This was a fascinating conference, highlights included hearing Cory Doctrow and just getting an insight into how Wikipedia works.

The overriding theme was existing copyright laws aren’t fit for purpose, and a sense that institutes should be prepared to relinquish control of their images and allow people the creative freedom to photograph their collections and use images as they see fit. The argument seems to be polarised to be very much organisations vs creative freedom of the individual.

What wasn’t addressed was how the artist’s intent is effected by their work being experienced digitally, copied and changed. Equally how is the experience of the audience effected; are they effectively sold short? What will the work created by the Digital Natives, those who have grown up with the web, be? Will it be significantly different? What can we learn from precedents of new technology being adopted by artists on the arts, as well as audiences?


Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia: Finding the common ground
Friday 26 November

Jimmy Wales
co-founder and promoter of Wikipedia

• Wikipedia has its roots in open source
• Publically funded Museums that bring culture to everyone are reasserting their roots.
• 408 million come to Wikipedia a month, to read, to learn and entertain
• New groundswell interest in culture
• Its al about sharing great ideas with everyone

Cory Doctrow

Canadian blogger, journalist, and science fiction author, an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of Creative Commons

• Libraries & archives have good will and are unimpeachable, people don’t think you do it for glamour – don’t squander that goodwill.
• Disagrees with not being able to take pictures in Museums, often it isn’t a copyright issue but galleries and museums think that they will make money out of stock art
• When you prohibit photography you change the nature of the institution; you make it into a mausoleum
• Public participation has been jeopardised by the relationship between public and private monetary exchange, by money made from reproductions
• Ironic that there was a no photography sign by Andy Warhol portraits
• Cory Doctrow sites Star Wars as the end of linear narrative. Cory learnt by rewriting copying what he liked this is how it worked.
• Things that don’t copy are dead; its how we learn; you bury work by not allowing it to be copied
• In business there is special remuneration for early investors; the public are effectively early investors for galleries and museums, whereas private investors are comparatively late investors but they are the ones that are benefiting from it.
• Make work ubiquitous, get it out there.
• Its about changing the relationship with the private collectors and institutes.
David Cameron wants to change IP (Intellectual Copyright). There will be a new report in April 2011, this will counter the Digital Economy Act that the last Government rushed through, which didn’t cover user rights.
• Organisations don’t want their work to be copied as they think it will damage the brand but Creative Commons prohibits derogatory use.
• The argument ‘who will come through our doors if everything can be downloaded’ is redundant, the problem for artists is obscurity; not piracy.
• Wikipedia don’t have the responsibility to fund holders so can afford to annoy people.
• Trade on ubiquity, make the physical value more precious.

Joscelyn Upendran: Creative Commons and the Culture Sector

• Creative Commons is a US non-profit organisation
• It produces free copyright licenses
• 8 years old
• It is a tool you use

CC Is not:
• Anti copyright
• An enforcement body
• Does not store or track your licensed content

Trouble with © is that it is “All rights reserved”. Creative Commons changes this to some right reserved.

How the CC licenses work
6 Core Licenses:

Attribution cc by Lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation
Attribution Share Alike cc by-sa As above but new creations have to be licensed under identical terms.
Attribution No Derivatives cc by-nd Allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial use, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
Attribution Non-Commercial cc by-nc Lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 


cc by-nc-nd As above, but derivatives have to have same license eg be non-commercial


Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives 


Cc by-nc-nd 


Allows redistribution, but cannot be changes, used commercially and linked back to you 


Creative Commons relevance to GLAMs

• Generate interest and new business models
• People cannot use work for derogatory purposes
• Organisers over estimate financial gain and underestimate public benefit

Britain Loves Wikipedia
Interesting exercise, it was a scavenger hunt/Photography competition where cultural organisations allowed photos to be taken of their work.

Random Facts

▪ British Library made data sets available

▪ CCO attribute means that there is no copyright ▪ National Archive – Use Flickr

▪ CC does not stand up in court, so far there are too sets of licenses, one for England and Wales, and one for Scotland.

▪ Crown Copyright – Open Government License similar to cc, replaces Crown Copyright, a lot of sites need to update (go to National Archives for info). This is retrospective.

▪ DCMs & Foreign Office use creative commons, but different licenses.

For further information:

The Participatory Museum – Nina Simon
Encouraging Digital Access to Culture, a report. Jon Droro for DCMS March 10
Content: selected essays on technology, Cory Doctrow

Matthew Cocks: Wikipedeans in House

Wikipedian in residence in the British Museum

For residencies to work the organisation and Wikipedian should share common goals.

Global reach is important to the museum, but they were worried about getting bad press.

One reason for doing it, if you answer a wikipedean once, you never have to answer that question again.

