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Public Domain Day 2021

Online event

02 February 2021
13:00 - 14:30

This event has passed.


02 February 2021
13:00 - 14:30

Event type

Online event



Every year, KBR joins forces with Meemoo and Wikimedia België for Public Domain Day, to provide people and organisations in the cultural heritage sector in Belgium with a platform to share best practices, learn from each other and exchange ideas about making heritage collections available in the public domain.

Due to the current health measures, Public Domain Day 2021 will take place online, on 2 February 2021.


What is the public domain?

The public domain is the collection of all creative works that are not subject to exclusive intellectual property rights such as copyrights and other related rights.

Just as copyright helps to guarantee the creation and dissemination of creative works, the public domain is important for promoting free access to these works.

Content in the public domain is the perfect content to include in your open data policy and make available for re-use.

Every year on 1 January, a new group of works becomes available in the public domain because copyright protection expires 70 years after the death of the author or artist in Belgium.


Authors entering the public domain in 2021

In Belgium, copyright protection lasts for 70 years, so this year works by some artists who died in 1950 will become available in the public domain on 1 January 2021. This includes works by visual artist Max Beckmann, painter Anna De Weert and authors George Orwell and George Bernard Shaw.



Legally, works in the public domain can be made accessible and re-used without restrictions by everyone. This legal status does not mean that works can be accessed automatically, however. Public Domain Day therefore draws attention from all over the world to the fact that there are often still legal, financial, technical and institutional barriers that prevent the general public from gaining access to this content even after its copyright protection has expired.


Public Domain Day 2021

Want to know what the public domain can mean for your institution? Discover this year’s programme:

  • 14:00-14:15: Introduction
  • 14:15-15:00: Showcase of people and organisations in the heritage sector that make public domain content accessible
  • 15:00-15:15: Presentation of the Public Domain Tool (Bart Magnus, meemoo)
  • 15:15-15:30: Wiki Loves Heritage 2020 Award Ceremony (Geert Van Pamel, Wikimedia Belgium)


Practical information

  • The event will be held in English.
  • Participation is free of charge.
Register now