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COMMUNIA conference on Public Domain in the Digital Age

Louvain-la-NeuveThe First COMMUNIA Conference 2008 is scheduled for Monday 30 June and Tuesday 1st July 2008 in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium (30 km south of Brussels). It is co-organized by the Communia Thematic Network and the GICSI-EU initiative.

The main theme is the Assessment of economic and social impact of digital public domain throughout Europe.

The Conference aims at initiating a “stock taking exercise” of the impact of public domain initiatives in the fields of public sector information, libraries, archives, scientific research and creative works in Europe. The event is mainly aimed at promoting the public domain by building capacity for scientific assessment of social and economic impacts, and promoting analysis of legal impediments. The conference will draw upon the extensive information on open access practices that is available, although often in an informal manner, within major networks and stakeholders in Europe.

A report of the conference is available here, and slides as well as summaries of some sessions can be accessed from the download section of the website as well as directly below in the programme [27oct09]

The following issues have been specifically addressed during the conference:

- What are the objectives of the open access commons?
- What are the existing legal, institutional and normative mechanisms that are adopted in different open access initiatives in the fields of public sector information, libraries, archives and creative works in Europe ?
- How to assess the economic and social impact of selected cases ?

    The aim of the call for papers is threefold:
  1. to build a repertory about the usage of open access licenses (under different forms) in EU,
  2. to evaluate social and economic benefits of open access initiatives, and
  3. to discuss proposals for mitigating economic and legal obstacles.

Local Organizing Committee:

Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Director of Research, Centre de Philosophie du Droit, Université catholique de Louvain

Severine Dusollier, Professor at the Centre de Recherche Informatique et Droit, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix

María J. Iglesias Portela, Head of Intellectual Property Research Unit, Centre de Recherche Informatique et Droit, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix.

For more information, please contact María J. Iglesias Portela.



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.

COMMUNIA also plans to build strategic relationships with other non-European countries (starting with the United States and Brazil, where two COMMUNIA members are located) in which similar policy discussions are currently underway.

About the Global Information Commons for Science- EU activities (GICSI-EU)

The Global Information Commons for Science Initiative (GICSI) is an international initiative of CODATA and a multi-stakeholder project arising from the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis in November 2005. It has the overall goal to accelerate the development and scaling up of open scientific data and information resources on a global basis, with particular focus on “common use” licensing approaches. GICSI-EU is currently a CODATA Working Group.

Media contact:

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Conference 2008

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

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