QuickLinks - Digital content
QuickLinks - Digital content
Issue no. 406 - 21 February 2010
- Competition for Google - A German Library for the 21st Century
The German Digital Library wants to make millions of books, films, images and audio recordings accessible online. More than 30,000 libraries, museums and archives are expected to contribute their digitized cultural artifacts. The idea, in part, is to compete with Google Books. But will it work?
Issue no. 405 - 24 January 2010
- UK - Website archives to be fast-tracked
New legal powers to allow the British Library to archive millions of websites are to be fast-tracked by ministers after the Guardian exposed long delays in introducing the measures. The culture minister, Margaret Hodge, is pressing for the faster introduction of powers to allow six major libraries to copy every free website based in the UK as part of their efforts to record Britain's cultural, scientific and political history.
Issue no. 404 - 21 December 2009
- EU - Viviane Reding: "Verteufelt nicht das Internet!"
Viviane Reding, Brüsseler Medienkommissarin und designierte EU-Kommissarin für Justiz, Grund- und Bürgerrechte, spricht mit boersenblatt.net über Google und den Rest der Welt, über verwaiste Bücher und deren Bewahrung für die Öffentlichkeit und über die Herkulesarbeit der Digitalisierung gemeinfreier Werke.
- FR - French minister wants Europe to take on Google
European Union members want to create a joint project on the digitization of books, French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand said, challenging Google's plan to create a massive digital library. EU ministers agreed in Brussels to create a committee of "wise men" to carve out a plan, Mitterrand said in an interview with French newspaper Journal du Dimanche. He also said the digitization of books should not be left to private companies, and governments had to come up with appropriate policies.
- FR - La numérisation du patrimoine dotée de 750 millions d'euros
C´est un énorme coup de pouce pour la numérisation du patrimoine français. Le ministre de la Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, a décroché lundi matin le budget de 750 millions d´euros qu´il réclamait pour financer ce vaste chantier. Il prend ainsi une sérieuse option pour se passer du géant américain Google.
Issue no. 403 - 24 November 2009
- EU - European Commission launches reflection on a Digital Single Market for Creative Content Online
The European Commission has published a reflection paper on the challenge of creating a European Digital Single Market for creative content like books, music, films or video games. According to Commission studies, a truly Single Market without borders for Creative Online Content could allow retail revenues of the creative content sector to quadruple if clear and consumer-friendly measures are taken by industry and public authorities. The digital availability of content thus presents great opportunities for Europe, but also a number of challenges. First of all, regulatory and territorial obstacles still stand in the way of digital distribution of cultural products and services and can impede creativity and innovation. In addition, illegal downloads on a large scale can jeopardize the development of an economically viable Single Market for digital content; there needs to be much more encouragement for legal cross-border offers. The reflection paper outlines current challenges for three groups of stakeholders - rightholders, consumers and commercial users - and invites everybody interested to participate in a broad debate about the possible European responses to them. Comments can be sent by 5 January 2010.
- EU history at the click of a mouse
On 16 October, the EU bookshop launched its digital library, its online collection now containing every document published by the EU since 1952 - 110 000 publications. With the archives now included, the digital library contains no fewer than 12 million scanned pages in 50 languages. The new digital library will be linked to Europeana, a digital version of libraries and archives all over Europe.
- The strange death of illegal downloading
This year is the most successful in the UK's history for singles sales. More than 117m have been sold - comfortably beating the previous record of 115.1m, set in 2008. It is happening because of an explosion of new companies offering tracks free, legally, without having to go to peer-to-peer sites and thereby avoiding the risk of getting bogus tracks or viruses. People are flocking to them simply because it is a much easier way of listening to music. None of these sites were started by the music industry. Two of the newbies, Spotify.com and We7.com, alone have gained at least 5 million new users in their first year, mainly people who previously downloaded illegally. They use so called "freemium" business models offering streamed tracks for free if you accept an advert or for nothing if you take out a monthly subscription.
- Twitter chief tells Murdoch: internet paywall will not work
The co-founder of Twitter warned Rupert Murdoch that his plans to charge for online content, and block Google from using stories produced by his News International titles, were a vain attempt to "put the genie back in the bottle".
Issue no. 402 - 18 October 2009
- DE - Google digital library plan opposed by Angela Merkel
German chancellor Angela Merkel has waded into the row over Google's plans to build a massive digital library. The move was a remarkable intervention from a leading world politician in a growing dispute about the threat posed by the internet, and Google in particular, to publishing companies, authors and also newspapers. In her weekly video podcast, before the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, Merkel appealed for more international co-operation on copyright protection and said her government opposed Google's drive to create online libraries full of scanned books.
