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Communication and Information Activities

Public Domain Information

UNESCO strongly promotes access to public domain information, also known as the “information commons”.

UNESCO strongly promotes access to public domain information, also known as the “information commons”. Public domain information is publicly accessible information, the use of which does not infringe any legal right, or breach any other communal right (such as indigenous rights) or any obligation of confidentiality.
Public domain information refers to the realm of all works or objects of related rights, which can be exploited by everybody without any authorisation, for instance because protection is not granted under national or international law, or because of the expiration of the term of protection, or due to the absence of an international instrument ensuring protection in the case of foreign works or objects of related rights.

UNESCO advocates that Member States should recognise and enact the right of universal online access to public and government-held records including information relevant for citizens in a modern democratic society, giving due account to confidentiality, privacy and national security concerns, as well as to intellectual property rights to the extent that they apply to the use of such information. International organizations should recognise and promulgate the right for each State to have access to essential data relating to its social or economic situation.
  • Programme Specialist
  • http://www.unesco.org/webworld/en/public-domain-information