Museums and our Common Heritage: Moving Beyond Intellectual Property

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Keio University, Japan, January 2009

Keio University, Japan, January 2009

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  • Thanks to Professor Junko Iwabuchi for inviting me
    and to Japan Foundation and all the other sponsors for funding this important conference
    looking forward to meeting colleagues from Keio University and around the world








  • Museums Collect - Everything = acquired by theft and gift; purchase and capture
    Becomes a cultural object even if it was live - Suzanne Briet’s antelope as document
    catalogs published from early/mid 19th c. not adequate surrogate
    Where anything ends up cannot be predicted


  • It required a change in economics - Web publishing - to bring the issue to the fore
  • IP - transaction costs as essential problem
    Technology - search/display standards
    - infrastructure for telecom speed/storage issues
    Critical mass - how to collate - by contribution or distributed w/API?
  • MESL - Terms & Conditions arrived at with help of US Copyright Office carried over
    AMICO - Established that universities would license content
    Scholars Databases - tried to combine personal image resources but lacked data content
    ArtSTOR - Expensive, elite culmination - doesn’t reach new audiences
  • End users avoided transaction costs and institutions did it only once
    AMICO included elementary and secondary schools
    Everyone used the Search, Display, Save model only
    Barely pays for itself, doesn’t really reach new audiences/new ways
  • Underlying issue = reducing transaction costs for users so terms need to be common; lots of different licenses may help museums (some) but don’t help users
    There is no way to put something in the public domain
  • Search/Display/Save paradigm is not adequate




  • Crucial aspect of this is that the user does not need to ‘go’ to the museum web site, the data comes to the user as a consequence of where they are, or where they are ‘tuned’
  • Crucial aspect of this is that the data is not structured dependent on the museum site, but rather open to to be re-incorporated into other applications
    Content is not authored from museum perspective alone


  • Crucial aspect of this is that success isn’t ‘eyeballs’ but involvement. The point is not just to be seen, but to be used, to be meaningful, to make a difference


  • Intellectual Property as an economic right, grounded in early modern economic theory
    Cultural Property as a human right, grounded in 21st century humanism


Transcript

  • 1. Museums and our Common Heritage: Moving Beyond Intellectual Property David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 2. Museum History • Acquire (steal, buy, capture, unearth etc.) • Holdings (specimens and artifacts are collected things) • Visited only (until recently), in Person • Object in Arbitrary Repository • Content (largely) Fungible David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 3. Intellectual Property • Origin - Late 18th Century Capitalism • Nature ‣ Grant of Exclusive Rights ‣ Social Contract to Produce Value • Basis - Economics of Publishing and Exploitation of Invention David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 4. Museums & IP: Pre-web • 19th-20th c. Museums Grant Licenses to Scholars for Publication from Collections • Insignificant Aspect of Museums and of Scholarly Publishing • Technology, Scholarship and Humanities conference 1992 barely mentions IP ‣ myself and Stuart Lynn excepted David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 5. Web: Licensed Content 1994-2004 • AHIP Conference 1994 Identified Barriers to Broad Access to Museum Collections ‣ Intellectual Property ‣ Technology ‣ ‘Critical Mass’ David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 6. Experiments Licensing Museum Content • MESL • AMICO, SCRAN etc. • Scholars databases • ArtSTOR David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 7. Licensing - Conclusions • Reduced Transaction Costs for some, but ‣ Only to Users in Education (mostly Higher) • Mostly Art and Architecture Collections • Not Profit nor Value Center for Museums David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 8. New Approaches to IP • V&A and Met Scholars License • CC+ • Public Domain David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 9. Rights - Necessary, But Not Sufficient • How we find museum content • What content we find • What we can do with it David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 10. Beyond IP • Transform Uses ‣ Library Model of Museum Fails ‣ Encounter Model has Different Requirements David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 11. New Paradigms • beyond searching or browsing = Alerting • beyond museum site/portal = Where I am • beyond viewing = Interacting, Contributing • beyond saving or publishing = Sharing, Engaging David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 12. New Discovery Model • Alert, instead of search or browse ‣ Distributed Collection ‣ Repatriated ‣ Objects from all Museums in one Context • Discover - self not stuff David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 13. New Content API • Standard interface supporting - Distributed, - Rich, - Reusable, - Geo-located, David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 14. New Content • Museum and Public views - Contributed - Attributed - Geo-tagged - Temporally associated - Audio-video surrogates David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 15. New Use Model • Engages new audiences, builds community ‣ Interactive ‣ Invites contribution ‣ Enables commentary and debate ‣ Sharable David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 16. Inside-Out Museum • New Architectures and Attitudes ‣ New Model for Discovery, Content, Use ‣ Aggregation of Heritage Knowledge ‣ Virtual Repatriation & Co-Ownership David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 17. Beyond IP: Cultural Property Rights • Right to Knowledge of Common Heritage • Right to Recording a Point-of-View • Right to Share and Create Understanding • Right to Virtual Repatriation of the Past David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009
  • 18. THANK YOU David Bearman | Archives & Museum Informatics | www.archimuse.com Tuesday, February 10, 2009