[Openglam_members] Your thoughts needed!

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Fri Oct 4 08:49:07 UTC 2013

I'd very much like to know what research he/she has done to substantiate
the claim that:

"Funding that is currently available under non-profit models (ex: public
funding, sponsorships, donations, crowd sourcing and volunteers) does not
have the capacity to support a sustainable digitization process in Europe"

Regarding "8. How you would react to the introduction of such a model in
Europe?" - generally I feel the answer would have to be "not very well".

I'd also like to forward these questions to members of the EU Communia
network, if there are no objections, to see if they have any additional
input/suggestions on q. 9.

On 4 October 2013 10:43, Adam Green <adam.green at okfn.org> wrote:

> Hi all,
> I've just done on an interview/survey as part of someone's research thesis
> which focuses on the issue of the digitization of public domain works, and
> seeks to explore as to where there maybe any economic or non-economic
> justification for granting exclusive rights over a digitized version of a
> public domain work.
> I thought the last section might interest you all - in particular Question
> 9 (which I have not answered yet). Would be great to get your feedback
> before I do!
> Here is the relevant section of the survey copy and pasted below (RPM
> stands for Rare Public Domain Material):
> --
> *
> *
> * *From the research that I have carried out so far these are the *preliminary
> conclusions* that I have reached,
> a. The *production *of digitized versions of RPM requires investment in
> the form of finances, technology and human resources. The costs of
> digitization comprise both the fixed costs of production and ongoing costs
> (ex: maintaining a platform to make the digitized versions
> available,development and inclusion of value added features etc). Private
> sector (for-profit) investment tends be a more cost efficient model since
> most private sector partners have established infrastructure and value
> chains. Ongoing costs can especially prove to be a high burden on public
> sector institutions who maybe required to maintain an additional staff for
> the purpose.
> b. Funding that is currently available under non-profit models (ex: public
> funding, sponsorships, donations, crowd sourcing and volunteers) does not
> have the capacity to support a sustainable digitization process in
> Europe.All participants of the survey carried out so far agree that the
> digitization of RPM in their collection is best carried out through the
> utilization of a combination of for-profit and non-profit funding models.
> Thus private sector (for-profit) funding is necessary for the digitization
> process either under PPP's or licensing schemes. Without such private
> sector involvement there could be a quantitative (and perhaps qualitative)
> decrease in the the digitized products available to the public.* (As an
> example the National Library of France estimates that the digitization of
> its collection of early books and sound recordings without private sector
> involvement would take 50 years as opposed to the 5.5 years WITH private
> sector involvement)*
> c. In order to encourage private-sector (for-profit) funding in the
> digitization process it is necessary to guarantee to the private sector
> investor a return on his investment.
> d. The nature of digital products and the high risk of piracy that is
> involved means that in order to obtain a return on investment it is
> necessary that the producer or an authorized partner retains control over
> the use and access of the digitized product.
> e. A lack of institutional regulation has resulted in the proliferation of
> a variety of ad hoc mechanisms (ex: Copyright statements, contractual
> provisions and technological protection measures) maintenance of control
> and exclusivity of digitized products, some of which are of questionable
> legal validity and weighted in favor of producer interests. Thus the EU
> could profit from the introduction of a system of institutional regulation
> which regulates the way in which use and access of digitized versions of
> RPM could be restricted, balances producer and user interests and seeks to
> optimize consumer and producer welfare within a sustainable digitization
> process.
> In line with these conclusions I hope to propose the introduction of the* following
> regulatory model* in the EU,
> i. The granting of exclusive rights over digitized versions of RPM to
> "producers" of digitized products for a limited duration based on the
> neighboring rights framework in Europe. *(The exact duration and scope of
> the rights is yet to be decided. The duration would possibly be not more
> than 7 years).*
> ii. The memory institution or individual who has custody of the original
> or underlying work to be considered the 'producer' of the digitized
> product. *(This would allow the right to be vested largely with public
> sector institutions who have custody over the greater amount of RPM in
> Europe and also avoid fragmentation of rights)
> *
> iii. The claiming of exclusive rights to be conditional upon the digitized
> product being vested with an independent centrally administered database
> prior to its being made available to the public. The database to not
> disclose the product to any person during the duration of the exclusive
> right but be able to make the product available free of any restriction
> once the duration of protection has lapsed.
> (*I assume that the current Europeana platform could be modified for this
> purpose)
> *
> iv. A set of guidelines to be issued to public sector institutions that
> promotes transparency in the formation of PPP's and requires that, where
> digitization has been carried out under a non-profit funding model, at
> least one copy of this product should be made available to the public free
> of restriction. (*If they prefer they can opt to make available a low
> resolution copy free of restrictions and retain a high resolution copy for
> commercial exploitation).*
> I feel that such a model would,
> - lead to a quantitative (and possibly qualitative) increase in the
> digitized versions of RPM available to the public.
> - balance producer and user interests
> - although in the short term it may lead to an infringement of civil
> liberties (such as the freedom of expression right to information etc.) in
> the long-term it would optimize both producer and consumer welfare and
> ensure the sustainability of the digitization process in Europe.
> I of course agree that Europe should not cease to strive towards the
> achievement of a system within which digitized versions of RPM are
> available to the public without restriction from the inception, but I feel
> that the reality of  current institutional and economic limitations in
> Europe mean that for the present at least it is necessary to strike a
> compromise.
> I would like to know,
> *8. How you would react to the introduction of such a model in Europe?
> *
> *9. As an organization that is committed to the Open Access Policy could
> you suggest any alternative means of ensuring sustainability of the
> digitization of RPM in Europe?*
> *
> Adam Green
> Editor, The Public Domain Review <http://publicdomainreview.org/> |
> @PublicDomainRev <https://twitter.com/PublicDomainRev>
> The Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org/>
> Empowering through Open Knowledge
> http://okfn.org/  |  @okfn <http://twitter.com/OKFN>  |  OKF on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/OKFNetwork> |
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> *
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Jonathan Gray

Director of Policy and Ideas  | *@jwyg <https://twitter.com/jwyg>*

The Open Knowledge Foundation <http://okfn.org/>

Empowering through Open Knowledge

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