Wikipedia has 5 pillars

• An online encyclopedia

• Neutral perspective
• Free content
• Wikipedians should behave respectfully and find consensus
• Wikipedia does not have firm rules

Aim for British Museum

• Engage with the community
• Reach new audiences
• Get referrals to site

It didn’t lead to a large number of referrals, but was still considered a success because of the high number of views for the actual number of views for the wiki page

Its the same argument with Social Media people are already having a conversation, but you are just not part of it.

Collaborations: Europeana and Wikimedia: GLAMS (Galleries, Libraries and Museumss)
Jill Cousins

Europeana aggregates some of Europe’s culture

4 Strategic Trails
• Aggregate: build the open trusted source for European culture
• Linked and enriched data
• Multilinguality
• Linked open data
• Europeana only has meta data they do not have the actual data

You need to link open data for everyone to use.

You need to:

• Aggregate
• Distribute
• Facilitate
• Engage

John Byrne: Guided Tour of Wikipedia

Bridgeman Art Library V. Corel Corp
This was a really important court case; the US decided that “photographs” of 2D objects were not themselves copyrightable. This is because this kind of photography it is not considered a skill, the ruling oes not apply to photographs of 3D objects.

To take advantage of this Wiki has servers in the US and Germany

Wikimedia Commons (Commons) is an online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files.

Wiki stats

• English wiki has 10 million visitors per hour. Views grew continuously until 2007, now declining very slowly, almost flat lining. Internally causing a lot of debate
• 100 – 250 edits a month, the number of people doing this has dropped by a third over the last 3 years
• 35k users who edit per month, but these are mainly unregistered. In total 13 million have ever edited wikipedia, but a relatively small number actually adding content, seems to be a two year burn out.
• Worth registering as an editor as you get a watch list (eg you can see whether someone has updated pages you have edited.
• Allows you to attribute your edits, you can add a list to a watch list, your edits are less likely to be reverted, you can change default image size

Articles are assessed for quality, primarily, length and references

• Stub – 4 lines
• Start – longish but no references
• C
• B – top level you can get too without being formally assessed
• GA (good Article) has been assessed by one person and has met style requirements
• Featured article – has to be assessed by 6/7 revieers and this is the top level of content

From the start it was decide not to let experts control of the content, as experts have a point of view and a neutral perspective is key to wikipedia. For example, there has been a big internal controversy about climate change.

Wash up for day’s events
• The overriding idea is that everyone should release low res images and then people will buy high res
• Let things live on the right platform, people who link from wiki tend to have a much deeper engagement
• Would we ever have a Wikipedian working with us?
• You have to understand the importance of public value

Free Economy & The Culture Sector
Evening Session

Kenneth D Crews

Was told off for trying to take a picture at a concert, felt that this was unfair as part of the fun is taking a souvenir, later on the performers told the audience that they could take pictures.

Feels that copyright should be fragmented; different users should have different user rights.

Creative Commons: selective assertion of copyright
• Selective
• Tempering of rights
• Limiting Rights
• Clarifying Interests
• Opting out of legal rights

Open access (OA) refers to unrestricted online access to articles published in scholarly journals. This wasn’t technologically possible before the internet.

Museums Licenses & Policies: redefinition of copyright
• The Promise of Repositories
• University Priorities
• Local Commitment to access
• Benchmark of scholarship
• Diverse types of work
• Copyright can be managed for simultaneous use, fragmentation of copyright
• A repository is where certain works are made available

Museum licensing
Content in = restrictions out?

How can people use images supplied by Museum.

Panel Discussion
Paula Le Dieu BFI
Response to talk, yes agrees, the sad truth is because of copyright can’t do much with work other than look after it.

Is copyright good for the future of the arts? BFI archive is under lock and key for the next 100 years

Kenny: There must be a way of getting round this

Paula: Copyright and the landscape is all about conflict. For those who are publically funded they should think about the audience as investor: they are the key.

Jill Cousins: Europeana

We should think about the audience. We are creating copyright chaos, and should be looking for solutions. Interested in extended collective copyright licensing across Europe.

Kenny: Challenge with this is that it is about a multiple set of systems.
Extended collective licensing is the statutory. The organisation can can represent all rights holders, they have the authority to legally represent everyone.

This doesn’t fit with the US; they think its socialism
Collective licensing is problematic
Fair use = not paid

US & Europe have very different cultural backgrounds.

Bill Thompson
There are more restrictions on e-journals than on print.
Legal protection destroys the rights of everyone but artists
It has always been complicated, its just now technology has made this more ubiquitous and pressing.
Next decade about creative re use and expression
‘Things when created are free’

NPG Representative (DACs person couldn’t be there):

Need to give the creator some sort of power
Have to balance what is legal and public rights, eg when they can’t trace copyright owner

Kenny: Law defines limits of relationship. The law limits things: the range of what is permissible. Public Domain is a mess.

US court decision for Fair Use: you can use art images in books, if they are low resolution and a small size it is fair use.

Acknowledge difference between access to see, and access to do what you like with the work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s