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Publication of the COMMUNIA book "The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture"

The book "The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture", edited by Melanie Dulong de Rosnay and Juan Carlos De Martin as an output of the Communia Thematic Network, is out in all formats (hardback, paperback, and digital editions) and can be purchased on the website of OpenBookPublishers.

The book is under a CC Attribution license and the PDF can be downloaded here: The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture

Citation reference: Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Juan Carlos De Martin, (eds.), The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture, Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK, 2012, 220 p.

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.

The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture


Melanie Dulong de Rosnay

Juan Carlos De Martin

This book brings together essays by academics, librarians, entrepreneurs, activists and policy makers, who were all part of the EU-funded Communia project.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

The University as a Matter of Public Concern


Jan Masschelein, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Maarten Simons, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium


FCRC2010 - COMMUNIA WG Meetings - October 7

[This page collects practical details and it's addressed to COMMUNIA Members: please, ignore it if you're not affiliated to a COMMUNIA Member Institution.]

3rd Free Culture Research Conference - October 8-9, Berlin

Free Culture Research Conference Hosted jointly by the Free University of Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, the 3rd edition of the Free Culture Research Conference will take place on October 8-9, 2010 at the Free University Campus in Berlin, in collaboration with COMMUNIA, and with funding also provided by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Under the title "Free Culture between Commons and Markets: Approaching the Hybrid Economy?", this event will be a unique opportunity for scholars whose work contributes to the promotion, study or criticism of a Free Culture, to engage with a multidisciplinary group of academic peers and practitioners, identify the most important research opportunities and challenges, and attempt to chart the future of Free Culture.

COMMUNIA Working Groups will meet in Berlin the day before the Conference: COMMUNIA Members may visit this page for the agenda of the day (October 7).

The complete programme of the Conference (including links to the papers) is available here [23sep10].

University & Cyberspace Conference: first report and material

The first day of the conference covered the relevant history and traditions of universities, move through the current state of play, and focus on the emerging landscape of universities, articulating both their changing role in society, the significant challenges these institutions are facing for the future and, more specifically, their role vis a vis the increasing commons of knowledge facilitated by the Internet. This day provided intellectual scaffolding for the primary ideas and tracks explored. The opening keynote, focused on "Universities as Knowledge Institutions", laid the foundation for integrative plenaries on university responsibilities on day 2. The three track sessions, "Digital Natives", "Information Infrastructure", and "Physical/Spatial Infrastructure", explored the pressing questions universities face in these areas, and provided the basis for working groups on subsequent days.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Istanbul workshop: new venue & web live streaming

UPDATE: Presentations and papers are available on the workshop webpage.

Since many people were unable to reach Istanbul due to the present flight disruption over Europe, the workshop has been limited to Monday 19 April only and a video streaming service has been set up.

Most importantly, since live streaming has become an almost crucial need, we have changed the event venue: the Sozbir Hotel internet connection has been deemed not reliable enough.

The workshop is being held at the Ozyegin University, on the Asian side. A map with directions is available here.

The video stream is currently online at:

Please be aware that simultaneous connection is limited to 25 users and you need to have the latest version of java installed on your PC.

Here you can test your java installation and, if needed, upgrade it: [19apr10]

7th Communia Workshop (1-2 Feb. 2010, Luxembourg)

Digital Policies: the Public Domain and Alternative Compensation Systems


Under the title "Digital Policies: the Public Domain and Alternative Compensation Systems", the 7th COMMUNIA Workshop will take place at the National Library of Luxembourg, in Luxembourg, on Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd February 2010.

Presentations slides, abstracts, policy recommendations, as well as for some speakers transcripts or papers, are available from this website download section and also from each of the titles in the programme below. A programme document available here collects abstracts and initial position statements submitted by chairpersons and speakers before the workshop.


Happy Public Domain Day!

While New Year's Day is an occasion for great celebrations worldwide, we shouldn't forget another special reason to celebrate January 1st: Public Domain Day! In several countries, this day marks the expiration of copyright protection terms on creative works produced by authors who died several decades earlier (1939, for this 01/01/2010). Therefore such works enter the Public Domain, and their content is no longer owned or controlled by anyone but it rather becomes available for anyone to freely use for any purpose. In other words, on each year's January 1st an impressive wealth of knowledge, information and beauty becomes freely available to humankind.

To celebrate this occasion, COMMUNIA is promoting a new website devoted to Public Domain Day: This project aims at increasing the public awareness of this celebration and educating about the Public Domain concept and its potentialities for spreading culture and knowledge worldwide. The website is particularly focused on this Public Domain Day 2010, providing useful resources (Countries' copyright terms, Public Domain calculators, related sites and databases, etc.) and a detailed list of authors and artists who died in 1939 and now enter the Public Domain (only in certain countries, since copyright regulations differ in the various countries and often require a lawyer opinion). Among the over 600 names included in that list, at least in selected jurisdictions, there are Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis; William Butler Yeats, one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature; Alphonse Maria Mucha, a renowned Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist.

Unfortunately in the US there is little to celebrate because no published works will be entering the public domain until 2019. But the Center for the Study of Public Domain at Duke University (a COMMUNIA member) published a very informative website to mark the event. Other initiatives to celebrate Public Domain Day are planned in Poland and in Switzerland. And here is a COMMUNIA Press Release (in PDF format) for further distribution. [31dec09]

COMMUNIA Conference 2009: Global Science & Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions

The Second COMMUNIA International Conference 2009 is scheduled for Sunday 28, Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 June 2009 in Torino, Italy.

The conference will address the conceptual foundations and practical feasibilities of contractually constructed “commons” and related bottom-up public domain initiatives (joint policy guidelines, common standards, institutional policies, etc.) capable of offering shared access to a variety of research resources, identifying effective models and salient needs and opportunities for effective initiatives across a diverse range of research areas.

Also available are detailed procedures for hotel bookings (at special rates) and instructions on how to reach the conference venue at the Rettorato on Sunday and at Collegio Carlo Alberto the following days.

Take a look at the programme of the conference.

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]

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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