Friday, April 20, 2012

Do you speak #copyright? A challenge for the GLAM community

Peter Weis is one of my friends who does GLAM related things for quite some time now. He is really good at restoring images and he loves to learn about copyright and licenses. The vagaries of copyright and licenses has been one of our favourite subjects. As Peter will attend the Open Glam workshop in Berlin, I asked him to blog about it.

This is his first contribution.
Wikimedia Commons only accepts material with a free licence that is valid in the United States and the country of origin and the location of the uploader. For most people, including many Wikimedians, a statement like this could be Greek to them. Learning Greek takes a long term commitment - a process that is helped when you can talk to native speakers who help you understanding the intricacies of that language. Just like learning Greek, learning about copyright is difficult. If you want to learn a new language you can do that in school, at university, an adult education center or language courses via Internet. But where do you go when you want to learn about copyright? Learning about copyright is not about understanding every exception; it is about getting a working knowledge about what is relevant for the content you are interested in. Usually, there is no easy chart or table that tells you what you need to know. That's where the native speakers of copyright can help you. The native speakers of copyright are usually copyright lawyers, for example within the legal departments of GLAM institutions. Partnering with GLAM institutions usually involves media files, articles and such. Integrating a legal workshop into a GLAM cooperation can help to tear down common misconceptions for both sides: while the legal department of a GLAM is firm with national copyright law, Wikimedians are firm with the guidelines and policies of projects like Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Conducting a legal workshop can help tailoring a content donation to the framework of Wikimedia’s projects. On April, 20th the Open GLAM workshop will be hosted in Berlin. The workshop aims to explore the legal questions surrounding cultural cooperation within the GLAM sector. It will feature successful open data initiatives and there will be an open data licensing clinic with lawyers and legal experts. They will address issues and questions about common licensing frameworks. It will be a workshop for law aficionados and people who care about copyright. The outcome will probably be relevant for the GLAM Wiki movement. I’m going to report back to you with my personal highlights of the event.  Regards, 
Peter Weis
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