- EU - The Digital Single Market: a key to unlock the potential of the knowledge based economy
Viviane Reding Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. EDiMA's White Paper on Policy Strategy for the Development of New Media Services 2009-2014 ? Launch Breakfast Event Brussels, 1 October 2009.
- Europe's Digital Library doubles in size but also shows EU's lack of common web copyright solution
4.6 million digitised books, maps, photographs, film clips and newspapers can now be accessed by internet users on Europeana, Europe's multilingual digital library ( www.europeana.eu ). The collection of Europeana has more than doubled since it was launched in November 2008 ( IP/08/1747 ). The European Commission, in a policy document declared as its target to bring the number of digitised objects to 10 million by 2010. The Commission has launched a public consultation on the future of Europeana and the digitisation of books that will run until 15 November 2009. Questions the Commission asks include: How can it be ensured that digitised material can be made available to consumers EU-wide? Should there be better cooperation with publishers with regard to in-copyright material? Would it be a good idea to create European registries for orphan and out-of print works? How should Europeana be financed in the long term? see also EUROPEANA - Europe's Digital Library: Frequently Asked Questions.
- EU's Reding backs Google in online books row
The European Union's media commissioner, Viviane Reding, has thrown her weight behind internet search group Google in the row over whether it should be allowed to publish millions of scanned books online. The EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media added her voice to the debate welcoming "private-sector initiatives" such as Google's. "Google Books is a commercial project developed by an important player," Reding said in a statement. "It is good to see that new business models are evolving which could allow bringing more content to an increasing number of consumers."
Issue no. 401 - 26 July 2009
- US - Amazon deal to reprint rare books
Online retailer Amazon is teaming up with the University of Michigan to provide reprints of 400,000 rare, out-of-print and out-of-copyright books. The books from the university's library are in more than 200 languages from Acoli to Zulu and include a 1898 book on nursing by Florence Nightingale. Amazon's Book Surge unit will print the books in soft-cover editions at prices from $10(£6) to $45. It comes as the Ann Arbor college seeks to digitise its book collection. Financial details of the tie-up arrangement have not been revealed.
Issue no. 400 - 5 July 2009
- UK - British Library publishes online archive of 19th-century newspapers
Over two million pages of 19th and early 20th century newspapers go online, part of the vast British Library collection. The British Library worked in partnership with the Joint Information Systems Committee and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, to create the service, which can be found at. Searches are free, but users can pay to download information.
Issue no. 398 - 13 April 2009
- US - Google's Plan for Out-of-Print Books Is Challenged
(New York Times)
The dusty stacks of the nation's great university and research libraries are full of orphans - books that the author and publisher have essentially abandoned. They are out of print, and while they remain under copyright, the rights holders are unknown or cannot be found. Now millions of orphan books may get a new legal guardian. Google has been scanning the pages of those books and others as part of its plan to bring a digital library and bookstore, unprecedented in scope, to computer screens across the United States. But a growing chorus is complaining that a far-reaching settlement of a suit brought against Google by publishers and authors is about to grant the company too much power over orphan works.
Issue no. 397 - 8 March 2009
- UK - Museum lovers' social networking
Museum visitors will be able to share their cultural passions in a social networking website. A group of the UK's most famous museums, including the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, is creating a collective website. As well as finding information about exhibits, museum lovers can use the website to create communities based on their historic and creative interests.
Issue no. 396 - 8 February 2009
- UK - Education minister's online typos
England's Schools Minister, Jim Knight, has urged pupils to pay more attention to proof reading their work - admitting his own blog was strewn with errors. These included: receieved, maintainence, convicned, curently, similiar, foce, pernsioners, reccess and archeaological. Some of his sentences also had words missing or were otherwise mangled.
- UK - Websites 'must be saved for history'
Historians face a "black hole" of lost material unless urgent action is taken to preserve websites and other digital records, the head of the British Library has warned. Just as families store digital photos on computers which might never be passed on to their descendants, so Britain's cultural heritage is at risk as the internet evolves and technologies become obsolete, says Lynne Brindley, the library's chief executive. See We're in danger of losing our memories.
- iTunes Music Store Finally Ditches DRM, Adds New Prices
After years of fits, starts, threats and ultimatums, Steve Jobs and three major labels have come to terms on a deal: Music will be available immediately on iTunes without DRM restrictions. Free of the limitations that currently restrict music playback to Apple products, the new plan will let consumers choose from three price levels instead of the 99-cent song model the store implemented on day one.
