21 May 2008

Putting the Public Domain in the Public Eye

The public domain - that strange, no man's land "owned" by no one - doesn't really get the respect it deserves, partly because there's nobody fighting for it. So this new project to study the public domain in Europe is welcome, particular because of insightful comments like these:

A rich public domain has the potential to stimulate the further development of the information society. The development of the World Wide Web and the ability to digitise almost all text, image, sound and audio-visual material knowledge has resulted in an explosion of the citizen’s ability to store, and more importantly, share access to that information and knowledge. Public domain material has a considerable potential for re-use – both by citizens for information, education and entertainment, and for new creative expressions that build on Europe’ s rich culture.

As well as the public domain itself, the study will also cover material that, although copyright protected, is generally available for all. The study will investigate the various voluntary sharing schemes which copyright holders use to grant broad rights to enable use and re-use of their creations. These include the various flavours of Creative Commons or the GNU Free
Documentation Licence.

Interestingly, there's a strong British representation on the team. (Via Open Access News.)

No comments: