2 Nov 2012
Digital Technologies and Cultural Heritage
An invited presentation at the conference 'Access and Use Rights for Digital Historical Sources' (Zugangs- und Nutzungsrechte für historische Quellen im Web / Accessibilité et droits d’utilisation des ressources historiques sur le web).
The conference was organised by infoclio - the professional portal of the historical sciences in Switzerland and e-codices - the virtual manuscript library of Switzerland. It intended to bring together all the relevant stakeholders from academia, libraries and other archiving institutions, as well as the users in order to discuss the present state of affairs with regard to accessing and using digitised historical sources.
My own presentation focused on one particular challenge - namely the possibilities for researchers to use available digitised materials under the current copyright system. The picture seemed nothing but rosy as there is a great deal of fragmentation and uncertainty, caused both by grey spaces in law, as well as by more aggressive contract law strategies of content owners and distributors, which ultimately may limit existing fair use possibilities, as under conventional offline copyright.