Public Domain and misuse: some thoughts – Pagode

“An example of this, that particularly catched the attention of PAGODE – Europeana China because it relates to a Chinese cultural heritage item, has recently come to the stage: a beautiful image of a Chinese embroidered cloth (a so-called rank-badge) depicting a leopard, in PD from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, was recently used to illustrate the cover page of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Journal, titled “Emerging infectious diseases”.

The Journal and CDC were immediately flooded with expressions of outrage and concern of many from the Asian-American community and beyond, at the inappropriate use of a Chinese work of art on the cover and tweet-posting of a journal issue devoted to scholarly articles on COVID-19 and other respiratory infections.

The power of imaging should not be underestimated, as the choice of this image in such a context may suggest an emphasis on animals in China as carriers of the disease, resulting in an unvoluntary but certainly irresponsible example of using a PD digital item. The sensitivity about associating the COVID-19 crisis straightforward with China is clearly understandable, especially in America in this moment of xenophobia concerns and protests; but the explaination of CDC cuts short, by stating this is all a misunderstanding, and simply confirming that the image was chosen just for decorative purposes, being a striking piece of art – as indeed it is. At the moment, no reaction is known from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts as the content holder of the misused digital image.

The entire story is deepened in an interesting article by Hyperallergic magazine….”

Survey on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on museums in Europe

“The majority of museums in Europe and around the globe are closed. Closing doors to the public results in a drastic loss of income for many museums. While some museums have found their budget minimally impacted as of yet, some museums, especially the larger museums and the museums in touristic areas, have reported a loss of income of 75-80%, with weekly losses adding up to hundreds of thousands of Euros. 1…

In these times, digital cultural heritage is contributing to people’s enjoyment and creativity more than ever. NEMO wants museums and stakeholders to acknowledge that the digital museum is not a distant promise or a source of untapped potential, rather that digital cultural heritage and digital engagement has demonstrated its value in the past weeks by bringing people together, encouraging creativity, sharing experiences, and offering a virtual space to build ideas together. …

40% of the museums that responded to the survey have noticed increased online visits since they have been closed….”

Building capacity for digital transformation: how our workshops support the cultural heritage sector | Europeana Pro

“Europeana’s ‘Digital Transformation in the time of COVID-19’ workshops began this week, bringing together thought leaders in the cultural heritage sector for sense-making, scaling-up and capacity building. With the workshops underway, we share how they contribute to Europeana’s strategic priorities to build capacity for the sector and how you can follow and benefit from the work they undertake….”

OpenGLAM

“The OpenGLAM initiative is currently working on a modern set of principles and values on Open Access for Cultural Heritage. We expect to draft a Declaration that outlines the rationales behind open access policy adoptions, acknowledges different cultural backgrounds, and addresses ethical and privacy considerations to help promote the adoption of open policies by a broader set of organizations around the world.

By April 2020 we will release a green paper focusing on the legal foundations of open access for cultural heritage, and examining some of the broader questions around copyright and open licensing, traditional knowledge, ethical and privacy concerns, and technical standards for open access. Following a consultation period, we plan to publish a final version of that paper and make the official launch of the Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage by 2020. If you would like to get involved, please write to us at info [at] openglam.org….”

The case for open access | Apollo Magazine

“For a growing number of museums, providing open access to online collections is seen as crucial to engaging with the public and serving their wider missions. While select institutions began exploring open access a decade ago, the practice is now becoming mainstream. In February, the Smithsonian released 2.8 million images of its collections for unrestricted public reuse. This spectacular announcement followed recent initiatives by the Cleveland Museum of Art, Paris Musées, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others. All are part of the Open GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) movement that advocates for liberal access to and reuse of public domain collections.

A key Open GLAM principle is that works in the public domain – meaning copyright has expired or never existed – should remain in the public domain once digitised. This may sound obvious but the reality is less straightforward. Copyright law in this area is complex and lacks international harmonisation….

