Center for the Public Domain

Supporting a Healthy and Robust Public Domain

Understanding The Landscape

The information commons is a community of shared information, culture, and ideas. Like an ecosystem, it can only remain healthy if all the components are in balance. The balance between these elements - licenses, copyrights, patents, and the public domain - has evolved over generations to serve both the broader public good and private interests.

The public domain is a crucial resource for creators and innovators. New work is built on, and inconceivable without, the work of those who came before.

Recent changes in intellectual property law have raised new concerns regarding the future of the public domain. An increased emphasis on intellectual property rights may be shrinking the public domain and disrupting the balance of our information ecosystem.

What We Do

The mission of the Center for the Public Domain (the Center) 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.

A non-profit foundation, the Center strives to increase public awareness of the value of growing the public domain. It supports collaboration, open access, and the fair exchange of information.

The Center believes in the value of building partnerships, promoting collaboration, funding research, and supporting educational programs that strengthen the public community of shared information, culture, and ideas that is so vital to the benefit of society.

Useful Definitions

2525 Meridian Parkway, Suite 200, Durham, NC 27713
919.549.8388 tel • 919.549.8449 fax •

Copyright 2001 Center for the Public Domain. All rights reserved.