Alison Harcourt (University of Exeter)


Course description
This course will examine digital and cultural heritage with six key topics linked to preservation efforts, digital technical solutions regulation. The course will begin with a general overview of the provision of cultural heritage with introductory lectures on definitions and detail on how governments, international and national institutions (including museums, societies and third sector groups) seek to preserve heritage at national levels. The focus will be on the digital creative industries which, according to the standard industrial classification, include advertising, architecture, design, fashion, film, television, radio, photography, IT, book, newspaper and journal publishing, library and museum activities and performing arts. The course includes a case study on Italy and a visit to the Europeana Collections in Venice.

The module will cover international address of cultural heritage most importantly through UNESCO programmes but also regional efforts with a focus on the EU and Italy with a case study on Europeana in particular. Class activities will look at distribution models of cultural goods, content aggregation, social network use, education and copyright including classifications of Orphan Works. Italy is a particularly active participant supporting the Europeana Initiative and Europeana Foundation financially and providing content to the Europeana Collections. The Europeana portal preserves digitally cultural artefacts including books, films, music and paintings from cultural institutions across Europe leading to the European Commission’s new project the Time Machine which aims to “map the European social, cultural and geographical evolution across times. This large-scale digitisation and computing infrastructure will enable Europe to turn its long history, as well as its multilingualism and multiculturalism, into a living social and economic resource.’ Class discussion will include the thorny issue of copyright and the involvement of Google in the preservation of cultural heritage globally.

A part of the module will touch on regulation covering mainly EU approaches to cultural preservation and relevance of the country of origin principle set out under AVMSD, SatCab, E-commerce, copyright legislation and other digital single market legislation such as international taxes on digital products outside of the EU. Positions of different cultural associations such as crafts councils, musicians’ societies, museums, film and publishers’ associations and the design industry will be considered in this respect. Trade in “culture” will also be considered under GATT/GATS particularly in relation to the national treatment of screen quotas for cinematographic film and MFN exemptions for audiovisual services under GATS.

The course will cover six topics: the first topic will address definitions of cultural heritage with focus on artefacts. It will cover the history of the preservation of cultural heritage from the 1972 World Heritage Convention to the establishment of Europeana by the European Union. Seminars will examine the increasing use of digital technology as an approach to preserving culture but the problems this brings in terms of electronic copyright and marketization. This will include discussion of trade in international cultural products.

The second topic deals with the challenge of copyright for books. It begins with a lecture on the 2005 Authors Guild case in the USA will be discussed, its outcome, how Google claimed “fair use” and how this led to the 2008 Google Books settlement with US publishers. The lecture will then cover “orphaned works”, Google’s approach, the March 2011 US District Judge Denny Chin decision and the 2012 Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the Google Library Project agreement. It will then discuss how this affected Europe with case studies on France, Italy and the UK and how this led to Google agreeing deals in Europe with publishers and museums.

The third topic addresses the development of the Europeana. This began as a preservation of books within Europe as a counter to the Google Books project. The seminar will discuss the important issue of cultural imperialism and fears about the marketization of European cultural heritage. The Europeana Network which includes almost 4,000 cultural institutions today will be studied as a global model for cultural heritage. Then the lecture will discuss digital technical solutions and new tools for large data including artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of the Time Machine.

The fourth topic covers the Europeana Data Model from its establishment by the European Union, funding by the Connecting European Facility to support and continuation by the European Commission’s Digital Cultural Heritage and Europeana Expert Group set up in 2017. The lecture will cover how the EU led in a solution to best practice in the collection of metadata via national partner institutions resulting in the Data Exchange Agreement. The adoption of a Creative Commons Universal Public Domain Dedication has been seen as a major success in the international community. This success has been mimicked by the Digital Library of America. The students will work on different national implementations according to interest.

The fifth topic focuses on Italy’s digitalisation projects. It begins with the Italian digital library project and “Internet Culturale” and the cooperation between Google and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage (MIBAC). This was important as Italy was the first EU state to partner with Google for cultural heritage. Case studies cover collaboration with libraries in Florence, Rome and Naples with financing and the scanning of books prior to 1868 by Google. Contractual obligations and limited use by libraries stipulated by Google to the Italian Ministry are examined in this respect. This will prepare students for a visit to the Europeana Collections in Venice.

The sixth aspect of global governance to be covered will be global approaches to copyright. This will tackle the global history of copyright discussing international agreements (the Berne Convention, 2001 EU Directive, the 2019 EU copyright Directive), leading to recent developments. The focus is on different approaches to copyright ranging from the Creative Commons approach/cultural approach to the economic approach/public choice approach as supported by different interests e.g. industry associations, the creative commons lobby, copyleft, governments, ISPs, collecting societies, authors, etc and alliances and which category they belong to. The contrast between the different US / EU approaches to copyright distinguishing between US “fair use” and European “moral rights” will be discussed in particular. Case studies include international clashes over Google books and Article 17 (formerly Article 13) of the EU Copyright Directive.

Teaching methods
The course will include lectures and seminars and class activities. These will be a mix of formal lectures – led by the coordinator - and structured discussion. The emphasis is on active seminar participation; case study and group work and the development of ideas with regard to assessed work. Students are invited to propose issues that have been raised in their country of origin. The lecturer will provide online materials one week prior to class discussions with links to media and resources.

Evaluation methods
10 % participation during seminars (debate and analysis of the readings)
30% Mid-term assessment: based upon work submitted in class activities.
60 % Final assessment: a paper (5000 words, footnotes included) on one or more cases pertaining to a specific topic at their choice.

Alterwain, A. (2007) Google Books and Digitisation of Libraries: Fair Use or Extension of
Copyright. Convergence, 3, 139-145.

Baldwin, P. (2014) The copyright wars: three centuries of trans-atlantic battle. Princeton
University Press.

Labadi, S. (2012) UNESCO, Cultural Heritage, and Outstanding Universal Value: Value-based Analyses of the World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage Conventions (Archaeology in Society).

Panezi, A. (2017) Europe's New Renaissance: New Policies and Rules for Digital
Preservation and Access to European Cultural Heritage. Columbia Journal of European Law, 24, 596.

Sun, H. (2018) Copyright Law as an Engine of Public Interest Protection. Nw. J. Tech. &
Intell. Prop., 16 (3), 123-188.

Thylstrup, N. (2011) The digital dimension of European cultural politics: Index, intellectual
property and internet governance. Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural
Research, 3(3), 317-336.

Vecco, M. (2010 “A definition of cultural heritage: From the tangible to the intangible” Journal of Cultural Heritage Volume 11, Issue 3, July–September, pp. 321-324.

Xalabarder, R. (2014) “Google books and fair use: tale of two copyrights” Journal of Intellectual Property Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Law. 5(1), 53-59.

World Intellectual Property Organization (2016) Understanding copyright and related
rights. WIPO.


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