- Monty Python and Vatican on YouTube
Monty Python has a new gambit for the digital age: put all of the most popular material on YouTube, free of charge... and make a ton of money. They launched a customized YouTube channel in November 2008, telling viewers, "For 3 years you YouTubers have been ripping us off, taking tens of thousands of our videos and putting them on YouTube. Now the tables are turned. It's time for us to take matters into our own hands." Rather than sue users, Monty Python decided to upload good-quality copies of the most popular clips from its Flying Circus TV show. The troupe explained its motivation in a YouTube video of its own. see also Watch it on YouTube, then Click-to-Buy and The Pope on YouTube (YouTube blog) and The Vatican.
Issue no. 395 - 27 December 2008
- EU's new online library reopens
The European Union's huge digital library Europeana, which crashed last month just hours after its launch, is back online. The website's server capacity has been quadrupled to cope with demand, European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr told reporters. But the homepage - at www.europeana.eu - warns that "the user experience may not be optimal in this test phase".
Issue no. 394 - 7 December 2008
- EU - Europeana website overwhelmed on its first day by interest of millions of users
On the first day of its launch, Europe's digital library Europeana was overwhelmed by the interest shown by millions of users in this new project. This is an unexpected difficulty, but it is also an encouraging sign that citizens in Europe and around the world have great interest in Europe's digital library. Europeana must now be made more robust to deal with peak hour requests - thousands of users searching in the very same second for famous cultural works like the Mona Lisa or books from Kafka, Cervantes or James Joyce. The Commission and the Europeana management are confident that Europeana will be up and running again by mid-December.For the time being, a demo version of Europeana will be available at http://dev.europeana.eu/. See Europeana: A shop window on Europe's cultural heritage Speech by José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, Launch of Europeana, Brussels, 20 November 2008; La bibliothèque numérique européenne: du rêve à la réalité Discours de Viviane Reding, Membre de la Commission européenne, responsable de la société de l'information et des médias, Forum d'Avignon 2008 - Culture, facteur de croissance, Avignon, le 17 novembre 2008; EUROPEANA: un voyage à travers la culture européenne Discours de Viviane Reding. Lancement d'Europeana, la Bibliothèque européenne Bruxelles, le 20 novembre 2008; Now Online: "Europeana", Europe's Digital Library; EUROPEANA - Europe's Digital Library: Frequently Asked Questions. See also EU Presents Ambitious Open-Source Library Digitization Project, Site Promptly Crashes (TechCrunch) by Kathlyn Clore.
- US - You Tube to start showing full-length films
YouTube took its first step towards a comprehensive movie service, reaching a deal with a big Hollywood studio to start showing full-length television shows and films. The video-sharing website is set to announce that it will host TV episodes and movies from the archives of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in its latest step to boost advertising revenue. The deal is expected to be the first of many. It emerged over the weekend that the site, which is owned by Google, was in negotiations with other Hollywood studios.
Issue no. 393 - 9 November 2008
Issue no. 392 - 5 October 2008
- Old newspapers get online launch
A new initiative to bring old newspapers that pre-date the digital age to the web has been launched by the search giant Google. The company has partnered with around 100 newspapers to digitize them and make scanned copies available online. This means users will see entire pages of the original paper as they were printed at the time.
Issue no. 391 - 31 August 2008
- EU - Opening soon: a digital library for Europe
Europe's cultural diversity in books, music, paintings, photographs, and films open to all citizens at the click of a mouse via one portal - this dream of a European Digital Library could become reality this autumn. However, further efforts by the EU Member States are needed, said the Commission in a new Communication on making available digital versions of works from cultural institutions all over Europe. Digitisation of cultural works can give Europeans access to material from museums, libraries and archives abroad without having to travel or turn hundreds of pages to find a piece of information. Europe's libraries alone contain more than 2.5 billion books, but only about 1% of archival material is available in digital form. The Commission therefore called on Member States to do more to make digitised works available online for Europeans to browse them digitally, for study, work or leisure. The Commission itself will provide some € 120 million in 2009-2010 for improving online access to Europe's cultural heritage. see Communication on Europe's cultural heritage at the click of a mouse and Staff Working Paper. See also Frequenlty Asked Questions (FAQs).
