Europeana creates a working group on IPR issues

Author: Réka Markovich


Considering the variety of special projects and areas involved in Europeana and the fact that most issues are influenced by legal issues, Europeana has decided to create a working group dedicated especially to IPR. The aim of this working group is to coordinate IPR related deliverables and activity across Europeana’s diverse range of activities. This is a new initiative at Europeana, and there is a hope that, by forming a cross-project coordination group, we will deliver better and more cohesive outcomes.

The first meeting took place in Copenhagen two weeks ago, with several IPR experts from different Europeana-related projects (Cloud, Space, Open-up, Sounds, Photography and EUscreenXL) chaired by Paul Keller (Kennisland) and Julia Fallon (Europeana).

During the first meeting we introduced our projects and discussed some issues in order to create working group plan. For instance, we feel that it is necessary to have a clear and transparent procedure for proposing new rights statements (you can find the current list here: Available Rights Statements). Info sharing is obviously useful for all of us, but we also decided to share relevant deliverables and found some questions we should elaborate during the next meeting. We’re looking forward to it!

Learning with AV content, storytelling and copyrights – upcoming events and courses

Check out these exciting new events organised by British Universities Film and Video Council


Enhancing the learning experience with AV content: licenses, quality and value for money

25 June 2014 (Manchester) and 26 June 2014 (London)

How can you engage today’s students? And how can you ensure that your institution is meeting the needs of different learners? This conference, taking place in London and Manchester, will address the benefits of using audiovisual content in learning, teaching and research. See demonstrations of BoB National, the BUFVC Box of Broadcasts, and how this service can enhance the teaching and learning experience, as well as information on audiovisual resources from the BUFVC, Jisc and beyond. Find out more

Course: Think visual: video storytelling in education

Presented by: Catherine Chambers, Open University Commissioning Producer, 3 June 2014.

student_cameraThis new and innovative one-day course will cover the teaching role of video.  The course will aim to show participants how video can enhance the learning experience, when you might use video as a learning resource and how you would design a good learning video. As Commissioning Producer at the Open University, Catherine Chambers commissions short form content across all subject areas for multiple platforms, including iTunes, YouTube and FutureLearn Moocs.  Prior to this, Catherine worked for the BBC in radio production, as well as producing video for the BBC’s 5 Live YouTube channel, and live streaming the popular Kermode and Mayo film review. Find out more


Course: Copyright Clearance for Print, Broadcast and Multimedia Production

rights_logoPresented by: Alma Hales and Bernadette Attwell, 9 July 2014

The essential one-day course for those needing to copy, use and provide access to existing third party content in their work, delivered by expert practitioners in the field. Presented by Alma Hales, Head of Intellectual Property at the Open University and Bernadette Attwell, former Deputy Head of Intellectual Property at the Open University and co-owner of Copy-Right Consultants Ltd with Alma Hales, the course will provide participants with an up-to-date and clear understanding of how to approach the process of rights clearance. Find out more


EBU/GESAC/ICMP/ECSA recommendation for the licensing of broadcast-related online activities

Four European umbrella organizations: European Broadcasting UnionEuropean Composers and Songwriters AllianceEuropean Grouping of Societies of Authors and Composer and the Global Voice of Music Publishing officially released a recommendation that sets out principles aimed at encouraging the aggregation of rights for the licensing of certain broadcast-related online activities on a cross-border basis.

These principles are pursued to strike a balance between the stakeholders’ interests and objectives to lead to the cross-border licensing of public service broadcasters. The recommendation aims to simplify the basis on which licenses of musical works in the context of “broadcast-related online activities”, i.e. additional online content related to their regular broadcasting services will be implemented within the European Union. As well as promoting a voluntary re-aggregation of rights, the recommendation also underline high levels of transparency for authors/composers and publishers, fair compensation and efficient, modern and non-discriminatory administration arrangements.

Here you can access the Recommendation for the licensing of broadcast-related online activities.


Blog written by Réka Markovich, ELTE University

Licenses for a digital Europe: a report from the final session

In today’s digital context there are many new ways of providing, creating and distributing content as well as new ways to generate value. In order to ensure that copyright and licensing stay fit for purpose in this world, the European Commission started a stakeholder dialogue titled Licenses for Europe. Its main purpose was to deliver “rapid progress in bringing content online through practical, industry-led solutions.” The initiative held its final plenary session on November 13th in Brussels.

