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Digital Cultural Collections in an Age of Reuse and Remixes

Kristin R. Eschenfelder and Michelle Caswell

(Submission #45)


Traditionally, non-commercial reuses of materials displayed on archive, library and museum websites requires explicit permission and sometimes even payment of fees. But norms within the cultural institution community may be shifting. This paper explores the question of what types of control cultural institutions should exert over /unauthorized non-commercial reuse of digital cultural works. What (if anything) should non-commercial users be allowed to do with digital copies of CI collection materials beyond simply viewing them? What (if any) protection against unauthorized non-commercial reuse should CI provide? We describe the results of a survey of CI professionals at US archives, libraries and museums about circumstances under which CI should seek to control access and reuse of digital cultural collections, motivations to control access to and use, and factors discouraging control of access and use. The paper explores three general themes that explain many of the CI motivations for control:“Object descriptions, representations and control,” “Legal risks and complexities” and “Getting credit: fiscal and social costs and revenue.”


Program Track:  Track 6 - Information and Society: Economic, Political, Social Issues
Submission Type:  Research Paper

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