Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Framing the reuse of digital cultural heritage

16.07.2004


Complicated intellectual property rights and technical standards for digital content are potential barriers to accessing Europes incredibly rich cultural assets. However EMIIs Distributed Content Framework (DCF) is a step towards lowering these barriers.



The EMII-DCF project was developed with funding from the IST programme by the European Museums Information Institute (EMII). A collaborative, virtual network EMII connects key cultural institutions in the European Union. Its main objective is the promotion of and exchange of best practice and the effective use of standards in information management among EU Member States and associated countries.

The project led by the UK’s mda (Museum Documentation Association) worked with eight pan-European partners within EMII. The aim was to identify the needs of those who use digital content, and to clarify the requirements concerning intellectual property rights (IPR) and common technical standards. The guidelines that resulted will ultimately sustain interoperability and the preservation of digital cultural resources.


Many cultural institutions in Europe are small and run on tight budgets. They do not necessarily have the staff with the necessary knowledge of IPR and need a framework that they can use when licensing or assigning the rights to other organisations. And, often, the array of technical issues associated with digitisation requires clear explanation of the issues especially with regard to standards.

Gordon McKenna of mda and EMII-DCF brings this to life: "Imagine a university academic is working on a piece of advanced research on merchant ships in the 18th and 19th centuries. A few years ago he would have needed to travel around Europe at great cost to study the artefacts required to complete the research. Today he can have many of the plans, drawings and associated documentation delivered to his desk. The issues he faces now are that museums are reluctant to let him have digital copies of the relevant material because they are concerned that in doing so they will lose control of them, or that when he does receive them he will need special software to access them. The EMII-DCF provides advice and guidance on both of these issues."

Help with IPR

IPR have become complex in recent years. Technological change has meant that it is now very easy and usually very cheap to make copies. Digital material in particular can be copied and manipulated at virtually no cost. To accommodate these changes the law on intellectual property has been adapted and modified resulting in a more complicated situation.

EMII-DCF advises three steps: First - audit the cultural assets to determine who owns the intellectual property. Secondly negotiate with rights holders to obtain permission to use the assets these are set out in licences (the EMII-DCF website provides templates) that specify things like the nature and scope of the content, usage, geographical scope, duration, and where appropriate, a fee. Thirdly - manage and protect the rights, which involves documenting the above information, and updating it where and when necessary.

To protect IPR, the DCF advises that it may be sufficient to display statements about terms of use. For more valuable digital assets the DCF advises the use of low-resolution images, digital encryption, digital watermarking, password protection and Web-casting.

Standards for digital content

According to McKenna, the DCF has made considerable steps in guiding content holders through the maze of standards and sets out a model that, if it is followed by cultural institutions throughout Europe, will ensure that digital resources are easily accessible by everyone. The DCF contains comprehensive information for users on technical and cultural standards as well as standards for the management of digital resources.

The technical standards cover the encoding of characters and text as well as still and moving images. The DCF also studied the standards governing the interchange of digital resources between applications. These determine the degree of interoperability and according to the project team are likely to become more and more important as the volume of digital material increases.

As for cultural standards, there are differences in how and the extent to which artefacts are described, and these too are clarified in the framework. Finally there are standards that should be followed when managing digital resources and more specifically when preserving them and ensuring that they will continue to be useable despite technological changes.

Ultimately the benefits of the DCF include streamlined and more accessible processes for producing and exploiting cultural content. Indeed the DCF technical standards are being used as the basis for other work [in the cultural heritage sector] across the EU, says McKenna. For example, MINERVA, another IST project, providing collaboration between Member States’ Ministries has linked up with EMII-DCF to push forward this work.

Contact:

Gordon McKenna
mda
The Spectrum Building
The Michael Young Centre
Purbeck Road
Cambridge CB2 2PD
United Kingdom
Tel: +44-1223-415760
Fax: +44-1223-415960
Email: gordon@mda.org.uk
Source: Based on information from EMII-DCF

Gordon McKenna | CORDIS Wire
Further information:
http://www.emii.org
http://www.emii-dcf.org

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau

nachricht Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>