QuickLinks - Digital content
QuickLinks - Digital content
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Issue no. 413 - 20 February 2011
EU - "Comité des Sages" calls for a "New Renaissance" by bringing Europe's cultural heritage online
The report of the Comité des Sages (high-level reflection group) on Digitisation of Europe's cultural heritage was delivered to Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, and Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner responsible for Education and Culture. The
is called "The New Renaissance". Its key conclusions and recommendations are:
portal should become the central reference point for Europe's online cultural heritage. Member States must ensure that all material digitised with public funding is available on the site, and bring all their public domain masterpieces into Europeana by 2016. Cultural institutions, the European Commission and Member States should actively and widely promote
Works that are covered by copyright, but are no longer distributed commercially, need to be brought online. It is primarily the role of rights-holders to digitise these works and exploit them. But, if rights holders do not do so, cultural institutions must have a window of opportunity to digitise material and make it available to the public, for which right holders should be remunerated.
EU rules for orphan works (whose rights holders cannot be identified) need to be adopted as soon as possible. The Report defines eight fundamental conditions for any solution.
Member States need to considerably increase their funding for digitisation.
Public-private partnerships for digitisation must be encouraged. They must be transparent, non-exclusive and equitable for all partners, and must result in cross-border access to the digitised material for all. Preferential use of the digitised material granted to the private partner should not exceed seven years.
To guarantee the preservation of collections in their digital format, a second copy of this cultural material should be archived at Europeana. In addition, a system should be developed so that any cultural material that currently needs to be deposited in several countries would only be deposited once.
EU - Europeana Publishes Strategic Plan
Europeana, the portal which provides links to cultural artifacts such as paintings, music, films and books from cultural institutions across Europe, has published a new strategic plan which sets out the direction for its development up to 2015. To remain successful, the plan says, Europeana must move to a more distributed model, collaborating with other content aggregators and making its content available in the places where users congregate online, such as social networks and educational sites.
Issue no. 412 - 28 November 2010
EU - European Award for Best Children's Online Content
The European Award for Best Children's Online Content is a competition organised jointly by the Safer Internet Centres in 14 Member States and the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme, to encourage the creation of online high quality content for children. The competition is organised for the first time in 2010-2011 as a pilot. It will take place in two stages: 1. National competitions in 14 countries organised by the Safer Internet Centres (The opening and closing dates of the national competitions are decided by each country. Please consult the information for your country). 2. The first prize winners of the national competitions complete for the European Award (award in June 2011). Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda, said: “Children start going online younger and younger, and we need to make sure they are confident online, and that they can find exciting, safe, educational and age-appropriate content as they surf the web".
EU - Europeana gives online access to over 14 million examples of Europe's cultural heritage
Anyone in the world can now access over 14 million digitised books, maps, photographs, paintings, film and music clips from cultural institutions across Europe through Europe's digital library Europeana. Launched in 2008 with two million objects, Europeana has already passed the initial target for 2010 of 10 million objects. Today, the Reflection Group ("Comité des Sages" - Maurice LÚvy, Elisabeth Niggemann, Jacques de Decker) set up by the Commission to explore new ways to bring Europe's cultural heritage online is addressing the EU's Council of Culture Ministers and the European Parliament's Committee on Culture. The ComitÚ des Sages' report is due to be published at the beginning of 2011.
FR - Partnering to put out-of-print French works back in circulation
(Google European Public Policy blog)
Google and Hachette Livre, one of France's largest publishers, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that both companies believe will breathe new life into Hachette's catalogue of dormant and commercially unavailable books. Under the terms of the MoU, Hachette will determine which of its out-of-print works it wants scanned; these books will then be scanned by Google and made searchable via Google Books. Hachette will decide which books are to be made available for purchase via Google Editions. Hachette and Google will also be able to make these books available for other services. voir aussi
Accord Google-Hachette Livre : éditeurs, auteurs et politiques restent vigilants
Issue no. 411 - 3 October 2010
EU - Ghent University Library becomes first to contribute books scanned by Google to Europeana
(University of Ghent)
Ghent University Library became the first in Europe to contribute public domain works scanned by Google to Europeana, Europe's flagship project for cultural heritage. Readers using Europeana can now enjoy more than 30 million newly-added pages of historical, scientific, anthropological and literary works, from over 100,000 volumes, spanning four centuries, in French, Dutch, German and other languages.
