COMMUNIA fall meeting: Amsterdam or Saarbrüc ken?
- Friday, March 30 we're voting on the Fall meeting of COMMUNIA so I
appreciate our input regarding the choices. COMMUNIA is the European
Union network for the Public Domain. Minciu Sodas is a member and we
hosted the Spring meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania.
One proposal is a workshop on suggesting a policy for the use of Public
Sector Information and Public Funded Information. This would take place
in Saarland, Germany near the border with France.
Another proposal is a workshop on suggesting a mechanics for marking the
boundaries of Public Domain works. This would take place in Amsterdam.
Which proposal seems more important for us? and who would like to attend
the workshops and why? These meetings are an opportunity for us to foster
the Public Domain and also to meet each other, too.
We also have a conference in Louvain-la-Neuve (30 km from Brussels) on
June 30th and July 1st on the topic of "Assessment of economic and social
impact of digital public domain throughout Europe."
Is there anybody who might attend and represent us? We've spent our
entire budget already (we'll get more money for the fall meetings) but it
would be good if somebody could represent us. Please let me know if you
are interested and perhaps we can think of something.
PSI and Public Domain - Bringing Public Sector Information and Public Funded
Information to the Public Domain
Public Sector Information does not at all resemble a natural part of the
Domain, not to speak of Public Funded Information in general. For states
are numerous ways to shape the legal status of PSI. Even when grounded
same piece of EU primary law, the outcome differs substantially between
European Union Member States. In the Workshop we want to investigate
into the different approaches towards legislating freedom and reuse of
information. Goals of the workshop would be: To clarify whether a
unified or a
regional solution is preferrable; whether the solutions already in place
the requirements of the 2003/98/EC directive in stating clear licensing
for PSI; whether and how standardised systems like CC0 could help; what the
special role of Open Educational Resources means for the discussion on the
european level; whether "droit auteur" countries need a legally defined
Domain to get there.
3. Relevance for TN
* The technological resources of citizens for accessing and processing
information are increasing by the day. This has led to a rather unintended
shift in the direction of regulations concerning Public Sector Information.
Before this occured, the only entities that could readily make use of
public data (besides the public institutions themselves) had been the media
sector and larger corporations. Nowadays PSI can become directly
potentially anyone. So today regulatory action around PSI must be
society as a whole, not only for a certain group of players.
* Arguably, putting PSI into the Public Domain by default is the
best way to
ensure fairness and equal access to information for all, yet, this path
really chosen in a consequent manner. The question is why this is so and how
the alternatives might look like. In order to deal with these circumstances,
the reasons for the lack of an undisputed allocation of the PSI in the
Domain have to be identified. In doing so, alternatives might also be
* As CC0 as a tool might come in handy where national or EU wide
is not progressing on this issue, we should move quickly to find out whether
certain aspects of PSI and PSI regulations call for certain provisions
CC0, so that these can be implemented before the tool is launched.
iron at this time is the clash of public domain status of PSI and European
style sui-generis database rights. This is on the agenda of the European
of Justice and who else but the COMMUNIA Network would be in the position to
advise on this.
4. Venue Description
The workshop is to take place on Saarland University's Main Campus in
Saarbrücken (Google Maps), in a newly built building of the faculty of
Saarbrücken is the capital of the german state of Saarland, in the far
south-western corner of Germany. The University was founded in 1948 in
co-operation with France. From beginning on, it focused on international
orientation. Well known are the Europa-Institut and the Frankreichzentrum.
There are 15.500 students of which 7 percent are foreign students; 2000
employees of which 15 percent have professorial status; 8 faculties: Law and
Economics, Medicine, Humanities I-III, Natural Sciences and Technology
The three focal areas are bio-nano-tech, informatics and european studies.
The Europa-Institut at Saarland University is the second oldest academic
institution in Europe for graduate european studies. Further relevant
institutions include the Institute for Law and Informatics of Prof.
The campus is located roughly between the city center and the airport
distance to the airport is approx. 10 - 15 Minutes). It is connected to the
city center by public transport (busses). From central Saarbrücken there is
train connection to Frankfurt (70 Min.), Frankfurt Airport (126 Min.),
Luxembourg (102 Min.), Paris (109 Min.) and Strassbourg (101 Min.).
