Local Radio and Television Records from Public Media Stations Across USA To Be Made Available to the Public

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress, WGBH Boston and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, launched a new website at americanarchive.org on April 7, providing the public with access to a collection of American public radio and television content dating back to the 1950s.

These audio and video materials, created by more than 120 public broadcasting organizations across the United States, have now been digitized and preserved, and will be a resource for scholars, researchers, educators, filmmakers and the general public to delve into the rich history of public broadcasting across America.

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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!

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.

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

Invitation for the Europeana Open Culture 2010 Conference

Press release by Europeana

We are pleased to invite you to the Europeana Open Culture 2010 conference, our annual event that highlights current challenges in our sector and works on practical solutions for the future.

The event is in two parts:

Europeana pre-conference meetings are for the Europeana Foundation Board, the Council of Content Providers and Aggregators and contributors to v1.0 Work Packages. The meetings will be on 13 October 2010 at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) in The Hague and in the morning of 14 October at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek (the main conference venue).

The Europeana Open Culture 2010 main conference is on the 14 October (afternoon) and 15 October (morning) at Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam.
Open Culture 2010 will focus on how museums, libraries, archives and audiovisual collections can create public value by making digital information and knowledge openly available. The keynote speaker is Liam Wyatt, the British Museum’s first Wikipedian in Residence, whose innovative work in bringing the curator and the crowd together sparked international interest and significant traffic.

Three parallel sessions led by experts in the field get right to the heart of current concerns – linked data, User Generated Content and the risks and rewards of openness. Specialists with different perspectives will run small problem-solving groups and there will be demos of innovative sites that exemplify our themes.

The conference is free, and Europeana v1.0 will cover the travel and hotel costs of one delegate from each partner in the Thematic Network.

Europeana Open Culture 2010 will bring together people who are setting the agenda. Join us to stay in touch with the network’s latest thinking. Register now!

Europeana Public Domain Charter: libraries, museums and archives support Europe’s heritage

Europeana press release. The Hague – May 25th, 2010.

Europeana.eu, Europe’s digital library, museum and archive, has published the Public Domain Charter. The Charter has been drawn up by the Europeana Foundation, Europeana’s governing body, which is supported by the European Commission. It’s based on the belief that:

  • The Public Domain must be preserved.
  • A healthy Public Domain is essential to the social and economic wellbeing of society.
  • Digitisation of Public Domain knowledge does not create new rights over it.
  • Europeana is publishing the Charter because the Public Domain is under threat. As Public Domain information is digitised, it is often becoming less accessible to those who own it: the public. Policy-makers and funding bodies need to consider the implications of removing information from the Public Domain and the knock-on effect this has for creative enterprise, learning, research and the knowledge economy.

    When Public Domain material changes format from a book or a picture to a digital file it must not leave the Public Domain. What has been held in trust for the public for generations, often at taxpayers’ expense, should not enter the private sector when it is digitised.

    “A healthy and thriving Public Domain is vital for education, science, cultural heritage and public sector information. No society can afford to put up barriers to information access in today’s knowledge-based economies.” – Elisabeth Niggemann, national librarian of Germany and Chair of the Europeana Foundation.

    Notes:

    What is the Public Domain?

    • The out of copyright information that people can freely use without restriction
    • Information that rights holders have decided to remove barriers to access
    • Much of the world’s knowledge – the paintings of Leonardo, Newton’s Laws of Motion, Diderot’s Encyclopédie – is in the Public Domain.

    Why is it important?

    • Society constantly re-uses and reinterprets material in the Public Domain and by doing so develops new ideas, inventions and cultural works.
    • The internet gives access to the heritage of previous ages on an unparallelled scale. It has accelerated the rate of innovation and the creativity of new ideas and applications.
    • Access to Public Domain information lies at the heart of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”.

    Why publish the Charter?

    The Charter is a policy statement, not a contract. It doesn’t bind any of Europeana’s content providers. It recognises the dilemma in which heritage collections find themselves. Their drive to digitise and make Public Domain content accessible is tempered by a recognition of the costs involved, and the need to arrive at the most appropriate agreements with those who are willing and able to fund digitisation programmes – including the private sector.

    However, it is necessary to label the rights associated with a digitised item very clearly so that they are understood by Europeana’s users, who will be able to exclude content from their results that requires payment or doesn’t comply with the Public Domain Charter. Rights labelling will become a requirement when submitting content to Europeana by the end of this year.

    While Public-Private Partnerships are an important means of getting content digitised, the Charter recommends that deals are non-exclusive, for very limited time periods, and don’t take material out of the Public Domain.

    The Public Domain Charter is published in support of the recent Public Domain Manifesto. The Manifesto is a statement made from the content users’ perspective. Communia, who have published it, represent education and research, consumer agencies, technology developers and think tanks.

    Europeana, and its governing body, the Europeana Foundation, support the principal aspirations of the Manifesto. The Charter represents the position of the content holders – the organisations that are entrusted with the safe keeping of Europe’s Public Domain content.

    The Public Domain Charter is available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish.

    Presentation about Open Images and EUscreen on JTS2010

    Johan Oomen will give a presentation about the Open Images platform, which will also be involved in EUscreen, during the Joint Technical Symposium 2010 (JTS2010) in Oslo. JTS is a gathering for professionals working in the field of audiovisual heritage and takes place between 2-5 May. Many important stakeholders are involved, like FIAT/IFTA, AMIA, FIAF and IASA.

    The presentation about Open Images and EUscreen is scheduled on the 4th of May. A part of the paper abstract is displayed below:

    “In September 2009, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision launched Open Images, an open media platform that offers access to a selection of archive material with the aim to stimulate creative reuse. Footage from audiovisual collections can be downloaded and remixed into new works. Users of Open Images also have the opportunity to add their own material to the platform and thus expand the collection. Access provision to the material on Open Images is based on the Creative Commons licensing model. The „open‟ nature of Open Images is underscored by the use of open video formats (Ogg Theora), open standards (HTML5, OAI-PMH) and open software components.
    (…)
    The collection will grow substantially over the coming years, as new items will be uploaded continuously. This year, also material from the Dutch Filmmuseum will be added. Also, Open Images is working with the EU funded project EUscreen  and will invite other broadcast archives to supply data. Non-professionals are also encouraged to create new programmes based on Open Images fragments and items from other online repositories of archive material. (…)”

    Download the entire abstract.

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