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Report on the production of digital commons and on the conditions of the organisation and action of the Digital Commons Policy Council

Digital convergence Digital communications Electronic commerce Open source software Peer-to-peer networks Blockchain Australia

Digital commons are resources produced and maintained by communities and projects made of diverse actors. They are governed by rules which guarantee their collective and shared nature. Examples include Linux (computer software), Firefox (web browser), Wikipedia (online encyclopedia), and OpenStreetMap (geographic database).

In contrast to political exclusion and privatised digital technologies with restricted or no access, the collaborative co-creation of digital commons illustrates how people from all over the world can work together to create useful resources which anyone can use.

The Digital Commons Policy Council was created to build connections between the worlds of policy-making and of community-based digital innovation. Our aims are to increase the recognition of the volunteer labour that produces common digital resources and to examine the opportunities and limitations of digital commons as templates for futures of work.

Part I of this report documents their activities and outlines some future plans. Part II includes a selection of relevant documents published before the Digital Commons Policy Council’s creation in June 2021, as well as since that date.

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