We expect an attendance of 100 to 150 people. The fact that the EDVGT
takes place in Saarbrücken on the day before the workshop will lead to a
attendance. Furthermore, the proposed workshop will take place on an
campus, so it can be expected that a considerable number of students of the
neighbouring faculties of Law and Information Sciences will also
John Hendrik Weitzmann
John Hendrik Weitzmann studied law in Saarbrücken, Sydney and Trier and
Project Lead for Creative Commons Germany since 2006. While working for
participated in organising the academy's Open Day and set up a regular
program for School Children. He has organised a number of large scale
his time as President of Saarland University's Student Union, including
parties with up to 1.000 guests, political talks and panel discussions.
Sabine Micka studied business administration in Saabrücken. In 2003 and 2004
Sabine was an event manager at "Musik und Theater Saar" and has organized
events with an annual attendance of 20.000 people. Since 2005 she has been
responsible for organizing seminars at EEAR, since 2007 she is also
Geschäftsstellenleiterin of EDVGT e.V.
After finishing his law studies, Klaas is employed at EEAR and currently
involved in the organisation and presentation of a series of advanced
Christopher is a jurist and was a research assistant at IfRI (Institut für
Rechtsinformatik, Saarbrücken) for several years. He was involved in the
realization of EDVGT and Transcultura confenrences.
The EEAR (http://www.eear.eu/) has organized a couple of internatioal
conferences and workshops, for example three "Transcultura" conferences,
them with Umberto Eco as a speaker
* a first draft of the budget:
* 2.500 EUR dinner for all participants
* 1.000 EUR coffee breaks, snacks
* 200 - 250 EUR rent for the workshop location
* 200 EUR promotion (posters, flyers, banners)
* 3.000 EUR speaker
* 1.000 EUR videostreaming and -recording for the whole day
* 500 EUR conference transcript
* Date: 19.9.2008
* 09:00 - 12:00: lectures (+ coffee break)
* 12:00 - 13:00: lunch break
* 13:00 - 14:45: panel discussion
* 14:45 - 15:00: coffee break
* 15:00 - 17:00: lectures or small groups tournament
* 17:00 - 18:30: closing session/ vision building
* 19:00: - : dinner for all participants
possible speakes include:
* Graham Greenleaf
* Dr. Irene Pakuscher, German Federal Ministry of Justice
* Prof. Maximilian Herberger, Saarbrücken
* Gerhard Wagner, Austria
Lecturers vom Europainstitut (ReWi, WiWi), Infowiss
* Prof. Dr. Reto M. Hilty, Max-Planck-Institut für Geistiges Eigentum,
Wettbewerbs- und Steuerrecht, München
* Prof. Dr. Thomas Dreier, M.C.J., Universität Karlsruhe Institut für
Informationsrecht Zentrum für angewandte Rechtswissenschaft
* Prof. Dr. Georgios Gounalakis, Philipps-Universität Marburg
Rechtswissenschaften Institut für Rechtsvergleichung
* Prof. Dr. Rainer Kuhlen, Aktionsbündnis Urheberrecht für Bildung und
* Till Kreutzer, iRights.info, Büro für informationsrechtliche
* Dr. Till Jaeger, ifrOSS, Berlin
* Prof. Dr. Joachim Bornkamm, Richter am Bundesgerichtshof, Karlsruhe
9. Further Information
The workshop is to take place in Saarbrücken
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saarbr%C3%BCcken), the capital of the german
state Saarland. Saarbrücken lies directly at the border to France. There are
local busses to France (Forbach, Sarreguemines). Saarbrücken is only 300 km
away from Brussels and even closer to Luxembourg (100km). It can easily be
reached by plane from many places in europe, the airports Saarbrücken and
Zweibrücken are close, Frankfurt airport is only 70 minutes by train. By
speed train connection (ICE) Saarbrücken is connected to Paris, which takes
less than two hours. Other train connections have been mentioned above.
