Europeana released it’s Public Domain Charter to protect the Public Domain. According to Europeana it is:

“a statement that calls for the Public Domain to be kept freely accessible to Europe’s citizens. Europeana believes that material held in trust for the public for generations, often at taxpayers’ expense, should not enter the private sector when it is digitised.” (Europeana news letter)

Digitalisation of cultural heritage that is already part of the public domain sometimes creates new and exclusive rights which restrict access to the digital version. The Public Domain Charter takes a strong stand against this development by claiming in the charter that:

  • Europeana belongs to the public and must represent the public interest.
  • The Public Domain is the material from which society creates cultural understanding and knowledge. Having a thriving Public Domain is essential to economic and social well-being.
  • Digitisation of Public Domain content does not create new rights over it. Works that are in the Public Domain in analogue form continue to be in the Public Domain once they have been digitised.

The Charter is created in support of the recent Public Domain Manifesto by COMMUNIA. You can share your view on the Public Domain and the Pubic Domain Charter on the Europeana Facebook group.

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