The Digital Public Domain: Relevance and Regulation

38 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2012

See all articles by Leonhard Dobusch

Leonhard Dobusch

Department of Organization and Learning

Date Written: November 15, 2011


After clarifying the notion and different areas of the (digital) "public domain" the paper engages in discussing literature on its relevance for society in general and economic innovation in particular. The effectiveness of the utilization of these abstract potentials however depends on the respective public domain regulation. In this context, the paper distinguishes different regulatory modes and arenas in both copyright and patent law, thereby focusing private regulatory initiatives such as Creative Commons or Biological Open Source (BiOS). In the last section, the paper presents open research questions and makes some preliminary suggestions for potential research strategies.

Keywords: Public Domain, Commons, Regulation, Innovation, Patents, Copyright

Suggested Citation

Dobusch, Leonhard, The Digital Public Domain: Relevance and Regulation (November 15, 2011). HIIG Discussion Paper Series No. 2012-02, Available at SSRN: or

Leonhard Dobusch (Contact Author)

Department of Organization and Learning ( email )

Universitätsstraße 15
Innsbruck, Innsbruck 6020

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