The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture - cover image

Book Series


Melanie Dulong de Rosnay; Juan Carlos De Martin

Published On





  • English

Print Length

249 pages (xxvii + 222)


Paperback156 x 13 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.52" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 16 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.63" x 9.21")


Paperback781g (27.55oz)
Hardback1161g (40.95oz)



OCLC Number





  • UBJ
  • LNRC


  • LAW050010
  • COM087000
  • LAW104000


  • K1443.P83


  • Copyright
  • creative commons
  • the commons
  • communia
  • cultural studies
  • open culture
  • Internet regulation
  • licensing
  • digital age
  • digitization
  • copyright law
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The Digital Public Domain

Foundations for an Open Culture

Digital technology has made culture more accessible than ever before. Texts, audio, pictures and video can easily be produced, disseminated, used and remixed using devices that are increasingly user-friendly and affordable. However, along with this technological democratization comes a paradoxical flipside: the norms regulating culture's use —copyright and related rights —have become increasingly restrictive. 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 free PDF edition of this title was made possible by generous funding received from the European Union (eContentplus framework project ECP-2006-PSI-610001).


This new work [...] dives into the tension between digital culture—which enables easy sharing and remixing by content consumers—and the copyright-driven backlash to that potential openness.

Joshua Benton

"Free book: “The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture”". Nieman Lab, 2012.

Full Review

Table of Contents

Foreword by Charles Nesson
Introduction by Melanie Dulong de Rosnay and Juan Carlos De Martin
Manifesto and Policy Recommendations
I. Introducing the Digital Public Domain

1. Communia and the European Public Domain Project: A Politics of the Public Domain

Giancarlo Frosio

II. Legal Framework

2. Consume and Share: Making Copyright Fit for the Digital Agenda

Marco Ricolfi

3. Evaluation of the Directive 2001/29/EC in the Digital Information Society

Lucie Guibault

4. Building Digital Commons through Open Access Management of Copyright-related Rights

Giuseppe Mazziotti

III. Developments and Case Studies

5. Contractually-constructed Research Commons: A Critical Economic Appraisal

Enrico Bertacchini

6. Social Motivations and Incentives in Ex Situ Conservation of Microbial Genetic Resources

Tom Dedeurwaerdere, Per M. Stromberg and Unai Pascual

7. Open Knowledge: Promises and Challenges

Rufus Pollock and Jo Walsh

8. Science Commons: Building the Research Web

Kaitlin Thaney

9. The DRIVER Project: The Socio-economic Benefits of a European Scientific Commons

Karen Van Godtsenhoven

10. CC REL: The Creative Commons Rights Expression Language

Hal Abelson, Ben Adida, Mike Linksvayer and Nathan Yergler

11. The Value of Registering Creative Works

Roland Alton Scheidl, Joe Benso and Martin Springer

Select Bibliography of Resources Cited


Melanie Dulong de Rosnay


Juan Carlos De Martin

Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University

Charles R. Nesson

(foreword by)