Public Information as a Commons in the Case of ERT Public Television Archive in Greece

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This article deals with a new understanding of the public character of information, based on the alternative modes of property that came to the fore with the advent of Commons-based peer production and the information Commons. The case of the ERT digital archive is used to highlight the tension between the traditional understanding of state/public property and a new realisation inaugurated by Commons-based peer production. Our objections to its current form are presented and the possibilities offered by peer alternatives are discussed. We conclude that, especially after recent developments in the case, state adoption of policies that conform to this new mode of production are imperative for the use, sharing and protection of public information.


This article, maintaining that peer processes inaugurate a new production model based on the values of openness, cooperation and collective creation, tried to demonstrate the advantages of a Commons-based peer approach to the management of public information. The distribution of information Commons, such as the ERT archive, with public copyright licenses increases social creation and innovation liberating a priceless cultural heritage but also creates the necessary protective measures against the dangers of limiting or restricting entirely such Commons from their rightful owners (as is the case with the archive) by allowing each individual to hold in his or her possession whichever part of it they desire. In other words, information is trusted on civilians to use and share at will without the need of an administrator. We aspire that the case of ERT will give rise to the revision of retrograde policies and attitudes that will further enhance the (co-)creation of a common cultural wealth, while promoting the discussion about the possibilities of peer alternatives with critical thinking on one hand and predisposition for experimentation on the other. The state should, in our view, assist in such an endeavour of protecting the sphere of Commons by promoting and supporting collaborative production models.

More Information

  • Visit the page for the emancipation of the ERT archive here.
  • See other publications.