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….”

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….”

Europeana Photography unlocks a vast archive of historical photography – Europeana Professional

“Europeana Photography is now launching as the outcome of a collaboration between Europeana and PHOTOCONSORTIUM, the International Consortium for Photographic Heritage. Giving access to a vast archive of historical images, it’s a treasure trove of carefully selected pictures from the first 100 years of photography. The latest thematic collection on the Europeana platform, Europeana Photography presents high-quality images and compelling stories from Europe’s most astonishing historical picture collections. Just be warned: once you’ve stepped into our time capsule, you’ll never want to leave!”

Opening up the Natural History Heritage for Europeana

“Countless natural history treasures are deposited in museums across the world, many hidden away beyond easy access. The OpenUp! project creates a free access to these resources, offering over one million items belonging to the world’s biodiversity heritage. The objects made available through OpenUp! consist of high quality images, videos and sounds, as well as natural history artworks and specimens, and also include many items previously inaccessible to visitors. Information provided through OpenUp! is checked by scientists and made available through the Europeana portal at www.europeana.eu….”

Rightsstatements.org White Paper: Recommendations for Standardized International Rights Statements

“Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and many other libraries, archives 1 2 and other cultural heritage institutions believe that everyone should be able to engage with their cultural heritage online. We can help achieve this by giving cultural heritage institutions simple and standardized terms to summarize the copyright status of Works in their collection and how they may be used. These simple and standardized terms we call “Rights Statements.” Providing this information is essential for those who wish to actively engage with the Works they find online. Can they use it in a school report? Print it on a t­shirt? Integrate it into a commercial app? Currently, there is no global approach to rights statements that works for a broad set of institutions, leading to a confusing proliferation of terms. Simplifying the use and application of Rights Statements benefits both contributing organizations, which share their valuable collections online through aggregators such as Europeana and the DPLA, and the people who engage with those collections. Thus, we outline minimum, baseline standards for organizations contributing to the DPLA, Europeana and any other digital aggregator that adopts the rightsstatements.org standard. Rightsstatements.org establishes the vocabulary that every organization can use to talk to their audiences about copyright and related rights in a meaningful way. It provides the technical and governance infrastructure to support their development and adoption, and ensure their on­going relevance. In this paper, the product of a joint DPLA–Europeana Rights Statements Working Group, we recommend a series of Rights Statements that are simple, flexible and descriptive. We propose ten Rights Statements that the DPLA and Europeana partners can implement to communicate to users the copyright and related restrictions on use of Items in their collections. We propose to host these statements at rightsstatements.org, allowing each Item to which they are applied to be linked to the definitive explanation of its terms….”