Issue no. 389 - 22 June 2008
- EU - Agreement between Cultural Institutions and Right Holders on Orphan Works
An agreement on copyright was signed by libraries, archives and right holders, in the presence of Commissioner Viviane Reding. The Memorandum of Understanding on orphan works will help cultural institutions to digitise books, films and music whose authors are unknown, making them available to the public online. In parallel, the High Level Group on Digital Libraries, chaired by Viviane Reding, adopted practical guidelines for partnerships between cultural institutions and private organisations. In relation to copyright issues, the High Level Group adopted a final report in which it endorsed a new model license for making works that are out of print or out of distribution accessible for all on the internet. It also gave guidance on copyright issues related to the preservation of web-content by cultural institutions. In the area of scientific information, publishers and scientists presented the progress of a large scale project on the effects of open access to scientific journals.
Issue no. 388 - 1 June 2008
- Microsoft To Shut Live Search Books
Microsoft is shutting down its book digitization initiative, which launched in 2006. The company has digitized 750,000 books and indexed 80 million journal articles to date. Google's competing product, Book Search, is adding 3,000 books per day to their index, although they have not disclosed the total number of books scanned. The company said "Based on our experience, we foresee that the best way for a search engine to make book content available will be by crawling content repositories created by book publishers and libraries."
Issue no. 384 - 24 February 2008
- Cellphones take spotlight at Cannes music show
The mobile phone is now the world's best-selling portable music device - even if most people don't play tunes on their phone. An MP3 player is almost standard on any midrange or high-end phone coming to market these days. Orange is about to open digital music stores in a half-dozen countries. The Orange stores will not be just for phone users, however. They will be on the Web, and anyone with an Internet connection can buy. In addition, Orange customers will be able to get their downloads from either their computer or their phone. Internet access is key for music on phones. Nokia said that 75 percent of customers were "sideloading" music from their computers to their phones via a cable, while 25 percent were downloading the tunes over the air.
- Could social networking sites save the music industry?
Especially among 15- to 25-year-olds, people seem to need their peers to validate their musical tastes, making the Internet a perfect medium for the intersection of MP3s and mob psychology. The challenge is to draw young people away from file-sharing networks that don't bother with legal licenses. So "added value" has become the new hook, or as one industry participant put it at a music industry gathering this week, "a better form of free." Imeem and Bebo are two Web sites trading on the idea that music is a social phenomenon, and that the Internet is the place to be to gather around it. Imeem asks, "What's on your playlist?," while Bebo calls itself a "social media network."
Issue no. 383 - 27 January 2008
- From major to minor
Last year was terrible for the recorded-music majors. The next few years are likely to be even worse.
- UK - BBC Worldwide signs MySpace deal
BBC Worldwide has struck a deal with MySpace to make programmes including Doctor Who and Top Gear available to the website's 100 million-plus global users. The partnership will initially see around 150 clips of BBC programming made available online via a dedicated BBC Worldwide channel on the social networking website's video service, MySpaceTV. The MySpace deal is only the second of its kind BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm, has struck following reaching an agreement with YouTube in March last year.
Issue no. 382 - 6 January 2008
- EU - Creative Content Online in Europe's Single Market
The Commission has adopted a Communication on "Creative Content Online in Europe's Single Market". In the Communication, the Commission identifies four main, horizontal challenges which merit further action at EU-level:
The Commission is launching a public consultation in order to prepare an EU Recommendation on Creative Content Online for adoption by the European Parliament and the Council. Stakeholders are invited to comment on today's Communication by 29 February 2008. In addition, the Commission will set up the "Content Online Platform", a stakeholders' forum.
- Availability of creative content. Owners of creative content are sometimes reluctant to make it available for online distribution.
- Multi-territory licensing for creative content.
- Interoperability and transparency of Digital Rights Management systems (DRMs).
- Legal offers and piracy.
- Google debuts knowledge project
Google has kicked off a project to create an authoritative store of information about any and every topic. The search giant has already started inviting people to write about the subject on which they are known to be an expert. The system will centre around authored articles created with a tool Google has dubbed "knol" - the word denotes a unit of knowledge - that will make webpages with a distinctive livery to identify them as authoritative.
Issue no. 381 - 8 December 2007
- EU - The European Approach to Promoting "Content Online"
Speech by Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media. High Level Seminar on European Audiovisual Content Online, Lisbon, 9 October 2007.
- Launch of European digital library "on track"
A high level group on digital libraries met Commission officials in Brussels to discuss progress towards launching the European digital library. A European digital library foundation has recently been created. This formalises the agreement of European archives, museums, audiovisual archives and libraries to work together and to provide a common access point to Europe's cultural heritage online.
Issue no. 380 - 30 September 2007
- British Library books go digital
More than 100,000 old books previously unavailable to the public will go online thanks to a mass digitisation programme at the British Library. The programme focuses on 19th Century books, many of which are unknown as few were reprinted after first editions. The library believes online access to the titles will help teachers.
