Declaration on Libre Knowledge

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"Free/Libre Knowledge can be acquired, interpreted and applied freely, it can be re-formulated according to one's needs, and shared with others for community benefit. In today's world, where knowledge may be captured and shared electronically, this freedom is not automatically preserved, and we elaborate this definition for explicit knowledge:

(explicit) Libre Knowledge is knowledge released in such a way that users are free to read, listen to, watch, or otherwise experience it; to learn from or with it; to copy, adapt and use it for any purpose; and to share derived works similarly (as free knowledge) for the benefit of the community.

Representations of free knowledge must be conveniently accessible for modification and sharing. For example, using Free software and Free File Formats.

"Explicit knowledge" is knowledge captured on some medium, usually in a form representable on a computer (e.g. text, sound, video, animation, executable program, etc.).

Users of libre knowledge are free to

(0) use the work for any purpose

(1) study its mechanisms, to be able to modify and adapt it to their own needs

(2) make and distribute copies, in whole or in part

(3) enhance and/or extend the work and share the result similarly.

Freedoms 1 and 3 require free file formats and free software as defined by the Free Software Foundation."


"1. We declare our common understanding of the importance of Libre Knowledge for all towards equitable and sustainable global development and commit to promoting and adopting libre knowledge in our endeavours.

2. Libre knowledge is underpinned by a philosophy indicating that knowledge is inherently libre, and that access to knowledge and the freedom to adapt and use it is a basic human right.

3. We recognise that libre knowledge requires free software for its creation, access, adaptation, and sharing, and we commit to using, promoting and developing free software or solutions based on free software, for these purposes.

4. In the modern digital age, effective sharing of libre knowledge requires free file formats and free standards for data, information and knowledge exchange to enable accessibility, collaborative knowledge generation, interoperability, transparency, adaptability of the knowledge, contribution, and libre licensing.

5. Libre knowledge covers the whole collaborative value chain from raw data collection to informed, knowledgeable and wise decision making, including the shared knowledge of people involved in the process.

6. In the “developing” world, libre knowledge resources are essential to enable and permit communities to adapt and enhance the resources for effective local use, and to be free to share the results to help their neighbours and communities.

7. We recognise that a pre-requisite for effective participation in the global knowledge society, is that citizens of the world have access to knowledge. Freedom for all to engage in the global knowledge society is pre-requisite to taking the opportunity to co-creating a sustainable world.

8. We affirm that libre knowledge helps achieve development objectives by empowering people to gain a shared understanding and contribute to sustainable development locally, nationally, regionally and internationally in significant ways.

9. We urge all spheres of all governments, institutions and donor organisations concerned with national and global sustainable development, to adopt, support, develop and promote the use of libre knowledge and its underlying principles.

10. We undertake to share and develop our understanding of libre principles with our peers, friends, organisations and families through living the vision of a libre culture of cooperation towards a sustainable world."