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WG6: Mapping the public domain (MAPPING)


The WG6 Mapping the public domain will mainly work on the definition of the public domain, what it is, and should be, in theory and in practice. The tasks WG6 will carry out are the following:

- outlining a definition and a mapping of the public domain (theoretical frame): We talk a lot in COMMUNIA of the Public domain but we have not yet a clear definition of what it is. Does it cover copyright exceptions ? How can the works licensed under CC or other copyleft licenses be considered as public domain material ? Is the public domain limited to works whose term of protection has lapsed ? How can we better delineate and promote the other parts of the public domain composed of ideas or uncopyrightable works, due to the lack of originality or to a statutory exclusion (such as official texts) ? What about the relinquishment of copyright into the public domain ? Is it valid ? How can it be organised ?

- devising Public domain calculators (practical frame). WG6 will also commence preliminary work on building a set of public domain calculators for European jurisdictions. These will help to calculate whether or not copyright has expired in a given work in a given jurisdiction. Initially this will consist of assembling groups of legal experts and interested parties in each jurisdiction. Each group will then start to represent relevant legislation in a flow diagram.
This will be co-ordinated by Jonathan Gray at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

- organisation of the public domain day (in collaboration with the other WG) The organisation of a public domain day for 2009 has been started by the WG3. In the future the WG6 could take over the overall organisation of that day with collaboration of the other WG.

- drafting a Charter of the public domain. Once we have a definition of the Public Domain, we should try within the COMMUNIA framework to elaborate certain principles regarding access, use and re-use of public domain. These principles main be general or sector specific (science, education, culture, public information).


Communia-wg6 mailing list (moderated):
Communia-wg6 [AT] lists [DOT] communia-project [DOT] eu

Communia public wiki:
Communia private wiki:
Communia W6 private wiki:

Notes from the Public Domain Calculators Meeting, Luxembourg, 31st January 2010

== Where are we? ==

* Europeana is contributing work on public domain calculators. Code will be under GPL. Language is Python and Google Web Tools.
* Latest version of questions:

== Questions ==

* How to integrate work at Europeana and Work at OKF?
* Code: API, Library?

== To do ==

* Organise in-person meetups
* In Torino, June
* In Istanbul (also special session with Turkish copyright experts), April
* Berlin, 10-12 May?

== Which juristictions in the first instance? ==

Europeana will provide flowcharts for (and before April 15th):
* Netherlands
* UK
* Italy
* Czech Republic
* France?
* Greece?

== Which countries do we have covered? ==


* Austria - Maybe
* Belgium - Yes
* Bulgaria - Maybe
* Cyprus - No
* Czech Republic - Done
* Denmark - No
* Estonia - Yes
* Finland - Maybe
* France - Yes
* Germany - Yes
* Greece - Yes
* Hungary - Maybe
* Ireland - Maybe
* Italy - Done
* Latvia - Maybe
* Lithuania - No
* Luxembourg - No
* Malta - Maybe
* Netherlands - Done
* Poland - Yes
* Portugal - Maybe
* Romania - Yes
* Slovakia - No
* Slovenia - No
* Spain - Yes
* Sweden - Yes
* United Kingdom - Yes

Non-EU European countries:

* Iceland - No
* Norway - Yes
* Switzerland - Yes
* Turkey - Yes


* See

== Milestones ==

* By 8th February 2010 publicise questionnaire
* 15th April 2010 - European deliverable (6 working PD calculator, stand-alone)

Notes from the Public Domain Calculators Meeting, University of Cambridge, 10-11th November 2009

In November, a meeting of European experts on copyright and the digital public domain was organized as part of the Communia project. The meeting focused on building public domain calculators for jurisdictions in Europe.

An overview of the meeting including output and action points is available here, a blog post has also been published here and documentation about public domain flow diagrams can be found here. Questions have been developed for jurisdictions experts to build a public domain calculator, the questionnaire "Public Domain Calculator Expert Questions" is here.

Notes from the 6th Communia Workshop, Barcelona, 1st October 2009

The Public Domain Manifesto draft has been discussed by the WG members and amended accordingly by the WG leads right after the meeting. The text is now available for last comments again by the WG members. The final Document has be sent to Communia members by Mid or End-November 2009 and published in January 2010 there.

Notes from the 2nd Communia Conference, Torino, 28th June 2009

The WG discussed a preliminary version of the Public Domain Manifesto which had been drafted by several members of the WG during an AHG meeting which took place in Amsterdam on June 8th. This feedback has been integrated and led to an additional period of comment until the next meeting.

Notes from the 4th Communia Workshop, Zurich, 23rd January 2009

Twofold mission of WG6:

- Following a descriptive approach, to provide a definition of what constitutes the Public Domain (PD) in Europe; and
- Following a normative approach, to develop principles and guidelines for the preservation, access to, and use of the PD in Europe.


1. Map of the PD in Europe, e.g. to provide a theoretical understanding of the structure and content of the PD.
- NB: Members present thought that a PD calculator (Jonathan Gray’s project) should serve as a tool to provide a concrete indication of what is the public domain, but that it would go beyond the capacity of the Communia WG6 to develop a calculator for more than one or two jurisdictions. For this reason, it was decided that the creation of a calculator should not constitute a separate deliverable.
- However, it should be stressed that WG2 (Technology) may be interested in pursuing this line of activity.

2. Manifesto on the PD in Europe, e.g. to establish principles and guidelines for the preservation, access to, and use of the PD in Europe. The Manifesto may be completed by a set of policy recommendations.
- NB: In view of the existing overlap between the activities of WG6 and WG3 (Memory Institutions), it was decided to leave the organisation and promotion of the Public Domain Day 2010 to the latter WG. However, the importance of a Public Domain Day should be stressed as part of the policy recommendations of the Manifesto.

Working method / Timing:
- Start providing input on the mapping and the manifesto through a wiki and the mailing list (accessible for WG6 members; eventually for members of other WG’s);
- Although the principles and guidelines of the Manifesto should (partly) rest on the findings of other WG’s, WG6 should not wait for the input of other working groups to start its own work;
- To help steer discussions within other WG’s (in order to gather input for WG6), WG6 should send out some preliminary questions and ideas for reflection to each of the other WG’s.
- The timing for the production of the deliverables should be aligned with Communia events:
o A first draft of the map & the manifesto should be ready before the Torino Conference on Scientific Knowledge (01.06.2009);
o Improved drafts should be made available and discussed during every subsequent workshop, so that a final version of both documents can be presented and adopted at the final conference in Torino (06.2010);
- A 1 or 2 day working meeting for members of WG6 should be organised before the Torino Conference (Communia has funds for such meetings):
o Possible dates: April 10th or 17th ;
o Possible venue: Amsterdam (either Kennisland or IViR);
o Topics discussion:
- Prepare initial draft of the map (get inspired by other existing maps);
- Agree on the table of contents of the manifesto;
- Elaborate questions and ideas for reflection for other WG’s;
- Prepare initial draft of the manifesto.

Manifesto / (Possible) Table of contents

I- Preamble

II- General principles

III- Sectorial principles [Members of the WG6 must agree on the need to include a section with sector specific principles in addition to the general principles; possible sectors are:]

Culture (What does PD mean for content creation? Possible input from WG4 – Economics/Business Models)
Education and Science (gather input from WG1 – Education & Science)
Memory Institutions (gather input from WG3 – Memory Institutions)
Public Sector Information

IV- Recommendations

Members map
Worldwide interactive
map including all

Presentations, papers and other material related to COMMUNIA events are available in the download page

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