Copyright's Commons

Eldred v. Reno
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Copyright's Commons is a coalition devoted to promoting the public availability of literature, art, music, and film. We believe that a vibrant public domain is essential to preserving and building upon our cultural past. Many of the most important works of American heritage have drawn upon the creative potential of the public domain. Public access to creative works promotes the adage that "we stand upon the shoulders of those who come before us."

As part of our effort to envigorate the public domain, Copyright's Commons endorses the counter-copyright [cc] campaign as an alternative to the exclusivity of copyright. The counter-copyright campaign invites others to use and build upon an author's work. You can show your support for the public domain by marking your work with a [cc] and a link to the Copyright's Commons website. (

Recently, Copyright's Commons joined as a plaintiff in the Eldred v. Reno lawsuit challenging the recent copyright term extension act. The statute has restricted access to thousands of works that helped define the twentieth century and that had been at last slated to enter the public domain. In keeping with the spirit of the public domain, the case will be litigated in an "openlaw" format. As the legal arguments are developed, they will be posted on the web for public comment and suggestions. For more information about the lawsuit and about how you can join the openlaw process, please visit the Eldred v. Reno website.

Copyright's Commons maintains this website as a forum for (public domain, of course) discussions. We welcome all comments.

Last modified April 21, 1999. Berkman Center for Internet & Society