Report by Réka Markovich, ELTE University

Participants of the dialogue included representatives from interested parties such as consumer and digital rights organizations – and the topic touches on the lives of many. IT and technology companies, internet service providers, film heritage institutions, broadcasters, public libraries, authors, producers, performers and other copyright rightholders in the audiovisual, music, publishing and video game industries all took part. However, as the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRI) points out, after 10 months of debate, there is little consensus between these different stakeholder groups as to how to make EU copyright fit for the digital age in law and in practice. The final plenary meeting provided an opportunity for the different working groups to report-back to the plenary on their conclusions. The main critique of the EDRI is that in the process, all attention went to establishing relationships between rights holders and platform developers – thus excluding other approaches and larger attempts at a much needed copyright reform. In their words: In the current technological environment, copyright affects ordinary citizens and many professionals, such as teachers and cultural heritage professionals, that are not represented by the two industries that Commission’s approach suggests are the only legitimate stakeholders. There are user rights at stake in this discussion that are extremely important in fields other than popular culture, in particular in education, but also for political expression and democratic participation.

At this final meeting, moderator Norman Jardine invited the four thematic working groups each in turn to introduce their results and outcomes.

Cross-border Access

From Working Group1, which has worked on cross-border access and portability of services, the sub-group of Print — represented by Fabian Paagman — was the first on the floor. Fabian introduced a roadmap by e-book sector on improved availability of e-books across borders and across devices. Their statement is available to read here.

Bertrand Moullier from IFTA represented the sub-group Audiovisual in WG1 and talked about cross-border portability of subscription services, introducing a joint statement by the audiovisual industry. Gradually offered cross-border portability would make it easier for consumers to legally access films and TV programmes from their home member state when travelling abroad on holidays or business trips. The representatives of this sector (twelve organisations) affirmed their willingness to continue to work towards this.

User-generated Content

Working Group2 has worked on user-generated Content and Licensing for Small-scale Users of Protected Material. Frances Lowe, representing PRS for Music and GESAC, talked on what kind of commitments the music sector has made on easier licensing for music. So did Olivia Regnier from IFPI, who announced a pan-European licensing scheme for small-scale users.
Anita Huss-Ekerhult from IFRRO introduced a toolkit solution proposed by the rights holder communities in the print industry for licensing including micro-licensing in text and images works. You can find this toolkit here [PDF].

The next speaker from WG2 was Angela Mills Wade from EPC, with a pledge to enable the identification of your work and rights online. This introduced roadmap enables creators to attach a machine-readable identification to their content, which helps using and re-using content. Sarah Davis, commercial legal director of the Guardian Media Group introduced a declaration on improving the user experience in the digital environment, that is: How to involve readers more actively in online press.

After these pledges the time had come for presentations. Paul Keller from Kennisland voiced a critical opinion on the results of WG2 and drew attention to the difference between licensing and creating user rights. After Paul we heard two presentations on user-generated content: from the perspective of YouTube from the European IP Policy Manager of Google, Tobias McKenney, and from the perspective of Sony ATV’s Antony Bebawi.

Audiovisual Heritage

Nicola Mazzanti, president of ACE talked about the agreement on principles and procedures between rights holders and European film heritage institutes, pursuing the goal of getting more heritage films online. This statement was signed at the end of the plenary meeting. With this statement, film heritage institutions and film producers now have a clearer agreement on how to go about digitizing, restoring and making available European film heritage without requiring changes in legislation. Nicola Frank from EUscreenXL partner EBU introduced the discussion between public broadcasters and rights holders on freeing up TV archive footage through digitization. Considering that we have to count on a myriad of rights holders, clearing the rights makes the use of such materials highly expensive and time-consuming, so participants agreed to find solutions.

James Taylor, communications officer of the SAA introduced in a pledge the audiovisual industry’s declaration to improve the identification and discoverability of audiovisual content online. The parties here declared to make current standards interoperable and to use them widely, which should help streamline their distribution.

Text and data Mining

The fourth working group focused on Text and Data Mining. Here only Eefke Smit from STM talked about the scientific publisher’s commitment on easier text and data mining of subscription-based material for non-commercial researchers. As a solution, publishers proposed a licensing clause, a “mining portal” and a “click-through license”.

Views of the European Commission

After these pledges and presentations, the three commissioners — by whom this dialogue was jointly led — evaluated the results of the dialogue. All of them mentioned that first of all, practical solutions were required.

  • Vice-President Neelie Kroes (Digital Agenda for Europe) expressed her gratitude for the stakeholders’ workmanship. At the same time, however, she expressed that she did not consider the achievements of the stakeholder dialogue conclusive. As an exception, she highlighted the fruitfulness of working group 3 on audiovisual heritage. Ms. Kroes stressed that this nine-month-long project was only the first track in the process and results of it will feed into an ongoing track: the legislative review. She committed that Commission will seriously consider all possible legislative proposals.
  • Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou (Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth) also stressed that parallel work is necessary: stakeholders’ dialogue and legislative review. She said users need more clarity and transparency both on their rights and their obligations. Like ms. Kroes, Commissioner Vassiliou zoomed in on the results from the audiovisual heritage working group. She said this agreement opened the door to one million hours of European film works. She also mentioned the joint agreement on the cross-border portability of subscription services as a remarkable achievement.
  • Commissioner Michael Barnier (Internal Market and Services) said that ”we need more single market on the Internet and more Internet on the single market” and he mentioned a recent economic study according to which the creative industry creates more jobs in Europe than the car manufacturing industry does. Commissioner Barnier announced that a final decision on a review process will be taken in spring 2014.