- Clicks and links will bring all the walls tumbling down
The New York Times has just abandoned its two-year effort to charge for content online, taking down TimesSelect, the pay wall around its columnists and much of its archives. So content is now and forever free. That isn't because people won't pay for content - some did. It's because there is a new economy of content online that isn't built on scarcity and control but instead relies on the idea that content must be public and permanent to realise its value in the wider conversation.
Issue no. 378 - 5 August 2007
- All the news that's fit to link
The humble hyperlink ought to be counted high in the ranks of digital-age phenomena that have transformed the face of news reporting and consumption. In one sense, it's the 21st-century equivalent of a newspaper running an Associated Press or Reuters wire story instead of assigning one of its own reporters to the task. On the other hand, the hyperlink is the foundation behind a phenomenon that's purely Web 2.0.: the news aggregator.
- EU - MEPs vote to create a European digital library
European lawmakers have called for the creation of a multilingual European digital library aimed at securing easy access to the continent's cultural heritage. MEPs in the European Parliament's culture committee unanimously adopted a report - 'i2010: Easy access to European cultural heritage' - by French centre-right MEP Marie-Hélène Descamps.
- How digital technology is changing the way cinemas work
A rapidly growing number of cinemas are going digital. Over 3,000 North American screens have been converted, nearly two-thirds of them in the past year. Some download films and advertisements via satellite, and others have films delivered on hard drives (which are a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper than big reels of film). America's biggest chains, which have lagged behind, will start to convert cinemas next year. And Europe, which has trailed even further, should catch up thanks to a deal announced this month with two Hollywood studios.
Issue no. 377 - 5 July 2007
- Hanging up on ringtones
With the market for downloadable over-the-air content flat, operators and music companies are looking to other ways of making money from mobiles, says Adam Webb.
Issue no. 375 - 9 May 2007
- OECD - Study on Participative Web: User-created content
The concept of the "participative web" is based on an Internet increasingly influenced by intelligent web services that empower the user to contribute to developing, rating, collaborating on and distributing Internet content and customising Internet applications. This study describes the rapid growth of "user-created content" (UCC), its increasing role in worldwide communication and draws out implications for policy. Questions addressed include: What is user-created content? What are its key drivers, its scope and different forms? What are new value chains and business models? What are the extent and form of social, cultural and economic opportunities and impacts? What are associated challenges? Is there a government role and what form could it take?
- Push for open access to research
Internet law professor Michael Geist takes a look at a fundamental shift in the way research journals become available to the public. Last month five leading European research institutions launched a petition that called on the European Commission to establish a new policy that would require all government-funded research to be made available to the public shortly after publication. That requirement - called an open access principle - would leverage widespread internet connectivity with low-cost electronic publication to create a freely available virtual scientific library available to the entire globe
Issue no. 372 - 25 February 2007
- EU - Growth for creative content online,
Revenue from online content will reach ?8.3 billion by 2010 in Europe, a growth of over 400% in five years, says 'Interactive Content and Convergence: Implications for the information Society', a new study for the European Commission. For the most advanced sectors, online content will represent a significant share of total revenue: about 20% for music and 33% for video games. Thanks to the spread of broadband, the roll-out of advanced mobile networks, and the massive adoption of digital devices, the study shows that mass market online content distribution is becoming a reality, creating unique opportunities for Europe.
- EU - Scientific information in the digital age: Ensuring current and future access for research and innovation
Access to research results has a significant role to play in driving innovation and maintaining the quality of research. Developments in digital technology challenge existing business models and practices for making research results available, and with open access research funding bodies are taking different approaches. The Commission has thereforelaunched a policy document to examine how new digital technologies can be better used to increase access to research publications and data as an important driver for innovation in our increasingly knowledge-based economy.
- UK - BBC's download plans get backing
TV shows like Doctor Who are expected to be available for download after the BBC Trust gave initial approval to the BBC's on-demand plans. Viewers will be able to watch popular programmes online or download them to a home computer up to a week after they are broadcast. But the trust imposed tough conditions on classical music, which could stop a repeat of the BBC's Beethoven podcasts.
Issue no. 370 - 3 December 2006
- EU - Cultural diversity and creative rights
Speech by Charlie McCreevy, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services. Cultural Diversity and Creative Rights Conference, Brussels, 29 November 2006.
- UK - This is me, reporting for the BBC
BBC News 24 is to launch what it has billed as the UK's first news programme based entirely on user generated content. Your News will broadcast stories, features and videos that have proved most popular with viewers on television and the internet.
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
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.