1st Edition

Open Licensing for Cultural Heritage

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ISBN 9781783301850
Published December 7, 2017 by Facet Publishing
240 Pages


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Book Description

This practical and explanatory guide for library and cultural heritage professionals introduces and explains the use of open licences for content, data and metadata in libraries and other cultural heritage organizations. Using rich background information, international case studies and examples of best practice, this book outlines how and why open licences should and can be used with the sector’s content, data and metadata.

Open Licensing for Cultural Heritage digs into the concept of ‘open’ in relation to intellectual property, providing context through the development of different fields, including open education, ‘open source’, open data, and open government. It explores the organizational benefits of open licensing and the open movement, including the importance of content discoverability, arguments for wider collections impact and access, the practical benefits of simplicity and scalability, and more ethical and principled arguments related to protection of public content and the public domain.

Content covered includes:

  • an accessible introduction to relevant concepts, themes, and names, including ‘Creative Commons’, ‘attribution’, model licences, and licence versions
  • distinctions between content that has been openly licensed and content that is in the public domain (i.e. content in which copyright has expired or has been explicitly waived altogether) and outlines why professionals in the sector should be aware of these differences
  • an exploration of the organizational benefits of open licensing and the open movement
  • a range of practical case studies, including from Newcastle City Libraries, the University of Edinburgh, Statens Museum for Kunst
  • National Gallery of Denmark, and the British Library
  • the benefits and risks associated with open licensing.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables


About the authors

1. Introduction

2. The Open Movement: its history and development

3. Copyright and licensing: a background

4. Open licensing: the logical option for cultural heritage

Case studies introduction

5. Small steps, big impact: how SMK became SMK Open

6. Open metadata licensing: the British Library experience

7. Open policy and collaboration with Wikimedia at the National Library of Wales

8. Newcastle Libraries

9. Drivers for open: the development of open licensing at the National Library of Scotland

10. Wellcome Library

11. Development of an OER policy and open approaches to mitigate risk at University of Edinburgh

12. How to implement open licensing at your organisation

13. Using and re-use openly licensed resources

14. Conclusion


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Gill Hamilton is Digital Access Manager at National Library of Scotland where she leads on access to the Library's extensive digitised, licensed, born digital and legal deposit digital collections.

Fred Saunderson is the National Library of Scotland’s Intellectual Property Specialist where he has responsibility for providing copyright and intellectual property advice and guidance, as well as coordinating licensing and re-use procedures.