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Mobilecollections: Copyright and Digitisation of Cultural Content

last modified Apr 12, 2013 04:25 PM
Eleonora Rosati on the first event of the AHRC-funded mobilecollections project at CRASSH


On 9 April 2013 CRASSH hosted the first workshop within the AHRC-funded mobilecollections project jointly led by Professors Simon Goldhill (CRASSH) and Lionel Bently (Faculty of Law and CIPIL). The event, which was organised by Dr Eleonora Rosati (CRASSH and CIPIL), intended to address the various copyright issues facing both cultural institutions (eg museums and libraries) and commercial undertakings when dealing with digitisation of contents.

In particular, the workshop focused on the problems encountered during pre-digitisation stages of such projects, including those arising when seeking permission to use relevant contents.

During the morning roundtable, which was moderated by Prof Bently, representatives of various libraries and museums (including Cambridge University Library, Oxford Bodleian Library, National Library of Scotland, Wellcome Trust, The Public Catalogue Foundation, Fitzwilliam Museum, British Museum, and Royal Museums Greenwich-National Maritime Museum) presented their experiences and discussed their approaches to digitisation, and the difficulties emerged to obtain the required permissions, inclluding identifying and locating relevant rightsholders, negotiating the various rights and the relevant costs of these activities.

Following the lunch break, Dr Rosati delivered a presentation on upcoming UK and EU copyright reforms which might have a specific impact on digitsation projects.

Finally, Simon Morrison of Google offered an engaging overview on Google’s approach to digitisation, including projects like Google Books and Google Art.

We are a network of researchers at the University of Cambridge who are interested in how the use of digital tools is transforming scholarship in the humanities and social sciences. This transformation spans both the content and practice of humanities research, as the diffusion of digital technologies opens up new fields of study and generates research questions which breach traditional disciplinary boundaries.

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