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Celebrating the Public Domain in the Capital of Europe

Open Culture
Atomium in Brussels, photographed from below, in front of a clear blue sky. Prize winner of the Wikimedia Belgium Wiki Loves Monuments Photo Contest in 2023.
Close-up of the Brussels’ Atomium on a clear day By Geertivp, CC BY-SA 4.0 

Last week, on 7 March, Creative Commons participated in the International Public Domain Day celebration at the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels. Together with our partners meemoo, Europeana, Communia Association, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision,  and the National Library of Netherlands, we hosted two lively roundtables in the afternoon; the first focused on copyright issues related to the public domain followed by another on the future of the public domain.

The event brought together advocates for the public domain and open access to cultural heritage including members of the Open Culture Platform, Doug McCarthy, who presented on the “Monetization of the Public Domain,” Emine Yildirim, who presented on how to “Decolonize the Public Domain,” and Maarten Zeinstra who previewed for the audience an update to the Europeana Public Domain Charter. On behalf of Creative Commons I was happy to present the new guidelines which were published in February: Nudging Users to Reference Institutions When Using Public Domain Cultural Heritage Materials.

In the morning the sessions focused on Belgian cultural heritage and other initiatives related to the public domain. Notably, Wikimedia Belgium announced and presented prizes to the winners of the 2023 Wiki Loves Monuments Photo contest.

The event was well attended by members of the community including from local cultural heritage institutions, academics, and policy advisors at the European level. We are looking forward to collaborating and contributing  to similar events with our partners in the future.

For more images see here:

Posted 15 March 2024