Alison Harcourt (University of Exeter)


From 11:00
to 12:30
From 11:00
to 12:30

Course description
This course will examine digital and cultural heritage with 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 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 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. The course includes a case study on Italy and a visit to the Europeana Collections in Venice.

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.

Teaching and evaluation methods
The module will be taught through weekly seminars. These will be a mix of formal lectures – led by the coordinator, student presentations and discussion. The emphasis is on weekly seminar presentations; active seminar participation; seminar discussion on the development of ideas with regard to assessed work. Students will be expected to provide oral and written presentations and chair seminar discussions.

• 20% written presentation of 2,000 words
• 60% essay of 5,000 words
• 20% oral presentation (30 – 40 minutes)

One oral presentation and one assessed 5,000 word essay. A proposal for the essay is recommended in order to provide support and guidance to students before they submit their 5,000 word essay. This system provides support, feedback, and guidance to students before they submit their assessed essay.
Students are expected to be active in seminars. Every student is expected to read the Required Reading for each seminar. Over the course of the semester, each student will be responsible for preparing and delivering one oral presentation and submitting a written paper of the presentation, which will be assessed. If you are presenting or chairing, you are expected to read both the Required and Recommended Reading.
Each student will choose a week to lead the seminar with a presentation covering the topic and including the essential readings for the week. The oral presentation will outline the key debate(s) found in the Readings. The presentation should also highlight the broader questions addressed in the module. The essay should integrate both the Recommended and Required Reading.

Week of September 6: Introduction: presentation of the module
Week of September 13: history of the preservation of cultural heritage
September 20: electronic copyright and marketization
Week of September 27: copyright for books
Week of October 4: Europeana
Week of October 11: essay writing workshop
Week of October 18: artificial intelligence (AI) and the Time Machine
Week of October 25: Europeana Data Model
Week of November 1: national projects and “Internet Culturale”
Week of November 8: visit to the Europeana Collections in Venice
Week of November 15: global approaches to copyright
Week of November 22: global cultural heritage projects
Week of November 29: theories of cultural imperialism
Week of December 6: remaining presentations
Week of December 13: review

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.

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).
Matulionyte, R. (2016) “10 years for Google Books and Europeana” International Journal of Law and Information Technology 24(1), pp. 44–71.
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. Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 16 (3), 123-188.
Psychogiopoulou, E. (2020) “Cultural rights, cultural diversity and the EUs copyright regime: the battlefield of exceptions and limitations to protected content” in Copyright and Fundamental Rights in the Digital Age eds Oreste Pollicino, Giovanni Riccio and Marco Bassini, Cheltenham: Elgar, pp. 124-154.
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.


Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

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