The evidence from open access museums shows that foregone revenue from image licensing is generally outweighed by an increase in brand visibility and new opportunities for revenue generation. Adopting open access need not prevent museums from undertaking commercial partnerships….

Most museums lose more money than they make on image licensing….

In the UK, a small but growing number of institutions are responding to the call. The first to embrace open access was the National Library of Wales, which now employs a ‘National Wikimedian’ to develop collaborations and services that advance the representation of Wales and the Welsh language on Wikimedia projects. York Museums Trust releases the majority of its online images to the public domain. This year, Birmingham Museums sponsored an art remix contest with artist Coldwar Steve and the local creative community Black Hole Club, inviting the public to respond imaginatively using Birmingham’s open collections….

Open access can also be transformative inside heritage institutions. One year after the Cleveland Museum of Art’s open access launch, its chief digital information officer, Jane Alexander, noted the following impacts: increased updating of attribution, provenance and collections information; curators forging new connections with scholars; and resources being reallocated from responding to image requests to supporting digitisation. The vast majority of the museum’s online users who are looking for images now self-serve from its online collections, freeing up valuable staff time….”

Public webinar on Wikidata and cultural heritage collections | Science Museum Group

“The Science Museum is hosting a free, public webinar on Wikidata and cultural heritage collections. This is the first in a series of convenings as part of the Heritage Connector project.

The webinar will draw together a set of short case studies from practitioners who have worked in this field to present their work and the opportunities and challenges as they see them….”

Public webinar on Wikidata and cultural heritage collections | Science Museum Group

“The Science Museum is hosting a free, public webinar on Wikidata and cultural heritage collections. This is the first in a series of convenings as part of the Heritage Connector project.

The webinar will draw together a set of short case studies from practitioners who have worked in this field to present their work and the opportunities and challenges as they see them….”

ICOM’s Efforts to Advocate for Exceptions to Copyright for Museums

“ICOM applauds any effort to experiment and discuss issues surrounding exceptions to copyright for museums. It is within the context of experimentation, that ICOM wishes participants at today’s program well. While an American approach to copyright law and fair use may not be suitable in every copyright system and cultural environment, it is still to everyone’s benefit to examine, ponder and discuss the various legal systems and their benefits and limitations so as to better understand subject matter. Since 2014, ICOM has advocated before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations Agency responsible for international treaties about copyright law and related policies and programs, for exceptions to copyright for museums. ICOM’s position is that exceptions to copyright for museums are necessary to allow museums to fulfill their missions, given how museums access and communicate materials in the twenty-first century. For this reason, ICOM and its partner organizations, the International Federation of Library Associations and the International Council of Archives, have advocated for an international treaty on subject. In 2014, ICOM was successful in lobbying member states of WIPO for support to commission a study about the current status internationally of museum exceptions to copyright. This study was the first of its kind. Previously, WIPO had only addressed copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. WIPO published the museums study in 2015….”

ICOM’s Efforts to Advocate for Exceptions to Copyright for Museums

“ICOM applauds any effort to experiment and discuss issues surrounding exceptions to copyright for museums. It is within the context of experimentation, that ICOM wishes participants at today’s program well. While an American approach to copyright law and fair use may not be suitable in every copyright system and cultural environment, it is still to everyone’s benefit to examine, ponder and discuss the various legal systems and their benefits and limitations so as to better understand subject matter. Since 2014, ICOM has advocated before the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the United Nations Agency responsible for international treaties about copyright law and related policies and programs, for exceptions to copyright for museums. ICOM’s position is that exceptions to copyright for museums are necessary to allow museums to fulfill their missions, given how museums access and communicate materials in the twenty-first century. For this reason, ICOM and its partner organizations, the International Federation of Library Associations and the International Council of Archives, have advocated for an international treaty on subject. In 2014, ICOM was successful in lobbying member states of WIPO for support to commission a study about the current status internationally of museum exceptions to copyright. This study was the first of its kind. Previously, WIPO had only addressed copyright exceptions for libraries and archives. WIPO published the museums study in 2015….”