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COMMUNIA Newsletter - October 2009

Here below please find the October edition of our monthly newsletter, with a selection of updated news about Communia activities and other issues related to the digital Public Domain. [30oct09]

- Report on 6th Communia workshop (Barcelona, 1-2/10/09)

The workshop, held on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 October 2009 at the University of Barcelona in Spain, started with a keynote by Dr. Ben White (British Library), emphasizing that we are at a crucial time: norms are currently being set by different uses, governments, and technologies, and libraries have to find a way around such differences in their on-going digitalisation efforts. It is important to get digital preservation right at economic, technical and legal levels, otherwise we will not be able to build and preserve our digital public domain. For instance, an analysys of over 100 contracts revealed that most of them systematically undermine preservation right of libraries. It is imperative to follow the lead of countries such as Ireland and Belgium: contract law cannot undermine exceptions to exclusive rights. Indeed, the British Library is currently in discussion with Wikimedia commons following the lead of the Bundesarchiv: they plan to use "social contracts" rather than a contractual framework such as a Creative Commons license. Above economic copyright, there are other issues to to be beared in mind, such as moral rights, religious sensitivities and other concerns of libraries that want people to know that certain material comes from such libraries.

Read full report.

- "3-strikes" legislation for copyright infringers still a threat

In a great blow for consumers everywhere, the prospect of 3-strikes for copyright infringers has returned with a vengeance, as both the EU Council and French Constitutional court pushed forward with their respective legislation. The HADOPI bill is still alive, and the EU has shredded requirements for judicial oversight.
While in some countries this threat had been reduced in recent weeks, with strong protests in the UK and an open rejection in Germany, lobby groups and politicians are still pushing for the ruling in France and in the EP.

Read more.

- First International Open Access Week

Open Access Week (October 19-23, 2009) has been an opportunity to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access to research, including access policies from all types of research funders, within the international higher education community and the general public. The now-annual event has been expanded from a single day to accommodate widespread global interest in the movement toward open, public access to scholarly research results.

Read more.

- Kindle Store adds over 18,000 free public domain titles - plus fresh English classics remix

Recently Amazon has been adding public domain titles to its Kindle eBook store at a frantic pace: over 18,000 titles are now available as free downloads. The step is in addition to other 'remix' titles for sale, such as Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, that expands the original Jane Austen novel with "all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities", with some help by Brooklyn, NY-based writer Ben Winters.
This is a new trend including other classics of English literature now in the public domain, that are being re-actualized by adding a pinch of fun and creativity to their original texts.

Read more.

- Second COMMUNIA Conference material available 

Our website provides the entire set of material presented at our Second Conference (Torino, 28-30 June 2009) available for free download. Overall there are 22 presentations, 9 abstracts, 10 papers, and 2 audio files (56:35 and 11:04 minutes). Just go to and choose Second Communia Conference.

- Updated news and other information on a variety issues related to the digital public domain are always available on our Website:

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