Paul Keller

Director of Policy
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About Paul

Paul is the Director of Policy at Open Future. He has 20+ years of experience as a media activist, open policy advocate and systems architect to improve access to knowledge and culture. A political scientist by training, Paul has a deep understanding of the digital transformation’s political, social and legal implications. Prior to founding Open Future Paul was co-director of Kennisland, an Amsterdam-based think-tank working on issues related to the knowledge economy. Before joining Kennisland in 2007, Paul worked at Waag as head of the Public Research program.

Paul is a research fellow at the Institute for Information Law of the University of Amsterdam and sits on the advisory boards of the Glushko & Samuelson Information Law and Policy Lab and the Europeana Foundation. In 2022 Paul was appointed to the board of Public Spaces, a coalition of Dutch civil society organizations working on public digital infrastructures.

In 2009 Paul was one of the founding members of the COMMUNIA association for the Public Domain where he continues to serve as the President. Between 2015 and 2019 Paul directed COMMUNIA’s and Europeana’s advocacy efforts related to Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive. In these roles, he has been instrumental in significantly improving a number of the provisions contained in the directive, including the provisions dealing with the protection of the Public Domain, access to Out of Commerce Works and the controversial new rules for online platforms.

In 2005 Paul founded Creative Commons Netherlands where he served as public project lead until 2018. In this role, he brokered several collaborations between Creative Commons and collective management bodies. From 2013 to 2018 he served on the Board of Directors of Creative Commons.

From 2009 – 2015 Paul was one of the architects of the Europeana Licensing Framework which enshrines Europeana’s commitment to open data and has set standards for large-scale digital cultural heritage aggregation projects. Paul is one of the authors of the Public Domain Manifesto and Europeana’s Public Domain Charter. Together with Alek Tarkowski and Sophie Bloemen of a Vision for a Shared Digital Europe, an alternative digital policy vision for Europe.

Paul lives with his partner and two daughters in Amsterdam. His offline interests include cooking, running, cycling and collecting flyers of African mediums.


Posts

Opinion

Copyright rules for AI generated visuals will determine the future of synthetic worlds

September 9, 2022 by: Paul Keller
Instead of analyzing the functioning of image generators through the lens of copyright, we should ask ourselves a normative question: Why should we want that copyright applies to the visual output of these generators?
Analysis

French Presidency report: Digital Commons are key to Europe’s digital sovereignty

July 7, 2022 by: Paul Keller
This new report "Towards a sovereign digital infrastructure of Commons" published by the French Council presidency makes a powerful argument for putting digital commons at the heart of efforts to build sovereign digital infrastructures.

Digital commons are a pillar of European digital sovereignty

June 21, 2022 by: Paul Keller
We have teamed up with a number of organizations working on building Digital Commons and published an op-ed encouraging French and European policy makers to put Digital Commons at the center of the EU’s digital strategy. 
Opinion

Live from Luxembourg

April 25, 2022 by: Paul Keller
Last week the Court of Justice of the European Union finally decided to embrace the possibilities offered by the Internet and to start streaming hearings and judgements. Paul argues that this is an important step towards more openness and transparency of Europe's highest court.
Opinion

Truly public spaces are not for sale

April 15, 2022 by: Paul Keller
The problem with Elon Musk's bid to take over Twitter is not so much that he is turning a public company private, but that it illustrates that having public spaces run by companies is a bad idea no matter how the company is structured.
Analysis

A first look at the Data Act

February 23, 2022 by: Paul Keller
Open Future reviewed the proposal for a Data Act released by the European Commission on 23 February and published three briefs on the issues of Interoperability, Access to Data and B2G Data Sharing in the public interest.
Opinion

Vive les biens communs numériques!

February 11, 2022 by: Paul Keller
France is promoting a very specific approach to digital sovereignty by stressing the importance of the Digital Commons as one of its building blocks and declaring the intention to use its presidency to propose a European Initiative for Digital Commons.

DSA almost done? Time to talk about a Digital Public Sphere Act

January 21, 2022 by: Paul Keller
EU regulation for the digital environment is full of carve outs and exceptions for public institutions and non-profit civic initiatives. Instead of treating them as anomalies we should start treating public institutions as corner stones of a digital public sphere and develop a positive vision for them.

Will financialization of the music industry kill the Public Domain?

December 22, 2021 by: Paul Keller
The financial valuations of major recording artists' catalogues are going though the roof, with Bruce Springsteens right having recently been sold for more than half a billion dollars. One consequence of the ongoing financialization of the music copyright may very well be further pressure on the public domain.

Five things I know about Data Spaces

December 6, 2021 by: Paul Keller
Comment on the recommendation on a common European data space for cultural heritage and the Digital Europe Work Programme 2021-2022
Opinion

The ‘Path to the Digital Decade’ needs a better destination

September 17, 2021 by: Paul Keller
A first look at the “Path to the Digital Decade” 2030 Policy Programme that was presented by the European Commission on the 15th of September.

Publications

Public data commons

May 24, 2022 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
This policy brief presents a model for public-interest B2G data sharing, aimed to complement the current proposal of the Data Act. The proposal includes the creation of the European Public Data Commons, a body that acts as a recipient and clearinghouse for the data made available. 

Generative Interoperability

March 11, 2022 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
The report "Generative Interoperability: Building public and civic spaces online" co-authored with Commons Network, proposes to treat interoperability as a policy principle that supports the creation of new public-civic digital spaces.

Data act: Access to Data

February 23, 2022 by: Paul Keller et al.
Policy brief on the provisions dealing with Access to Data and Data Portability in the European Commissions proposal for a Data Act that was published on 23 February 2022.

Digital Public Space – A missing policy frame for shaping Europe’s digital future

September 29, 2021 by: Alek Tarkowski et al.
This article is Open Future's contribution to Building a European Digital Public Space - Strategies for taking back control from Big Tech platforms, a book edited by Aleksander Baratsits and Published by iRights Media in November 2021

Proposal to leverage Article 17 to build a public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works.

September 21, 2021 by: Paul Keller
White-paper on how to to leverage Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market directive to build a public repository of Public Domain and openly licensed works.

The Data Governance Act: Five opportunities for the Data Commons

June 23, 2021 by: Francesco Vogelezang et al.
In this policy brief, we present five issues related to the proposal for the Data Governance Act (DGA) that are crucial to achieve the policy goal of building Data Commons in the European Union.

The Paradox of Open

March 5, 2021 by: Paul Keller et al.
The Paradox of Open is the essay that we published in March 2021 to mark the launch of Open Future. In this essay we reflect on almost 20 years of our involvement in the open movement.

A Vision for a Shared Digital Europe

April 12, 2019 by: Paul Keller et al.
The Vision for a Shared Digital Europe is a policy frame that can guide policymakers and civil society organisations involved with digital policymaking in the direction of a more equitable and democratic digital environment.