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What are the barriers to open culture? Here’s what the CC community has to say

Friday 22 July 2022 à 19:12

What are the barriers to open culture? What challenges do cultural heritage institutions — such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) — face in making their collections openly accessible online? How could Creative Commons support institutions in addressing these challenges and taking part in better sharing of cultural heritage?

In search of answers, we looked at past research, notably Andrea Wallace’s Barriers to Open Access · Open GLAM, and asked more than 30 experts in the open culture movement. You can watch what they told us in our CC Open Culture VOICES vlog series. Here’s a small sample of what we heard:

“A number of imbalances related to power, priority, interests, and resources can facilitate or impede participation in digitization and open access initiatives…” — Andrea Wallace

“…we need to consider what openness online really means and who the audiences are. Are they mostly privileged audiences? Are they mostly people who have access to very expensive laptops and mobile phones? Or is this truly an open culture that can be accessed anywhere, anytime by all people around the world?” — Temi Odumosu

“Another perceived barrier is that [GLAMs] are missing out on opportunities to generate income from the collections.” — Dafydd Tudur

“Open GLAM requires resources, expertise, and investment in rights management and copyright, which are complex.” — Douglas McCarthy

We identified three main clusters of barriers: 

Read the full report.

👉Do you face these or other barriers? Do you have ideas about how CC could help GLAMs overcome these barriers to opening up culture? Reach out and let us know: Fill out this short form or write to us at and share your ideas and opportunities to overcome these barriers. 

The post What are the barriers to open culture? Here’s what the CC community has to say appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC still opposes mandatory filtering and so should you

Friday 15 July 2022 à 18:30

As part of Creative Commons’ key strategic goal of Better Sharing, we have taken a firm stance against mandatory content filtering on the internet. In new proposed legislation, the U.S. Congress is now raising mandatory content filtering again as a tool to eliminate infringement of copyrighted works. For those who are new to the discussion, mandatory filtering would require that all information providers enable software that prevents the distribution of materials claimed by rightsholders. If you’ve ever uploaded videos to YouTube, you’ve seen content filters at work: videos are scanned for copyrighted audio like popular music before they are published, and sometimes videos are blocked even when they are legal to share. Policy that forces every digital publisher, platform, and service provider to adopt similar filters would make this broken model universal. CC has long stated that the effects of mandatory filtering are devastating to free speech, as well as the sharing of culture and knowledge. CC has also spoken out against filtering mandates and opposed their introduction in the European Union.

Earlier this year, we explained why we are strongly opposed to the proposed “Strengthening Measures to Advance Rights Technologies (SMART) Copyright Act of 2022”. A few weeks ago, we submitted a Comment to the U.S. Copyright Office in response to its Notice of Inquiry; in it, we continue to advocate that no internet services should be forced to adopt Standard Technical Measures (STMs), or any other mandatory filtering systems, imposed by the government.

Specifically, we stated in our Comment that we did not believe the law mandated STMs, and that the law must continue not to require them. While service providers should be free to choose to use filtering as a tool to aid in compliance for a first-level review, filters should never be the final say in what materials are shared with the public.

In June, Creative Commons was invited to present its position on mandatory filtering at a workshop organized by the Internet Archive entitled “Libraries and the Digital Information Ecosystem: Towards an Affirmative Policy Agenda for a Better Internet.” (The workshop is a continuation of the Better Internet initiative.)

Our lightning talk presentation centered on the damaging effects of mandatory copyright filtering for library communities; mainly, that such policy was at odds with providing the public with access to information. We reiterated that mandatory filtering, by design, does not respect limitations and exceptions to authors’ exclusive rights, but respects only the interests of the largest rightsholders. These simplistic technical tools unfortunately do not account for the context of uses such as education, research, preservation, or critical commentary; they see only matches for content, and many cannot even do that well. Even the most sophisticated systems available today give too many false positives to legally authorized material uploaded by users. (Examples include public domain recordings of classical music mistakenly flagged as major label recordings of those pieces, and an hour long loop of a cat purring being misidentified as a song.)

The mission of libraries is to connect people with the information they need, not to enforce the barriers that keep people away from it; the introduction of mandatory copyright filters stifles this mission. Creative Commons believes that no internet services, including libraries, should be forced to adopt filtering systems, nor bear the cost of implementing any mandatory filtering systems.

Fundamentally, Creative Commons does not believe that the effort to completely eliminate copyright infringements is worth the harm such schemes would cause. Our mission for Better Sharing respects both authors’ rights and the rights of the public who teach, learn, criticize, and reference, and we must oppose any mandatory filtering scheme that does not respect these rights.