Saarbrücken is often described as beeing the most european of a all german
cities. This is not only due to the fact that Saarbrücken is more or less
situated in the center of europe, the special european spirit that a
Saarbrücken can experience is also a result of the "savoir vivre"
term describes a special melange of the different ways of life in France and
Germany. From each it takes the best attributes and brings them together and
can only be found here, in the Saarland region. Other, more hands on
attractions include an impressive piece of UNESCO World Cultural
Völklingen ironworks, a refurbished steel plant of vast proportions from the
early 20th century, which today is a place for cultural activity and
The workshop would take place directly after the 17th EDVGT conference
(17.-19.09.2008, http://www.edvgt.de/). The EDVGT ist the Annual Congress of
the German Association for Computing in the Judiciary. Traditionally, the
Congress is a meeting point for many decision makers in the field of public
sector information and public domain. About 600 people, mostly lawyers,
scientists, senior officials from different ministries and companies selling
legal (public domain) information, build the annual attendance. We
fruitful synergies between the two events.
please find below the proposal for a COMMUNIA workshop in october
2008. This proposal is being submitted by Kennisland and is being made
on behalf of the Institute for Information Law and Waag Society as well.
1. Title of the Workshop;
Marking the Public Domain: relinquishment & certification
2. Abstract of the Workshop: topic to be addressed, how, etc.;
The proposed workshop would adress legal, economic and practical
issues related to certifying Public Domain works and relinquishing
intellectual property rights in Europe. This workshop will seek to
discuss the economic and legal value of the giving-up of
intellectual property rights, discuss ways of certifying works as
belonging to the public domain and addressing (legal hurdles) faced
by individuals and institutions wishing to contribute to the public
domain or wishing to work with public domain material. The workshop
will have two threads, an academic one dealing with the legal and
economic issues and a practical one that seeks to bring together
practitioners and stakeholders to identify best practices.
3. Brief explanation of why the topic is relevant and timely for
the topic adresses one of the central issues of the COMMUNIA
thematic network. it seeks to identify practices, procedures and
legal obstacles for strengthening the public domain in Europe. There
will be a special focus that seeks to identify practices that
enable contemporary producers, aggregators and custodians of
information to release their material into the public domain. This
issue is especially timely in the light of a number of initiatives
that seek to provide tools and instruments (such as CC0) for
interested parties to release material into the public domain or to
certify the public domain status of existing works.
4. Description of the workshop venue;
The venue has still to be identified, possibilities include pakhuis
de zwijger (http://www.dezwijger.nl) in central Amsterdam, rooms
provided by the university of amsterdam or the Institute for sound
and vison (another communia partner the building is located in
Hilversum 30 minutes from amsterdam by public transport:
5. Expected attendance (e.g., based on previous experiences by the
we would expect an attendance between 60 and 80 participants (based
on the assumption that there would be on average 2 delegates from
the communia partners plus a small number of interested
professionals from the netherlands)
6. Names and short bios of the members of organizing team; please
emphasize any previous direct experiences organizing workshop/
Members of the organizing team would be drafted from Knowledgeland,
the Institute for Information law and Waag Society. All three
organisations have extensive experience in organizing similar events
in Amsterdam. The institute for information law has a solid track
record in organizing academic events (see for example:
). Knowledgeland has a solid track record in organizing public
events (see for example: http://www.creativecapital.nl/ (which
included the first Creative Commons Europe meeting and was organized
in collaboration with Waag Society) and the upcoming www.ecommons.eu).
7. Proposed budget, with a break-down of the main costs;
this will be provided at a later date in time. the main costs for
the workshop would relate to rent of venue, catering and transport
and accommodation for speakers from outside of the communia network.
8. Proposed workshop program: rough organization of the day (i.e.,
at the moment we are still looking if it makes sense to have a 1.5
day workshop. the workshop would possibly divided into a number of
plenary presentations (first part) to be followed by two tracks (one
focussing on the legal issues surrounding the relinquishment of
authors rights in europe, and the other on practical implementation
issues specific to sectors such as archives, government institutions
libraries and audiovisual producers). the workshop will be concluded
by a plenary feedback session.
9. Any another information that might strengthen the proposal, e.g.,
how well the city or the venue are connected with the rest of
Europe, potential synergies with other events immediately before/
after in the same city/region, etc.
Amsterdam is well connected to the rest of europe with direct
flights to most european airports and a wide range of low cost
carriers operating from Amsterdam Schiphol. amsterdam is also well
connected to large parts of western europe (france, belgium, germany
northern italy, switzerland and austria) by railway.
Kennisland | Knowledgeland
t: +31 20 5756720 | m: +31 6 41374687
www.kennisland.nl | www.knowledgeland.org