Barriers in On-line Access to Culture

Barbara Dierickx, Dimitrios K. Tsolis


This article, derived from a report on Intellectual Property Rights of the ATHENA-project, discusses some present topics in current copyright. In the first part of the article an overview of collective licensing models is presented in relation to the digitisation and disclosure of cultural heritage content. It should be noted that the general scope of copyright will not be discussed in this article since it already featured extensively in the ATHENA report Overview of IPR legislation in relation to the objectives of Europeana, available online.

Current trends in unlocking cultural heritage content by making it digitally available on the Internet are illustrated next. We take a look at the current copyright discussions within the European policy field, followed by an overview of collective licensing mechanisms. Another main part of the article concerns Digital Rights Management systems and their implementation. A rather technical overview is given of existing DRM systems; a definition of what these systems are and certain technological aspects of them are presented.

At the end we take a look at new and emerging licensing models. Open content licenses and Creative Commons licenses in particular are discussed. Their application in the field of cultural heritage, as well as some cases and best practices, illustrate the theory before a general conclusion.


intellectual property; ATHENA Project; copyright; DRM; digitisation; Creative Commons; licensing

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Published in Poland by The International Center for Information Management Systems and Services (ICIMSS)
2010-2013: ATHENA Project Consortium, 87-100 Toruń Krasińskiego 121 b/113 Poland
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© AthenaPlus, 2015


ISSN: 2083-0599 (online); 2082-6923 (print)