Eduserv Releases Study about the Use of Open Content Licenses By UK Heritage Organizations

The Eduserv Foundation has released Snapshot Study on the Use of Open Content Licences in the UK Cultural Heritage Sector (Appendices).

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

This study investigates the awareness and use of open content licences in the UK cultural heritage community by way of a survey. Open content licensing generally grants a wide range of permission in copyright for use and re-use of works such as images, sounds, video, and text, whilst retaining a relatively small set of rights: often described as a ‘some rights reserved’ approach to copyright. For those wishing to share content using this model, Creative Archive (CA) and Creative Commons (CC) represent the two main sets of open content licences available for use in the United Kingdom.

The year of this survey, 2007, marks five years from the launch of the Creative Commons licences, two years since the launch of the UK-specific CC licences and two years as well since the launch of the UK-only Creative Archive licence.

This survey targeted UK cultural heritage organisations—primarily museums, libraries, galleries, archives, and those in the media community that conduct heritage activities (such as TV and radio broadcasters and film societies). In particular, this community produces trusted and highly valued content greatly desired by the general public and the research and education sectors. They are therefore a critical source of high-demand content and thus the focus for this project. The key objective has been to get a snapshot of current licensing practices in this area in 2007 for use by the sector and funding bodies wishing to do more work in this area.

Over 100 organisations responded to this web-based survey. Of these respondents:

  • Only 4 respondents out of 107 indicated that they held content but were not making it available online nor had plans to make it available online;
  • Images and text are the two content types most likely to be made available online;
  • Sound appears to be the most held content type not currently available online and with no plans to make it available in the future;
  • Many make some part of their collection available online without having done any formal analysis of the impact this may have;
  • 59 respondents were aware of Creative Archive or Creative Commons;
  • 10 use a CA or CC licence for some of their content; and
  • 12 have plans to use a CA or CC licence in the future.

Omeka: The Open-Source, IMLS-funded Web Publishing System for Museums

The Center for History and New Media at George Mason University has provided further details about its IMLS grant for Omeka.

Here's an excerpt from the posting:

HNM is also celebrating its IMLS funding for Omeka, a next-generation web-publishing platform for smaller history museums, historical societies, and historic sites. From the Swahili word meaning “to display” or “to lay out for discussion,” Omeka is designed for these groups that they may not have the adequate resources or expertise necessary to create and maintain their own online tools. The free, open-source tool will allow many more museums to mount well-designed, professional-looking, and content-rich web sites without adding to their constrained budgets. It will also provide a standards-based interoperable system to share and use digital content in multiple contexts so that museums can design online exhibitions more efficiently. Beginning in October 2007, CHNM will plan, design, test, evaluate, and disseminate Omeka over four phases while working closely with our major partner, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). MHS represents a wide museum network and a broad range of history and heritage institutions of different sizes, audiences, and subject area interests. In addition, we will make Omeka available to other small museums through conference presentations, direct mailings, and the CHNM website.