Communia

The association was founded in 2011 with the goal of advocating for all issues related to public domain in the digital environment.

Beginning of the project

History has seen many examples of international projects – with goals, indexes, to-do lists and timetables. It’s much harder to think of examples of long-term partnerships, especially when it comes to shaping public policies. We are lucky enough to participate in one of them, as part of the European COMMUNIA association.

The association was founded in 2011 with the goal of advocating for all issues related to public domain in the digital environment. We are especially involved in advocating for copyright that does not limit the public domain. On a daily basis we work very closely with the Dutch Kennisland, Wikimedia Germany, Creative Commons Portugal and the global Creative Commons. Members of the association also include other organizations and individuals – mostly copyright experts. We all share the belief that the public domain is a common good that should be protected.

Activities

Together we work at the European level – which is why we have been involved in creating the new copyright directive since 2016. We recommend changes that support the implementation of three principles (an expanded version of which can be found in our 14 policy recommendations):

  • exclusive rights should be limited, not expanded;
  • the public domain shouldn’t be limited by legal or technical means;
  • copyright limitations and exceptions should play an important role in adjusting copyright to technological developments.

With these principles in mind, we engage in discussions on public policy, analyze laws and their consequences, and increase awareness of the meaning of the public domain. Our activities include publications, meetings, conferences, consultations, research, participation in public consultations, cooperating with other associations and organizations in Brussels, Europe and the whole world. We run a dedicated project on the influence of copyright on education. Together with EDRI and Wikimedia Deutschland we organized the School of Rocking Copyright – a series of workshops for European copyright activists. We are also actively engaging with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the European Union Intellectual Property Office – not from project to project, but on an everyday basis. We debate how the public domain can be strengthened in Europe and our respective countries, and take action – together we can do more.