Abstract: For all the glorious past it once had, copyright has been on the defensive for quite some time now. Of late years, the tide has turned the other way. Copyleft, a neologism invented by the computer programmer Don Hopkins, says it all: ‘Copyleft, all rights reversed!’ The shift from inks on paper to pixels on the screen as the dominant media of our time struck a deadening blow on copyright. The technological transition to a globe-spanning network of connected computers was reckoned a revolution, an ‘access revolution’. At least, that was the expression used by the American philosopher and leading voice of the Open Access movement, Peter Suber. The movement seeks to provide academic consumers with access to an online literature that is free of charge and free of most copyright restrictions. But he is not alone in his campaign. Another case in point is the Creative Commons. Following in the footsteps of the Open Source and Free Software movements, two offshoots of the Copyriots phenomenon, Creative Commons was founded in 2001 as an alternative to standard copyrights. Its main goal is to provide opener terms for the online sharing of creative works. The main difference is that Creative Commons licences permit gradations of copyright protection; the authors are allowed to choose which rights they want to retain and which rights they are willing to waive in order to achieve a wider public. It is a legal device that uses technology to protect not the author but the public domain, now an institution in its own right.