugging environmentalist.

  • Phillipe Agrain: Parallels with physical commons. Rivalrous resources. Similar standing with physical/intellectual commons. Different take on JB’s environmentalism metaphor.

  • BH: Conceptualise vision at pre-norm setting level. Human rights. Article 10, Paragraph 2. Freedom is the rule. Ownership is the exception and has to be proven/proportional. Danger to human rights narrative. Also powerful human rights argument in terms of protection. Personality right argument. Freedom of expression and intellectual property. Also relate this to previous question regarding traditional knowledge.

  • Charlie Ness: Creating public domain. What open universities could do.

  • JB: Phillipe’s metaphor is dangerous. The notion of great old stuff that you should leave alone. Just like French view of public grass – do not walk on it. PD is stuff that is too good to use. Avoid view of public domain that says ‘how lucky we are to have it – lets leave it alone’.

  • Innovation from outlaws? File sharing. Then Radionhead/Nine Inch Nails etc.

  • JB: Three different answers. (1) As scholar you may be right but not just for last 15 years or so. Line between legal/illegal. Always dialectic. Trade secrets. Elizabethan plays (people writing them down). DRM was people with bludgeons hitting copiers. In this sense comment is true. (2) In many ways this is too ‘deep’ to be useful. Notion of ‘X supporting piracy’ being fodder for newspapers. (3) Danger in public complacency. ‘We don’t need stinking freedoms as we have X technology to undermine protection/etc.’. ‘Who needs limitations and exceptions when you have YouTube?’ (until it gets a takedown notice). Danger in celebration of and reliance on piracy.

  • How long will this remain deep/dangerous?

  • JB: McCain campaign with letter to YouTube is big step. Freedom to remix is part of American culture. Big progress.

  • Severine Dusollier: Before both maximalist/minimalist people took pd as given. Public domain is no longer a given. Thats why we need things like cc0. Building pd.

  • BH: Example of proposal on term extension is good example of weakness of notion of public domain in EU. Bloggers saying ‘What are these acdemics complaining about – do they want a free ride on the beatles?’. Public information law approach. Can learn from US.

  • JB: Case of patents over ploughshares. Unconstitutional to withdraw something from the public domain. Or to impede access to PD. Public domain as a zone of freedom that citizens get to play with. Normative vision. Speech based/innovation based that we can work with.

Get Updates