Let’s bring the Public Domain Calculators Worldwide !


This blogpost was written by Pierre Chrzanowski, Open Knowledge Foundation France

Our cultural heritage is immense but it has been dispatched across countries, public institutions, private collections, and so forth. Hence, for a long time, there was unequal access to culture and knowledge. Those who were close to cultural institutions or knowledge centers had lots of cultural content at their disposal. Others could not access it, unless they had the opportunity to travel.

Today, digital could support the creation of a global public archive of knowledge, where every cultural artefact in the public domain would be free to access, use and share for everyone connected to the Internet. Yet, until now, there is uncertainty as to what are our rights to access that knowledge. The line between public domain and protected content are still fuzzy and unclear.

This is how came the idea of the public domain calculators.

Screen Shot 2014-07-10 at 11.59.55

The public domain calculators aim to make it easier for everyone to establish whether or not a given work is in the public domain in a given jurisdiction. Public domain calculation can provide value to memory institutions, lower costs for clearing rights and give the assurance that works can be reused without permission by copyrights holders. Public Domain Calculation can massively unlock our cultural heritage for reuse.

Since 2006 a loose network around the Open Knowledge Foundation, The Institute of Information Law and Kennisland have attempted to break through this barrier to reuse with products like outofcopyright.eu, publicdomain.okfn.org, and most recently calculateurdomainepublic.fr in France. We’ve learned a lot about public domain calculation and foresee some of the next challenges.
But we need you, developers, cultural institutions, and all those interested in making global public archive of knowledge real.
On July 16th, 12:00 am, during a one hour session at OKFest, we will present the state of the art on Public Domain Calculators and discuss and work on next challenges and how to bring the Public Domain Calculators Worldwide.

More on the Public Domain Calculators:
EU Flowcharts, Out of Copyright

Public Domain Calculators, Open Knowledge
French Public Domain Calculator
Mapping the Cultural Commons, Jonathan Gray

The session will be facilitated by Pierre Chrzanowski, Open Knowledge Foundation France, Marco Montanari, Open Knowledge Foundation Italy, Maarten Zeinstra, Kennisland

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