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The Canadian Public Domain: What, Where, and to What End?

Carys J. Craig

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

January 1, 2010

Canadian Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 7, p. 221, 2010

This essay explores the important body of scholarship that has emerged on the substance, nature, and role of the public domain in intellectual property law. I offer some concrete definitions of the public domain in the copyright context, identify some ongoing sources of debate in the literature, and highlight some particularly significant voices in public domain discourse. In doing so, my aim is twofold: first, I mean to present a reasonably comprehensive but concise review of the academic public domain movement, which has been directed towards substantiating and politicizing the concept of the public domain; second, I hope to re-situate this movement in the Canadian context in which the concept has remained relatively underdeveloped, but where it has a crucial and timely role to play in the evolution of copyright law and policy. Conceptualized as a vibrant, dynamic, and shifting space in which citizens freely engage in communicative and creative activities, the public domain takes on a positive dimension and a political force that can be harnessed to challenge the expansion of intellectual property and its paradigms of control and exclusivity.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Copyright, Public Domain

JEL Classification: O34, O33, O38

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Date posted: March 10, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Craig, Carys J., The Canadian Public Domain: What, Where, and to What End? (January 1, 2010). Canadian Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 7, p. 221, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1567711

Contact Information

Carys J. Craig (Contact Author)
York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
416 736 5189 (Phone)
416 736 5736 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca

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