The Public Domain is the wealth of information that is free from the barriers usually associated with copyright protection (such as, to access or to reuse) either because it is free from any copyright protection or because the right holders have decided to remove these barriers. It is the raw material from which new knowledge is derived and new cultural works are created.
This definition is extracted from the Public Domain Manifesto, an output of the Thematic Network. A book “The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture” (pdf) has also been published and brings together essays 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 Association’s mission is to educate about, advocate for, offer expertise and research about the public domain in the digital age within society and with policy-makers. It draws from the 14 Communia policy recommendations.
The Association aims at maintaining and reinforcing a network of European and international organisations that constitute reference for policy discussion and strategic action on all issues related to the public domain in the digital environment and related topics.
Activities include publications, meetings, conferences, projects, consultations, studies, research, representation towards institutions, collaboration with other associations and entities in Brussels, in Europe and worldwide.
In particular, the fields of endeavor of the Communia Association includes :
- preservation of the Public Domain in its strict sense, after copyright expiration: COMMUNIA EU Positive Agenda for the Digital Public Domain, COMMUNIA WIPO Positive Agenda for the Public Domain
- celebration of the Public Domain Day every year;
- alternative forms of licensing for creative material, such as Creative Commons or other free/open licenses: COMMUNIA policy paper on proposed Directive on collective management of copyright
- open government data and public sector information: COMMUNIA policy paper on the proposal to amend the European Directive on re-use of Public Sector Information
- open access to scientific publications and open scientific data: COMMUNIA Position on EC Horizon 2020 Open Access policy
- access to and re-use of cultural heritage;
- management of orphan works, i.e. works whose author is unknown: COMMUNIA policy paper on the proposed orphan works directive
COMMUNIA is a member of LAPSI 2.0 European Thematic Network on Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information
Communia is a WIPO permanent observer since 2012 and delivered the following statements:
- CDIP/9 on the Scenarios and Possible Options Concerning Recommendations 1c, 1f and 2a of the Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain by the Secretariat (document CDIP/9/INF/2)
Blog posts on various topics and projects.