Distinguished Lecture

(Re-)Defining the Public Domain

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
202 South Hall
Carl Malamud

While much of the focus on intellectual property goes to battles over copyright or patents, we should not forget that a large proportion of such material is not property at all. The public domain is available for all to use. Of particular interest for the public domain is the U.S. government, all of whose work is available without restriction for all of us to use.

In this lecture, Carl Malamud explains the principles of the public domain with particular emphasis on the works of government. He will discuss how government often backs away from the clear principle of no property interests in order to maintain control, and how citizens can change that attitude through concrete actions. Malamud will use his own experience in forcing changes in government policy with numerous agencies to illustrate these general principles.

(A Flash presentation including the audio and Carl's slides/movies is available here.)

Carl Malamud is President & CEO of Public.Resource.Org, a nonprofit dedicated to the creation of public works on the Internet. Recently, his work has focused on releasing information from the U.S. House, the Smithsonian, and the National Technical Information Service. Malamud brings a long record of interaction with the U.S. Government to these tasks. Previously, he chaired the Internet Multicasting Service, which was known for starting the first radio station on the Internet, and forcing the release of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) databases. Malamud is the author of 8 books and has been a visiting professor at the MIT Media Lab.

Last updated:

August 23, 2016