The post CC still opposes mandatory filtering and so should you appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC Supports Internet Archive’s Efforts to Ensure Public Access to Books

Friday 8 July 2022 à 16:44
Book graphic extraction 1” by rejon is marked with CC0 1.0.

Yesterday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a motion for summary judgment calling to reject the lawsuit against the Internet Archive (IA) brought by four big publishers that threatens IA’s controlled digital lending (CDL) program. Creative Commons fully supports this motion. Here’s why. 

The Internet Archive is an American non-profit library preserving and giving access to millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more, with the mission to provide “universal access to all knowledge.”

As we mention in our Open Culture Policy Paper, with CDL, libraries can lend one copy of digitized material from their collection to one borrower at a time, for two weeks or less, just like they would a physical book. Unlike eLending, CDL is about digitized works, not born-digital material. CDL maximizes a library’s ability to loan works, thereby making the entire lending system more efficient and equitable. 

At CC, we believe libraries — and cultural heritage institutions in general — should be empowered to serve as a meaningful access point for publicly funded collections. Free and open access to knowledge stimulates creativity, is essential for research and learning, and constitutes a bedrock principle of free and democratic societies. 

Copyright must encourage CDL and ensure that legal mechanisms are in place to allow this fair practice. As clearly articulated by EFF: “CDL helps ensure that the public can make full use of the books that libraries have bought and paid for. This activity is fundamentally the same as traditional library lending, and poses no new harm to authors or the publishing industry.” 

Books, in all their forms, are a public good. Libraries, whether brick-and-mortar or digital, pursue a public-interest mission. Guided by our strong belief in better sharing, CC will continue to support the IA’s crucial efforts to ensure the public can access knowledge and culture on a global level.

The post CC Supports Internet Archive’s Efforts to Ensure Public Access to Books appeared first on Creative Commons.

Join us for our next round of CC Open Education Platform Lightning Talks!

Wednesday 6 July 2022 à 14:16

"Lightning Strike" by skyseeker is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The Creative Commons Open Education Platform community will offer our next round of Lightning Talks, or seven-minute presentations on specific updates or stories in open education. Join the sessions on Tuesday 12 July at 6:00pm UTC. We can’t wait to learn with you!

Location: Join us from wherever you are based! We’ll be using Zoom to host the event. If you haven’t installed Zoom, download it here.



Our Lightning Talks presentations include: 

“Open Syllabus: UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science” by Jennifer Miller 

“More OER for Free!” by Jonathan Poritz

“Open Climate Campaign” by Dr. Cable Green and Dr. Monica Granados

“Building OER into Capstone Courses” by Carolyn Stevenson

“Improve It Challenge” by Jamison Miller

Watch our last round of Open Education Lightning Talks here >>

The post Join us for our next round of CC Open Education Platform Lightning Talks! appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC Expresses Views on Italian National Cultural Heritage Digitization Plan

Monday 4 July 2022 à 17:41

A few weeks ago, the Italian Ministry of Culture issued its National Cultural Heritage Digitization Plan 2022-2023 – Guidelines for the acquisition, sharing and reuse of digital cultural heritage reproductions

While the Plan is welcome as an important step towards the digital transformation of cultural heritage institutions (CHIs), it risks nonetheless restricting, rather than increasing, access to and use of cultural heritage, and having a serious detrimental effect on the public domain, creators’ participation in generative creativity, and society as a whole. 

Together with CC’s Italian Chapter, we have prepared a statement to address crucial points of concerns raised in the Plan, namely: 

  1. The public domain is being unduly encroached upon by an application of cultural heritage law that unduly limits reuse and creativity opportunities against the public interest. Rather, the public domain must be protected, because it enables essential access to knowledge and culture, and fosters creativity.
  2. The creation of a bespoke license (MIC Standard) is inadvisable. CC tools are the established standard used by CHIs, and are important legal and communication tools between CHIs and their users. CC licenses and tools have many benefits over tailored licenses or other bespoke standards. 
  3. The risks of undermining creativity and access to culture are not outweighed by the few revenue opportunities of paid licensing established through application of cultural heritage law. 

Read our full statement >> 

We take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to better sharing of cultural heritage and look forward to continuing to support CHIs across the world in fulfilling their public-interest mission of providing access to their collections as openly as possible, on site and online. 

Note: This statement was prepared by Brigitte Vézina, Director of Policy and Open Culture, Creative Commons, Deborah De Angelis, Chapter Lead, CC Italy, and Laura Sinigaglia, Contributor, CC Italy. 

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