Center for the Public Domain Funds Projects Worldwide to Address Intellectual Property Issues, Open Access and the Fair Exchange of Information

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA -- February 9, 2001 -- The Center for the Public Domain (formerly Red Hat Center) today announced a series of grants to organizations worldwide that will provide information to raise the public's knowledge of open access and the fair exchange of information from medicine to the Internet to software, as well as study the repercussions of current intellectual property (IP) treaties and legislation. The grant recipients are known for their success in building alliances, education, research and reporting, and their IP advocacy efforts.

The grantees are:

Berkeley Center for Law and Technology (California)       $35,000

The mission of the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology is to foster beneficial and ethical advancement of technology by promoting the understanding and guiding the development of intellectual property and related fields of law and policy as they intersect with business, science and technology. Attorney Fred von Lohmann is conducting intellectual property law research.

Consumer Project on Technology (CPT) (District of Columbia)       $30,000

Established by Ralph Nader, CPT focuses on intellectual property rights and health care, electronic commerce and competition policy. As the primary global advocate for compulsory licensing of patents of essential medicines, CPT responds to trade policies and practices on intellectual property influencing the price of medicines in poor and developing countries. CPT is also addressing the "Hague Treaty on Jurisdiction and Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters" and its consequences for e-commerce.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) (California)       $17,500

A leading organization focused on representing the rights of individuals worldwide, EFF works in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties, including privacy and freedom of expression in the arena of computers and the Internet. EFF works to preserve free expression by upholding rights to digital free expression from political, legal and technical threats, defining digital privacy by empowering people to maintain their privacy and control their digital identity and ensuring systems are designed to respect people's rights, such as free speech, privacy and fair use.

Free Software Foundation (FSF) (Massachusetts)       $17,500

The Free Software Foundation is dedicated to eliminating restrictions on copying, redistribution, understanding, and modification of computer programs by promoting the development and use of free software in all areas of computing.

Collaborative Ownership in a Digital Economy (CODE) (England)       $10,000

A partnership between Academic Europaea and the Arts Council of Cambridge, England, CODE (an April 2001 meeting) will examine issues such as community and copyright, recovering the 'collective' independent networks of research and collaboration, the need for intellectual property systems to evolve in line with changing technologies, the shifts in conventional approaches to learning and research enabled by collaborative technologies and the emergence of open code and open content applications as key drivers of the knowledge economy.

Electronic Information Privacy Center (EPIC) (District of Columbia.)       $10,000

EPIC is a public research center established to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, First Amendment rights, and constitutional values. As part of a wide range of landmark reports on critical issues affecting the future of the Internet, EPIC will publish "Surfer Beware IV," a report that examines the extent to which proprietary standards are threatening the privacy, freedom of expression, and the open architecture of the Internet. For other Surfer Beware reports, see

Federation for a Free Informational Infrastructure (FFII) (Germany)       $10,000

A public-interest association designed to promote free competition in the software field and to fund public interest. FFII is conducting software patent research.

About the Center for the Public Domain (the Center):

Founded in January 2000, the Center for the Public Domain has awarded over $4.8 million in grants to projects worldwide, supporting efforts to raise public awareness on intellectual property issues and access to information. The Center is a nonprofit foundation that strives to raise awareness, support research and fund educational programs, promote collaboration and build partnerships that strengthen the public community of shared information, culture, and ideas. Its goals are to increase public awareness of the value of growing the public domain and its benefit to society, and to support advocacy that promotes collaboration, open access, and the fair exchange of information.

The Mission of the Center for the Public Domain is to support the growth of a healthy and robust public domain by establishing programs, grants, and partnerships in the areas of academic research, medicine, law, education, media, technology, and the arts.

For more information on the Center for the Public Domain, see or for information on Center grants, see .


Tawnya Louder-Reynolds
Center for the Public Domain
+1 919 549 8388