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The activities of COMMUNIA

In Summary

In order to achieve the goals explained here, COMMUNIA will:

  • organize 9 open workshops and 3 International conferences;
  • design, implement and maintain a web-based portal;
  • disseminate proceedings of all the workshops and conferences;
  • pending a viability analysis, publish the first two issues of a theme-specific academic journal;
  • produce and disseminate a map of existing and prospective European competence centres on the public domain;
  • produce and disseminate a "best practices" guide for the such European competence centres;
  • produce an enlargement and sustainability strategy;
  • produce and disseminate a final strategic report.

Workshops and Conferences

  • First COMMUNIA Workshop: Technology and the Public Domain, Torino (Italy), 18/01/2008
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  • Second COMMUNIA Workshop: Ethical Public Domain: Debate of Questionable Practices, Vilnius (Lithuania), 31/03/2008
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  • First COMMUNIA Conference: Public Domain in the Digital Age, Louvain-La-Neuve (Belgium), 30/06-01/07/2008
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  • Third COMMUNIA Workshop: Marking the public domain: relinquishment & certification, Amsterdam (the Netherlands), 20-21/10/2008
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  • Fourth COMMUNIA Workshop: Zurich (Switzerland), 23/01/2009
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  • Fifth COMMUNIA Workshop: Accessing, Using and Reusing Public Sector Content and Data, London (England), 26-27/03/2009
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  • Second COMMUNIA Conference: Global Science & Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions, Torino (Italy), 28-30/06/2009
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  • Sixth COMMUNIA Workshop: Memory Institutions and Public Domain, Barcelona (Spain), 01-02/10/2009
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  • Seventh COMMUNIA Workshop: Digital Policies: the Public Domain and Alternative Compensation Systems, Luxembourg, 01-02/02/2010
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  • Eighth COMMUNIA Workshop: Education and the Public Domain: The Emergence of a Shared Educational Commons, Istanbul (Turkey), 19-20/04/2010
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  • Third COMMUNIA Conference: University and Cyberspace - Reshaping Knowledge Institutions for the Networked Age, Torino (Italy), 28-30/06/2010
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  • Working Groups

    Working Groups are groups of partners that share a common interest for a particular sub-topic of, or a particular disciplinary approach to, the issues of interest to the COMMUNIA project. The internal structure and decisional processes of each Working Group will be decided on an "ad hoc" basis by the members of the Working Group itself, in order to allow self-organisation according to the changing needs at hand. The only requirement will be for each WG to have a 'rapporteur' who will be the interface between the Working Group and the other members of the network. Contribution to a WG will be open to third parties on an "ad hoc" basis, as decided by the WG itself.

    In summary, each WG will:

    • provide input to the members of the project when deciding on the theme of the workshops and conferences;
    • propose relevant speakers for workshops and conferences;
    • provide bibliography and research material;
    • revise and review the scientific content of the reports produced by the Network;
    • provide scientific advice and, where appropriate, review and revise material for the Journal that could be produced as part of the dissemination & awareness activities;

    The following Working Groups have been created so far:

    To participate to Communia activities, join our mailing lists and contribute to the wikis:

    Communia public wiki:
    Communia private wiki:


    From an analytical point of view, COMMUNIA will focus on a broad range of issues related to the digital public domain, including:

    • alternative licensing frameworks, built upon the concept of "sharing" rather than "exclusion" as the preferred modality for managing copyright-protected works. Creative Commons Public Licenses (CCPL) are arguably the most widely known examples of such approaches, but they are not the only ones. The COMMUNIA project will make sure
      that analysis will be as inclusive as possible and will give voice to different approaches to the subject under consideration, including other licensing frameworks similar in spirit to, but different in practice from, Creative Commons licenses;
    • open access to the results of scientific research, in the form of free and unfettered access to pre-prints of research articles and/or free and unfettered access to articles and data resulting from publicly funded research, depending on the particular conditions. One of the main activities of the COMMUNIA project in this area will be specifically to understand what are the particular dynamics of different areas and funding models of research and what could be the proper access model;
    • interaction between copyright law and technology, including:
      • search technologies;
      • storage technologies;
      • use of metadata for expressing information about creative works, with specific reference to the use of Rights Expression Languages and their intersection with Digital Rights Management systems;
      • the use of Digital Rights Management technologies both for enforcement and for mere management of public domain material and of works that are licensed with the aim of sharing with, rather than excluding, third parties;
      • how network technologies (and related policies) interact with the social and legal processes underpinning the digital public domain;
    • how the role of libraries and archives should and/or could adapt to technological, social and legal changes brought upon by the digital environment; moreover, how such institutions should handle and manage works in the public domain and/or works that are licensed under "sharing" licensing frameworks;
    • how established business models can adapt to the digital public domain and which types of new business models, based on the digital public domain and on "sharing" frameworks for creative material, can emerge and produce wealth;
    • how the digital public domain interacts with the public sphere, i.e. how the digital public domain can foster a lively and open public sphere and how norms and norm-setting processes influence the public domain in the digital age.


    In order to avoid duplication of efforts and resources, collaboration with other existing or emerging eContent+ projects will be sought on all the topics of interest to the COMMUNIA project:

    • Public Sector Information, collaboration - in the form of information exchanges, participation in events and, if feasible, organization of joint actions with EPSIPlus - as well as other projects that will be identified during the lifetime of the COMMUNIA Thematic Network - will be sought whenever appropriate;
    • Geographical/spatial information, collaboration - in the form of information exchanges, participation to events and, if feasible, organization of joint actions - with the EC-funded projects EGN, GEOMIND and eWater (as well as other projects that will be identified during the lifetime of the COMMUNIA Thematic Network) will be sought whenever appropriate.

    Members map
    Worldwide interactive
    map including all
    COMMUNIA Members

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

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