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Article 14 Task Force

This Task Force focuses on the implementation and possible impact of Article 14 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive, which relates to the public domain status of reproductions of works of visual arts in the public domain. 

Posted on Wednesday May 24, 2023

Updated on Tuesday December 5, 2023

24 May 2023 to 31 December 2024
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Three butterflies
Three Butterflies
c.1683 - c.1726


The public domain brings value to society. Cultural heritage institutions safeguard public domain materials and have an opportunity to make them accessible to everyone and facilitate their reuse, while people have increased opportunities to remix and re-use existing content in the creation of new works.

The Europeana Iniatitive has long supported the public domain via the Public Domain Charter, and generally the openGLAM movement. However, many cultural heritage institutions’ policies do not reflect these same principles. Challenges still remain for institutions to ‘recognise’ the public domain status of cultural heritage materials. There are various reasons, sometimes related to funding, sometimes to an institutional mindset. This is reflected in the collections available through, some of which contain content with inaccurate rights statements.

Article 14 of the CDSM Directive brings new opportunities to address this. However, an obligation (top-down) approach might not lead to the best results and we should continue to encourage cultural heritage institutions to open up and be mindful of their struggles.

In addition, Article 14 of the CDSM only touches on aspects of the public domain and digital cultural heritage; there are various areas related to the public domain that can be interesting to explore, including the boundaries between copyright and ethical reuse and digital cultural heritage laws limiting the reuse of public domain material.


The objectives of this Task Force will be to:

  1. Raise public awareness of both the letter and the spirit of Article 14 of the CDSM Directive and of relevant developments in relation to the public domain
  2. Defend and promote the principles in the Europeana Public Domain Charter
  3. Build the capacity and understanding of cultural heritage professionals in relation to Article 14
  4. Encourage improvement in Europeana Collections rights statements so that they accurately reflect the public domain status of works
  5. Support users in overcoming challenges to the use of public domain materials 

The Task Force is under the responsibility of the Europeana Copyright Community.