20 November 2008

Welcome to Europeana

Europeana: think culture

Europeana.eu is about ideas and inspiration. It links you to 2 million digital items.

* Images - paintings, drawings, maps, photos and pictures of museum objects
* Texts - books, newspapers, letters, diaries and archival papers
* Sounds - music and spoken word from cylinders, tapes, discs and radio broadcasts
* Videos - films, newsreels and TV broadcasts

Some of these are world famous, others are hidden treasures from Europe's

* museums and galleries
* archives
* libraries
* audio-visual collections

Here is a list of the organisations that our content comes from. They include the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Library in London and the Louvre in Paris.

You can use My Europeana to save searches or bookmark things. You can highlight stuff and add it to your own folders.

This website is a prototype. Europeana Version 1.0 is being developed and will launch in 2010 with links to over 6 million digital objects.

Europeana.eu is funded by the European Commission and the member states.

Well, that all sounds pretty euro-groovy. But what, I wonder can you do with it?

To find out, I went to the most important page on the site, the terms and conditions; which said:


Europeana portal will offer:

* Editorial parts using material for which copyright issues and rights to reuse is cleared
* Content: parts of bibliographic description and low resolution images given to us by the contributing EuropeanaNet Thematic Network partners to build the Europeana common access point to their own web site

The whole Europeana index and website is an online database owned by the European Digital Library Foundation.

For the purpose of this Europeana prototype (which is just a pilot demo) there is no formal agreement signed defining precisely where and how the rights are expressed in the metadata that Europeana are aggregated. Some metadata contain the expressed rights and in other cases the user is given more information on the provider's own web site when clicking to see, read, listen to or watch the object. So Europeana for the purposes of this prototype will adopt the following Copyright statement from the MLA Discovery portal:

All third-party material presented within this website are subject to individual Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) conditions and licences. Providing details of such IPR and licensing is the responsibility of third-party sources and should be either presented within this website or available from the originating sources of the third party material

The lack of written agreement with each provider, other than the Thematic Network Agreement signed by each of the contributing partners, means that for this prototype a detailed Terms and Conditions of Use statement is not possible.

The European Digital Library Foundation and its content contributors hold the copyright for all material and all content in this site, including site layout, design, images, programs, text and other information (collectively, the "Content") held in Europeana.eu. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without the European Digital Library Foundations written consent, unless authorised by a licence with the European Digital Library Foundations or to the extent required by the applicable law.

In other words, a complete and utter dog's breakfast. Not that this is the fault of those behind Europeana: it's a reflection of the unworkable mess that copyright has become. Time to simplify it:

copyright lasts for a maximum of 14 years

- und damit basta.

No comments: