Open Book Publishers is the first UK academic publisher to have made all its books freely available
online, publishing peer-reviewed research in subjects across the Humanities and Social Sciences. They are “committed to the idea that high quality scholarship should be available to readers everywhere regardless of their income or access to university libraries”.

This week sees their most recent release hit the virtual shelves, The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture, edited by Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, co-founder and chair of Communia, and Juan Carlos De Martin. From the Press Release:

This book brings together essays by
academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists
and policy makers, who were all part of the
EU-funded Communia project. Together the
authors argue that the Public Domain — that
is, the informational works owned by all of us,
be that literature, music, the output of
scientific research, educational material or
public sector information — is fundamental to
a healthy society.

The essays range from more theoretical papers
on the history of copyright and the Public
Domain, to practical examples and case
studies of recent projects that have engaged
with the principles of Open Access and
Creative Commons licensing. The book is
essential reading for anyone interested in the
current debate about copyright and the
Internet. It opens up discussion and offers
practical solutions to the difficult question of
the regulation of culture at the digital age.

Open Book Publishers argue that “One of the fundamental aims of academia is to spark thought and debate in both the academic and wider community. Open Access helps spread educational materials to everyone, globally, not just to those who can afford it. A large proportion of scholarly research is publicly funded, so it seems only reasonable that its results be made available as widely as possible.”

The free PDF edition of this title was made
possible by generous funding received from
the European Union (eContentplus framework
project ECP-2006-PSI-610001). Get your copy here, and have a browse of their other titles at

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Theodora is press officer at the Open Knowledge Foundation, based in London. Get in touch via