The Public Domain Manifesto

By EDRi · January 27, 2010

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Deutsch: [Das Public-Domain-Manifest |]

A new public manifest called the Public Domain Manifesto was launched on 25
January 2010, as a document developed within COMMUNIA, the European
Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain, during the last two years.

According to the network, The Public Domain ensures that the principles of
Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (“Everyone has the
right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy
the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”) can be
fully enjoyed by everyone across the world.

The document outlines a series of general principles (opening with: the
Public Domain is the rule, copyright protection is the exception) along with
various issues relevant to today’s Public Domain, and provides some
recommendations aimed at protecting the Public Domain and ensuring that it
can continue to function in a meaningful way – with particular relevance to
education, cultural heritage and scientific research.

The Manifesto also includes a number of issues relevant to the Public Domain
that must be addressed immediately. The recommendations refer to reducing
the copyright term, taking into account the effects on public domain when
changing the scope of copyright protection and suggest to legally punish any
false or misleading attempt to misappropriate Public Domain material.

The authors of the Manifesto hope that the new document can be embraced by
the civil society at large as a tool to maintain and promote this precious
common good for citizens across the world and for future generations to

The document already includes a list of individuals and organizations that
have signed the Manifesto, but the list is also open to anyone for new

The Public Domain Manifesto

Press release: The Public Domain Manifesto launches today (25.01.2010)

Translations of the Manifesto