Issue no. 410 - 6 August 2010
NL - Google Books goes Dutch
(Google European Public Policy Blog)
Google and the National Library of the Netherlands, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) will be working in partnership to add to the library's own extensive digitisation efforts. Google will be scanning more than 160,000 of its public domain books, and making this collection available globally via Google Books. The library will receive copies of the scans so that they can also be viewed via the library's website. And significantly for Europe, the library also plans to make the digitised works available via Europeana, Europe's cultural portal.
Issue no. 409 - 6 June 2010
UK - British Library newspaper archive plan riles James Murdoch
The heir to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation empire
attacked the British Library
for "harming the market" in print journalism by allowing online access to its vast newspaper archive. Mr Murdoch was responding to the library's announcement that it would digitise its archive, which aims to be a complete record of British regional and national newspapers. "This is not simply being done for posterity, nor to make free access for library users easier, but also for commercial gain via a paid-for website," he said. see also
News Corp. flabbergasted anyone could oppose "three strikes"
Emperors and beggars - The rise of content farms
A new brand of media firms dubbed “content farms” aim to produce content at a price so low that even meagre advertising revenue can support it. Clever software works out what internet users are interested in and how much advertising revenue a given topic can pull in. The results are sent to an army of 7,000 freelancers. They artfully pen articles or produce video clips to fit headlines such as “How do I paint ceramic mugs?” and “Why am I so tired in winter?”. Although an article may pay as little as $5, writers make on average $20-25 an hour, says Mr Kydd. The articles are copy-edited and checked for plagiarism. For the most part, they are published on the firm’s 72 websites, including eHow, answerbag and travels.com. But videos are also uploaded onto YouTube, where the firm is by far the biggest contributor. In March, Demand Media churned out 150,000 pieces of content in this way. The company is expected to go public later this year, if it is not acquired by a big web portal, such as Yahoo!, first.
Publishers want universal e-books; won't cooperate to get them
The industry-wide struggle over e-book formats continues, despite the fact that publishers are inundated with choices over how and where to distribute their e-books. In fact, such a wide selection is part of the reason why publishers are up in arms over the lack of a good universal option: they don't want to have to choose between Amazon, Apple, and Barnes and Noble; nor do they want to spend the extra time and resources trying to do all three. They want to choose one format and have it be available everywhere, but the industry may be standing in its own way before a widely accepted universal format becomes available.
UK - British Library to scan 40m newspaper pages
The British Library and its commercial partner brightsolid - a division of DC Thomson - are to digitise 40 million pages of old newspapers. The library holds 52,000 national and international titles covering 300 years. Currently researchers, 30,000 a year, have to go to Colindale in north London to scan through microfilm or hard copies. Under this agreement brightsolid will scan a minimum of four million pages within the next two years. Over ten years, as scanning technology improves, some 40 million pages will be scanned. This will include in-copyright material following negotiations with rights holders.
Issue no. 407 - 28 March 2010
British Library launches national web archive
The British Library has said its UK Web Archive may store 220TB of data annually from 2011. The project aims to store all the UK's free-access websites. The British Library said the UK's rapidly growing and changing web domain has some eight million sites with an average life expectancy of between 44 and 75 days. Material that is freely available on the web is still subject to copyright and cannot be archived without permission. However, the library hopes parliament will change the law following a Department for Culture, Media Sport consultation, due to close on 1 March.
IT - Google announce partnership with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage
We're announcing an agreement with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage that will push this vision forward. Working with the National Libraries of Florence and Rome, we’ll digitize up to a million out-of-copyright works. The libraries will select the works to be digitized from their collections, which include a wealth of rare historical books, including scientific works, literature from the period of the founding of Italy and the works of Italy's most famous poets and writers. It marks the first time we've ever joined forces with Italian libraries, and the first time we've worked with a ministry of culture.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
a free newsletter appearing approximately every two to three weeks. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham
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Creative Commons Licence