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Digital cultural collections in an age of reuse and remixes

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Eschenfelder, Kristin R.
Digital cultural collections in an age of reuse and remixes by Kristin R. Eschenfelder and Michelle Caswell. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 11 - 1 November 2010 http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3060/2640
Nov 2010
privacy; archive; cultural rights; intellectual property; digital rights management; digital library; museum
This paper explores the circumstances under which cultural institutions (CI) should seek to control noncommercial reuse of digital cultural works. It describes the results of a 2008 survey of CI professionals at U.S. archives, libraries and museums which gathered data on motivations to control access to and use of digital collections, factors discouraging control, and levels of concern associated with different types of unauthorized reuse. The analysis presents three general themes that explain many of the CI motivations for control: controlling descriptions and representations; legal risks and complexities; and, getting credit: fiscal and social costs and revenue. This paper argues that CI should develop a multiplicity of access and use regulations that acknowledge the varying sensitivity of collections and the varying level of risk associated with different types of reuses. It concludes by offering a set of examples of collections employing varying levels of reuse control (from none to complete) to serve as heuristics.
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