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Why the Public Domain Matters: The Endangered Wellspring of Creativity, Commerce and Democracy

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Bollier, David
Date: 2002
Agency: New America Foundation and Public Knowledge, Washington, DC
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4726
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Subject(s): copyright
information commons
Abstract: "The public domain has always been thought of as a peculiar cultural junkyard on the outskirts of reputable society. According to conventional thinking, it is the place where the antiquarian explorer can find Treasure Island and Scott Joplin piano rags languishing alongside deservedly forgotten books, illustrations and music. The public domain has traditionally been seen as a fairly static collection of works on which copyrights and patents have expired and works that were not copyrightable in the first place, such as government documents and scientific theories. It also consists of those dimensions of our common culture that cannot be legally protected, such as plotlines, titles, themes and facts."

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