As advertised in a previous post my paper entitled The Value of the Public Domain was published today by the IPPR as a part of a set commissioned for their project on IP and the Public Sphere. You can download the paper from the IPPR website in pdf form via this link:

It is is available under v2.5 of the Creative Commons attribution licence so feel free to use, reuse and redistribute!

In addition to the paper the IPPR will be making available the recording of the event which included talks from Lord Sainsbury, Chris Parker of Microsoft, and Richard Jennings who is Head of Consultancy Services at Cambridge Enterprise.

UPDATE: the talks are now linked from the IPPR’s IP and the Public Sphere project blog at

Part 1 of the seminar (mp3): Lord Sainsbury, Chris Parker, Rufus Pollock and Dr Richard Jennings (File size: 37.7MB – Duration of audio 1 hr 22 mins 23 secs). Talk on the value of the Public Domain starts at approx 52 minutes in.

Listen to Part 2 of the seminar (mp3): Questions from the floor and panel responses (File size: 17.6MB – Duration 38 mins 33 secs)

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Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge.

2 thoughts on “The Value of the Public Domain Published”

  1. Economics is far removed from my small world. I would, though, be interested in seeing what might come of an exploration of some simple economics related work on the topic of what one community-based computer might offer the public domain.

    Let’s say we put one computer that had Open Source tools installed on it in a public space. The computer enables users to create CDs, DVDs, tv and radio shows, podcasts, videocasts, even full-featured films. It enables nonprofit organizations to create world-class fundraising campaigns. Small businesses can create multimedia marketing campaigns indistinguishable from those of international corporations.

    One homeless person uses it to create 100 CDs, and sells them to 100 sympathetic passers-by:
    1CD x $10 per CD x 100 sales = $1,000
    Now, one nonprofit organization creates a CD, and sells it to 100 donors:
    1CD x $10 x 100 donors = $1,000
    If 100 individuals made 1CD and sold it to 100 people, and 5 nonprofits made 1CD and sold it to 100 people, each year:
    105CDs x $10 x 100 sales = $105,000
    There are, on average, 12 communities in a county, and some 40 counties in a state:
    105CDs x $10 x 100 sales x 12 x 40 = over $50 million dollars per year in CDs, alone.
    Add to this, that for each artist that moves into town, 2 to 3 jobs are created, and the numbers begin to explode.

    The cost of the computer was a donated cheap desktop. The cost of the software was zero dollars, as it was made freely available by Stanford University’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. In other words, a state-of-the-art audio/video multimedia center sitting on a cheap desktop computer. Anyone care to roll out the numbers for me?

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