A strong public domain

Sharing, adapting and experiencing culture and knowledge are conditions of any society. You cannot gain knowledge without experiencing it, and without adapting and sharing a society cannot grow or change. Therefore, a strong public domain is very important.

The public discourse states that copyright protects the creators of creative works. Intellectual property rights (like copyright) offer creators of cultural expressions the possibility to commercially exploit their works. Only when these legal restrictions expire you can freely adapt and distribute intellectual property without explicit permission of the rights holders. Works of which the intellectual property rights have expired are in the public domain. Works in the public domain are common property that everyone can profit from.++UPDATEAt the end of 2018 we have ended our activities in the areas of copyright and cultural heritage. Kennisland has been working on these themes for over a decade. Read what we have done to improve copyright and access to digital heritage.

The protective rhetoric of copyright law++Copyright lawCopyright is a temporary limitation of the reuse of knowledge and culture that in most cases ends 70 years after the death of the author. After this period works falls into the public domain. has a large impact on our society. This rhetoric puts the public domain under pressure and with that it hinders++Copyright is not wrongKennisland is not against copyright, but argues that copyright in its current form does not serve our society. See more thoughts on Copyright the development of new knowledge and culture.

“The belief in intellectual property has grown so dominant it’s pushed the original intent of copyrights and patents out of the public consciousness. [..] The exclusive rights [..] introduced were a compromise for a greater purpose. The intent was to better the lives of everyone by incentivizing creativity and producing a rich public domain, a shared pool of knowledge, open to all. But exclusive rights themselves came to be considered the point, so they were strengthened and expanded.” (Kirby Ferguson – Everything is a remix part 4 (10:15 – ))

A strong public domain is not self-evident

Knowledge creation and culture are always built on our previous productions. When we share, we create new ideas, new works and new insights. A strong public domainNot copyright but the public domain is the standard. forms the basis of a creative and smart society.++Public Domain ManifestoThis is why Kennisland is one of the writers and first signatories of the Public Domain Manifesto. In 2019 we developed, together with the Polish Cyfrowe Center and Schoenkaft, the new website (see the rather nostalgic old website here). Unfortunately, works that are no longer protected by intellectual property rights are too often subjected to unnecessary restrictions. In some cases cultural institutions claim copyright on works that are no longer protected, and sometimes copyright is claimed during the digitisation of analog works. Kennisland informs and advises on the public domain to get as many works available as possible.

Deze tekst heeft een Creative Commons Naamsvermelding-licentie (CC BY) en is gekopieerd van de Kennisland-website. Ga voor de volledige versie met afbeeldingen, streamers en noten naar https://www.kl.nl/en/cases/een-sterk-publiek-domein/

This text has a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) and has been copied from the Kennisland website. For a full version with images, streamers and notes go to https://www.kl.nl/en/cases/een-sterk-publiek-domein/