The International Association on the Public Domain looks to expand its advocacy work and engage in strategic litigation in Europe.
COMMUNIA has been awarded an eight-year grant of three million euros by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. This opens a new chapter in the history of the organisation, which was founded in 2011 as an EU thematic network and has been one of the most active civil society organisations on European copyright reform in recent years.
Arcadia’s open access programme supports work that improves access to human knowledge and helps make information free for anyone. With Arcadia’s generous support, COMMUNIA will expand its policy work for copyright reform and initiate strategic litigation, aiming to establish itself as the principal advocacy organisation for the Public Domain in Europe.
Portuguese copyright expert Teresa Nobre and German access to knowledge activist Justus Dreyling are joining COMMUNIA as co-directors to advance COMMUNIA’s mission and organisational development.
“We have witnessed decades of narrowing of the Public Domain through the expansion of the scope of copyright protection and the creation of new exclusive rights. It is time to reverse this trend. To achieve this goal, we are committed to making COMMUNIA an even stronger voice for the Public Domain in policy debates in Europe and beyond,” says COMMUNIA’s incoming Policy Director Justus Dreyling.
COMMUNIA’s advocacy work is based on a set of 20 policy recommendations, which were launched in May of this year. In the future, COMMUNIA will also defend the Public Domain and usage rights in court through strategic litigation.
“The public domain belongs to all and is often defended by no-one. We want to change that. COMMUNIA wants to play a new role in reshaping copyright and defending the Public Domain against misappropriation. We are prepared to make our vision a reality through advocacy and judicial means,” explains Legal Director Teresa Nobre.
Arcadia is a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. It supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment. Arcadia also supports projects that promote open access and all of its awards are granted on the condition that any materials produced are made available for free online. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $910 million to projects around the world.