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IRIS 2010-6:1/5

European Commission

New Reflection Group on the Digital Dissemination of European Cultural Heritage

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Stef van Gompel

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

The European Commission has recently established a Reflection Group entrusted with the task of finding innovative solutions to make European cultural heritage publicly available on the Internet. The Group will build on the previous work of the High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries (see IRIS 2007-6:5/6, IRIS 2008-7:5/6). The setting up of the Reflection Group is part of a broader strategy, with which the Commission aims to address the current digitisation challenges for the cultural section and, on a more general level, to establish a favourable environment for creative industries in the digital environment.

The Reflection Group will address issues relating to the digitisation, online accessibility and preservation of European cultural heritage. It has been invited to make recommendations about the funding of digitisation projects, including public-private partnerships. Moreover, it will examine copyright issues, such as licensing practices to facilitate the digitisation and making available of copyright protected material, in particular, of out-of-print works and orphan works (i.e., works the copyright owners of which are untraceable).

The Reflection Group will consist of Maurice Lévy (Chief Executive Officer of the French advertising and communications company Publicis), Elisabeth Niggemann (Director-General of the German National Library) and Jacques De Decker (Belgian writer and journalist). The Group has been asked to submit its conclusions to the Commission before the end of 2010.

“Boosting cultural heritage online: the European Commission sets up a Reflection Group on digitisation”, IP/10/456, 21 April 2010 EN