With this final plenary meeting, the Licences for Europe dialogue came to an end. The Commission will follow up more specifically on some of these initiatives, such as the agreement to carry out an ad hoc dialogue on broadcasting archives, where further work will have to be carried out as a result of Licences for Europe. In all cases, the Commission will continue to provide information on the state of implementation of the different initiatives. The Commission is currently working on an Impact Assessment and in this context will shortly launch a public consultation on the on-going review.

In EUscreenXL, we recently closed our first stakeholder survey, directed at collections managers and legal experts. It was held to obtain a pan-European overview of the difficulties memory organisations and audiovisual archives experience when they decide to bring their collections to the web. Together with Europeana, we plan to hold an IPR-focused workshop in early spring in order to develop the policy and advocacy steps the audiovisual heritage domain can take to improve the public’s access to audiovisual sources through the web.

More information

  • The official press release is available here
  • Read the European Digital Rights Initiative’s response here.
  • You can find the final document with ten pledges with their signatories here [PDF]
  • The lists of participants in the four working groups are available on the Licences for Europe website.
  • To get all the details of the session, it is worth it to watch the full video stream.
  • To read more about the participation of the cultural heritage field in the Licenses for Europe trajectory, read Réka’s report on Second Europeana Licensing workshop.

Digital Agenda: awards for creative reuse of open data

Press release from the European Commission

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes awarded prizes to the winners of the Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions at the Digital Agenda Assembly being held in Brussels on 16th and 17th June 2011. Companies, designers, programmers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public from across Europe participated in the two open data competitions, trying out their ideas for creative reuse of information held by the public sector and open cultural data. European public bodies produce thousands of datasets every year – from how our tax money is spent to the quality of the air we breathe. This data can be reused in products such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts, and travel information apps.

Open data re-use is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). To make public data widely accessible and available in Europe, the Commission intends to revise the Public Service Information (PSI) Directive in 2011 to fully unlock the economic potential of re-using PSI.Ms Kroes said: “I am amazed by the creative ways I have seen today for public data collected by public administrations, the collections digitised by our cultural Institutions (libraries, archives, museums) to be put to good use. Public data at large is a valuable source for innovation, as today’s winners clearly show.”

The Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions were organised in support of the Commission’s policy to facilitate the wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies. The re-use of public sector information (PSI) and open data will be a key driver to develop content markets in Europe, which not only generate new business opportunities and jobs but also provide consumers with more choice and more value for money. The market turnover of public data that is reused (for free or for a fee) is estimated at least €27 billion in the EU every year.

The Open Data Challenge

Organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Forum Academy under the auspices of the Share-PSI initiative, the Open Data Challenge invited designers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public to come up with useful, valuable or interesting uses for open public data. It attracted 430 entries from across the EU. Entries were invited in four categories for prize money totalling €20 000. The categories were fully blown apps, ideas, visualisations and liberated public sector datasets. The winners were selected by open data experts, including the inventor of the worldwide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Winners of the Open Data Challenge

Applications: Eva Vozarova of the Fair-play Alliance, Slovakia has developed an app to add transparency to the public procurement process of government contracts

Ideas: Jonas Gebhardt of the University of Potsdam, Germany has developed a mobile application which can help citizens learn more about urban planning in their area

Visualisations: Oliver O’Brien of University College London, UK has developed an app to visualise the current state of bike-share systems in over 30 cities around the world

Public sector datasets: Codrina Maria Ilie of the National Institute for Research and Development in Environmental Protection, Romania has developed an app that collects thousands of old historical geo-referenced maps.


Hack4Europe! was organised by the Europeana Foundation and its partners Collections Trust, Museu Picasso, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre and Swedish National Heritage Board as a series of hack days in London, Barcelona, Poznan and Stockholm running from 6 to12 June. It provided the opportunity to explore the potential of open cultural data for social and economic growth in Europe in an exciting environment. There were 60 participants from the creative industries. These included mainly SMEs like web design agencies, applications developers, software firms and other digital businesses. They were joined not only by developers from the cultural heritage sector, keen to create new ways to engage people with online cultural resources, but also by some larger players like the Google Technical Group and the Yahoo Research group in Spain.

Winners of Hack4Europe! 

UK: Michael Selway of System Simulation Ltd. who developed an app to obtain improved search results from Europeana using an Android touch screen. 

