GLAM/Newsletter/April 2012/Contents/Germany report

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Long Nights; Wikipedia Academy; Wikipedia meets Museums, GLAM coordinator; Wikipedian in residence vacancy; Open GLAM workshop

Long Nights

Mineralogist Christian Samuel Weiss as portrayed above the entrance to the Naturkundemuseum. The article about him will be one of the targets of the QRpedia codes on display in the museum during the Long Night.

The preparations continued for a Wikimedia stand in the Naturkundemuseum Berlin during the Long Night of Sciences on June 2, and a number of articles have been identified, for which QRpedia codes shall be installed in the museum's Mineral Hall:

Mineral, Kristall, Chemisches Element, Periodensystem, gediegen, Phosphate, Silicate, Sulfate, Carbonate, Aragonit, Pyrit, Quarz, Amethyst, Fluorit, Feldspat, Galenit, Rauchquarz, Sandrose, Pseudomorphose, Anisotropie, Epitaxie, Alexander von Humboldt, Kosmos (Humboldt), Eilhard Alfred Mitscherlich, Gustav Rose, René Just Haüy, Christian Samuel Weiss, Martin Heinrich Klaproth, Dietrich Ludwig Gustav Karsten, Stefan Franz Viktor von Österreich, Carl Rumpff, Albrecht Daniel Thaer.

Improvements and further translations of these articles are most welcome, as are requests for materials from the museum to be used in there.

A second presentation on June 2 in Berlin will be given at the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute). There, Wikipedians will provide specific information about archaeological themes in Wikipedia and also about themes like the "Wikipedian in Residence" and the "Wikipedia trifft..." (Wikipedia meets...) conferences, especialy the upcoming conferences "Wikipedia trifft Museen" (Wikipedia meets Museums) and "Wikipedia trifft Archäologie" (Wikipedia meets Archaeology).

Preparations for the Long Night of Sciences in Jena on June 1 also include considerations of QRpedia codes in the Phyletic Museum.

Wikipedia Academy

Research papers submitted to the Wikipedia Academy are currently under review, and the program is taking shape. One of the tutorials will be on GLAM tools.

The Museumsdorf Düppel is one of the museums run by the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin.

Wikipedia meets Museums

A conference bringing together Wikimedia and museums is currently being planned for October 19-21 in Kassel.

GLAM coordinator

Barbara Fischer was announced as Wikimedia Germany's GLAM coordinator. She will also support Wiki Loves Monuments.

Wikipedian in residence in Berlin Museums

The Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin that runs several museums related to the history and culture of Berlin is inviting applications for a 3-month part-time Wikipedian in residence.

Open GLAM Workshop Berlin

Attendees of the OpenGLAM workshop in Berlin.

The OpenGLAM workshop in Berlin was a follow-up to the London workshop in November 2011 and the first German OpenGLAM workshop. In about four hours, multiple topics related to the legal aspects of the GLAM sector were discussed. Some of them were related to copyright, some others to database rights in the EU, some to the international interaction of copyrights and on the legal implications of releasing content or metadata on the internet.

Daniel Dietrich - Open Knowledge Foundation

A warmly welcoming speech was held by Joris Pekel, Daniel Dietrich and Dr. Jutta Weber. After a short introduction, Daniel Dietrich presented on the OKFN. He outlined the current situation about connecting cultural institutions with the digital world and pointed out the EU’s PSI directive, “which deals with the way public sector bodies should enhance re-use of their information resources”. His most remarkable statement was: “Data do not feature a self-worth - it’s all about their re-use”.

He told us about a variety of tools, projects and features, most of which are included in his presentation.

Jutta Weber - Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

Dr. Jutta Weber of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin allowed us to look at the mechanisms at the Staatsbibliothek and understand their effort entering the digital realm. Approaching a wider audience by releasing content and data with a free licence via the internet is targeted at scientists and other researchers: the interest of the Staatsbibliothek is to provide information in a way that enables and encourages this group of re-users to create new content and rely on digitised material.

Ms Weber presented a "circle of re-use" in libraries: The author creates literary works, his estate is committed to a library, the library adds these works to their catalogue, an editor is issuing an edition, a publisher is releasing a publication, this publication is added to a library’s catalogue, scientists are accessing this knowledge and create new works - the circle starts anew.

After her presentation she pointed out several questions, which remained unanswered, yet are important for the GLAM sector:

  • What part shall publishers play in the future of the cultural sector?
  • Who uses institutional content and for what purpose? Is there a proper way to get feedback on use cases?
  • How do scientists and researchers interact in order to prevent overlapping work?
  • What are the pros & cons of providing commercial and non-commercial licenced content in the cultural sector?
  • How does the actual process of releasing data and content work?

