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The Information Commons
A Public Policy Report

By Nancy Kranich
Senior Research Fellow, 2003-04
Free Expression Policy Project

© 2004. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
It may be reproduced in its entirety as long as the Free Expression Policy Project is credited, a link to the Project's Web site is provided, and no charge is imposed. The report may not be reproduced in part or in altered form, or if a fee is charged, without our permission. Please let us know if you reprint.


Contents and Executive Summary


I. Opportunities and Challenges of the Information Age

II. The Emerging Information Commons

III. The Future of the Information Commons

Policies and Principles Related to Information and Communications Technologies
(all Web sites accessed May 2004)

Technology/Internet Organizations

A Manifesto for Online Communities,

Aspen Institute, Communication and Society Program, Toward an Information Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, Washington, DC: Aspen Institute, 1995

Association for Progressive Communications, APC Internet Rights Charter,

Communication Rights in the Information Society,

Global Internet Policy Initiative, Policy Principles - The ICT Framework,

IP Justice, Principles,

New America Foundation and Public Knowledge, "A Return to First Principles," in Saving the Information Commons: A New Public Interest Agenda in Digital Media, by David Bollier and Tim Watts, May 2002, pps. 67-69,

People's Communication Charter,

Platform for Communication Rights,

Somos@Telecentros Network,

TechFunders Collaborative, Principles,

Wireless Commons Manifesto,

Democracy and Mass Media Advocacy Organizations

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF), CPBF Manifesto: Shaping the Democratic Vision,,
and Campaign Statement,

Center for Digital Democracy, Declaration of Digital Democracy,
, and Cable Broadband and Beyond: Open Access Principles for Public Interest Programming,

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR), The Seattle Statement: Moving the Democratic Communication Agenda Forward,

Consumer Federation of America, et al., Democratic Discourse and the Public Interest: Media Ownership Policies and Digital Communications Networks,

Forum on Globalisation and Cultural Diversity: The Challenge to the Audiovisual Industry, Valencia Statement on Globalisation and Cultural Diversity,

Greater Democracy,

The MacBride Round Table on Communication, Many Voices, One World: Conclusions and Recommendations,

Media Alliance, A Call for a Communications Bill of Rights,

Media Channel, A Declaration of Media Independence,

Voices 21, A Global Movement for People's Voices in Media and Communication in the 21st Century,

Libraries/Publishing/Print Media Organizations

American Library Association, Principles for the Networked World,, and Principles for an Effective Information Commons,

Association of College and Research Libraries, Principles and Strategies for the Reform of Scholarly Communication,

International Federation of Library Associations and International Publishers' Association, Joint IFLA/IPA Statement on Freedom of Expression on the Internet, 20Statement%2021%20August%202003.htm

The Wellcome Trust, Scientific Publishing: A Position Statement in Support of Open Access Publishing,

World Organizations

Japan Government, Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society,

UNESCO, UNESCO's Contribution to the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva 2003 and Tunis 2005),
, and Toward Knowledge Societies, 13201&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201

World Summit on the Information Society, Civil Society Declaration, Shaping Information Societies for Human Needs,

The Free Expression Policy Project began in 2000 as a project of the National Coalition Against Censorship, to provide empirical research and policy development on tough censorship issues and seek free speech-friendly solutions to the concerns that drive censorship campaigns. In 2004-2007, it was part of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. Past funders have included the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Educational Foundation of America, the Open Society Institute, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

All material on this site is covered by a Creative Commons "Attribution - No Derivs - NonCommercial" license. (See You may copy it in its entirely as long as you credit the Free Expression Policy Project and provide a link to the Project's Web site. You may not edit or revise it, or copy portions, without permission (except, of course, for fair use). Please let us know if you reprint!