Spain: Eduardo Graells and Luca Chiarandini of Universitat Pompeu Fabra/Yahoo! Research Barcelona who created a “Timebook” for historical figures. The app integrates content from Europeana and DBpedia and presents it in an easy to use format with, for instance, posts for famous quotes, friends status for influential persons and photos of paintings. 

Poland: Jakub Jurkiewicz of iTraff Technology. Using Europeana dataset, this winner developed an app that processes a photo taken of any painting in a museum to give a description of the painting in a matter of seconds, translated into any EU language or even read out loud. 

Sweden: Martin Duveborg of the Swedish National Heritage Board who developed a fully functional geo-location aware search of Europeana for Android. Users can take photos and associate them with existing Europeana objects. Through an inbuilt function to overlay new pictures with Europeana pictures, a seamless “Then-Now” effect is created. The new photos are uploaded with the current GPS position so the app can also function as a geo-tagger tool for Europeana.What is the Commission doing to promote the use of Public Sector Information?

Promoting the re-use of Public Sector Information is a collective effort and the Commission itself is well aware it can do more to put its own data online. Recently, the European Commission published a Digital Scoreboard (see IP/11/663) to show the progress of the EU and Member States in delivering on the agreed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe after the first year of its existence. In line with its commitment to an open data strategy the Commission has made its data sets and statistics in the Scoreboard publicly available online enabling anyone to carry out their own analysis and come to their own conclusions.

In a near future, the Commission will also put forward proposals for a pan-European portal to give a single access point to the data which is being put online by the Member States.

EUscreen has organised a workshop on IPR-issues

By Wietske van den Heuvel

Date: March 16
Place: Hilversum, the Netherlands

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislations are different in every European country. One of the major challenges for content providers in EUscreen is to make sure that they provide content which applies to all these different regulations. A lot of work has already been done in the consortium and partners have organised their own systems of clearing the rights. Still, there is a need for more elaboration on this subject and that is why EUscreen has organised a one day workshop for its members at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum on March 16. The workshop will contain discussions about the impact of IPR on a project like EUscreen and identifies potential challenges to support future access routes to audiovisual content. There will also be presentations about use cases elsewhere on education and open licences, which provide inspiration for the development of EUscreen.

European Film Gateway project publishes report about copyright issues

By the European Film Gateway (EFG)

In order to bring archival materials held in film archives online and giving access to them, rights clearing is a central topic in the framework of the EFG project. EYE Film Institute, one of EFG’s project partners, has established a report on Guidelines for Copyright Clearance and IPR Management. This report can be downloaded now from the EFG website.

The report includes:

  • an overview of legal frameworks in EU countries for the film sector
  • guidelines how to successfully clear rights related to film works
  • copyright basics (moral rights vs. exploitation rights, orphan works etc)
  • diligent search guidelines for rights holders

More information can be found here.

Economies of the Commons 2: Paying the Costs of Making Things Free

Press release

Amsterdam & Hilversum
November 11 – 13, 2010

Economies of the Commons 2 is a critical examination of the economics of on-line public domain and open access resources of information, knowledge, and media (the ‘digital commons’). The past 10 years have seen the rise of a variety of such open content resources attracting millions of users, sometimes on a daily basis. The impact of projects such as Wikipedia, Images of the Future, and Europeana testify to the vibrancy of the new digital public domain. No longer left to the exclusive domains of digital ‘insiders’, open content resources are rapidly becoming widely used and highly popular.

While protagonists of open content praise its low-cost accessibility and collaborative structures, critics claim it undermines the established “gate keeping” functions of authors, the academy, and professional institutions while lacking a reliable business model of its own. Economies of the Commons 2 provides a timely and crucial analysis of sustainable economic models that can promote and safeguard the online public domain. We want to find out what the new hybrid solutions are for archiving, access and reuse of on-line content that can both create viable markets and serve the public interest in a competitive global 21st century information economy.

Economies of the Commons 2 consists of an international seminar on Open Video hosted by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision on November 11 in Hilversum, a two day international conference and two public evening programs on November 12 and 13 at De Balie, centre for culture and politics in Amsterdam. The event builds upon the successful Economies of the Commons conference organised in April 2008.

Confirmed speakers include:
Charlotte Hess (Syracuse University – Keynote), Ben Moskowitz (Open Video Alliance), Simona Levi (Free Culture Forum), Bas Savenije (KB National library of the Netherlands), Yann Moulier Boutang (Multitudes), Peter B. Kaufman (Intelligent Television), Harry Verwayen (Europeana), James Boyle (Duke University), Jeff Ubois (DTN), Sandra Fauconnier (NIMK), Dymitri Kleiner (Telekommunisten), Nathaniel Tkacz (University of Melbourne), a.o.

Images for the Future Consortium / Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision / De Balie / Institute of Network Cultures University of Amsterdam, Department of New Media

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