Paul Kimpel

Paul Kimpel gave us insights into the legal aspects of releasing metadata. In Germany the term metadata has a different meaning in the cultural sector: Metadata is usally understood as the technical data of a digital file, excluding its description for example. Releasing metadata under CC-0 is highly problematic for descriptions that are copyrighted but don’t feature the necessary authorisation by the original author. Institutions assume that re-users comply with licences, which is not the case - another benefit of using CC-0.

The proper legal status of a work is hard to identify in a large number of cases. Lacking records, missing information or restrictions to donations limit the amount of content that can be released under a free licence. Many donors provide content to an institution as long as it is not commercially re-used or demand a stake of the income that is generated - sometimes even for public domain content. It is important to take this into consideration when accepting a donation as a cultural institution, as Paul Kimpel pointed out.

Content that was created with public funds is usually not free in Germany. Legal restrictions, financial interests and other reasons disable a free use of this material. The expectation on cultural institutions is to manage a refunding through the commercialisation of their content. This expectation leads to certain logic of action, involving that not all content will be commercially re-used. Cultural institutions which are benefiting from public funds should be aware of how they can deliver free content and metadata back to the public. Creating own metadata collections is redundant if looking at large databases, for instance. Yet, current approaches are not sufficiently providing mechanisms for collaborative work with institutional metadata. Enforcing this process is useful, progessive and sustainable: people can provide and add information, while the original record remains unharmed.

John Weitzmann - Creative Commons

John Weitzmann of Creative Commons (the organisation, not the licence) was presenting on their licences, use cases and prospects for the upcoming Creative Commons 4.0. Most people in the cultural sector have heard about the variety of Creative Commons licences and asked more detailed questions about the pros and cons for commercial and non-commercial licences. I had the impression that commercial re-use found a broader acceptance based on its benefit to new projects and the fact that tax Euros are already paying the cultural sector. Mr Weitzmann pointed out that Creative Commons is just providing the licence - they are not responsible for their actual use, nor for the projects, institutions and individuals using them.

Mathias Schindler - Wikimedia Deutschland

Mathias Schindler of WMDE introduced the audience to Wikimedia’s projects and their benefit for GLAM cooperation and presented on Wikidata. Mathias referred to the cooperation between WMDE and the Bundesarchiv as one example of a GLAM cooperation in the Wiki world.

Wikidata offers structured data and is developed by a team of 18 people. Authority control becomes increasingly important in the cultural sector, especially for smaller institutions. Projects like the BEACON file format provide a great way to integrate institutional authority control in the Wiki world. VIAF, DDB and GND are interesting to Wikimedia’s projects, because they can change how metadata is used and re-used, as Mathias explained.

Mathias suggested some approaches for cultural partnerships which you can find in his presentation.

Paul Keller - Europeana

Paul Keller of Europeana told us about the legal aspects of metadata and their integretation into Europeana. The Data Exchange Agreement and the Europeana Licensing Framework are legal tools that aim to clarify the situation for institutional contributors and re-users. Europeana’s terms of use were an interim solution for addressing this issue. On 1 July 2012, the DEA will come into effect, releasing the metadata of its signees under CC-0. Content that is accessible via Europeana, such as preview images from cultural institutions, do not currently feature licence information in a large number of cases. It is not certain how these preview images and metadata with lacking DEA will be handled in the future.

Europeana is favouring CC-0 and the possible commercial use for metadata, because it is more flexible, accessible and easy to use than other restrictive CC licences. Nonetheless the institution may decide if they want to provide all metadata or just a selection or none under the terms of CC-0.

Here’s a link to Paul Keller’s presentation.

Bottom line

German institutions have concerns about cultural cooperation and are afraid of moving into the digital sphere. These concerns are related to a close connection with their collections and a fear of losing content and metadata by releasing them under a free licence or into the public domain. Sadly, I missed the actual workshop element of this meeting - it felt more like a panel discussion involving only few speakers from the audience.

In the past, German institutions experienced that actual advantages of cooperation are rather small and encountered promises that were not held. We learned that even large institutions like Europeana or Creative Commons don’t currently provide the best solutions for each and every problem. For the Wiki Community this can be a chance to advance into German GLAMs.

The OpenGLAM blog features a post on the OpenGLAM legal workshop in Berlin as well.


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Last modified on 9 December 2012, at 14:57