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August 13, 2007

How open is The European Library?

I note that the terms of use of The European Library state:

Copying of individual articles is governed by international copyright law. Users may print off or make single copies of web pages for personal use. Users may also save web pages other than individual articles electronically for personal use. Electronic dissemination or mailing of articles is not permitted, without prior permission from the Conference of European of National Librarians and/or the National Library concerned.

Seems a shame.  Surely some the material found through the TEL portal could be made available on a more open basis?

As someone that would like to build experimental virtual exhibitions of European cultural heritage materials in Second Life, I'm scuppered at the first hurdle - I can't easily work out what is available for re-use.  Worse in fact - it looks like nothing is available for re-use!

As I've noted before, the US seems way ahead of us in terms of making digitised cultural heritage material openly available.



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I notice that the Wellcome's new image site (http://medphoto.wellcome.ac.uk/) allows re-use in the way you suggest, with a Creative Commons licence on all the images (by-nc). The list of acceptable non-commercial uses does include "use in exhibitions by not-for-profit organisations", so that might cover your Second Life exhibition space?

On the Wellcome Copyfraud see:

Libraries support on the one side Open Access and block on the other side removing permission barriers by claiming Copyfraud - it would be surprising for me when this PUBLIC-DOMAIN-hostile attitude of the archives, libraries and museums would not be shared by TEL.

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