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Copyright and Cultural Heritage – Preservation and Access to Works in a Digital World

Edited by Estelle Derclaye, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK, Northampton, MA, USA, 2010, 243 pp., ISBN 978-1-84980-004-4

The book Copyright and Cultural Heritage explores ways of improving the preservation and access to cultural heritage. The idea for this book was born at the conference Preserving and Accessing Our Cultural Heritage – The Role of Copyright Law, Digitalization and the Internet that was organized by Estelle Derclaye (editor) in March 2009. The ideas for improvement further developed thanks to contribution of European and other scholars from abroad. In the book various experts (lawyers, librarians, archivists, musicologists and cultural heritage experts) try to answer many questions from different perspectives. The book is organized in five parts consisting of chapters and every chapter is written by a different contributor.

Part one, The European perspective, consists of 5 chapters and deals with the issue from European perspective. In the first chapter, Tanya Aplin addresses three main aspects of the creation of a global online repository of cultural heritage: the legal deposit schemes, problem of orphan works and the ownership of digital register. The issue of orphan work is analyzed in details in second chapter written by Caroline Colin. Problem can be solved by organizing data-base or by creating registers. The author explains the differences between data base and the registers. She concludes that creation of registers could be good solution to deal with orphan works problem and suggests that registers should be voluntary and not mandatory. In the third chapter Andreas Rahmatian examines copyright protection for restoration, reconstruction and digitization of public domain works. He identifies 6 different types of reconstruction, ranging from preservation – not eligible for copyright protection - to (re)creation which is eligible for copyright protection. Chapter four discuses the issue of copyright protection of photographs of art. The author of this chapter Ronan Deazley presents the example of South Densington Museum. The main issue is how to find balance between popularization of art through photographs on one side, and photograph’s copyrights on the other side. The last chapter in this part - Archiving exceptions: where are we and where do we need to go? - written by Paul Torremans examines the UK and EU law regarding the so-called preservation or archiving exceptions.

The second part of the book consists of two chapters and presents us the US perspective of dealing with this problem. Chapter 6 written by Laura Gasaway makes an interesting contrast to the previous chapter, showing how the US copyright law is structured and applied in practice. In chapter 7, Steven Hetcher tries to find useful experiences from the US that would improve current practice in preservation of and access to cultural heritage. He also addresses the idea of creating one global database containing the world s cultural heritage, over viewing possible problems in such a case.

In the third part of the book Delia Lipszyc and Carlos Alberto Villalba present Argentina's experience of preserving and accessing cultural heritage through the "Domaine public payant" system, where everyone who wishes to use a work in the public domain must pay a tax to the state fund (especially created to manage this revenue and financially support development of art). This system does not create an online database of cultural heritage but the tax collected by the state fund could be used to do just that.

The fourth part deals with the issue from cultural sector institutions' perspective. Public museums, galleries, archives and libraries - the middlemen of cultural world - are under growing pressure from all sides, politicians, users and right holders. All these institutions seek to act properly and responsibly. Before they can reasonably do so, Tom Padfield emphasizes that they need understanding and trust, and necessary legal tools.

The last part of the book looks at the problem from the cultural heritage specialist's angle. Lucky Belder tries to answer whether cultural heritage and copyright protections are friends or enemies. She reviews the principles and objectives of both and on the end she concludes that cultural heritage institutions and copyright have a lot of in common. Both are essential in preserving, protecting and stimulating cultural diversity, both are to stimulate the communication of cultural information and support democratic life.

The book may be interesting for both academics, owners of intellectual property and policymakers, as well as by industry involved in managing and distributing of copyrighted materials and contents.

For more information, please visit: www.e-elgar.com