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Without a public domain, ignorance would be the default humyn condition and knowledge (of ANYTHING) would be a privilege. Unfortunately, information does not want to be free, so dystopia is inevitable. Nevertheless, there are people who believe in the public domain even though its existence is theoretically impossible. In theory (according to the Sixth Amendment) court transcripts are supposed to be in the public domain (public record). Technically, I suppose that could be called a subsidy.
There seems to be a lot of public domain software in the world. The goals of pubwan include putting a lot of machine-readable data in the public domain.