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Disputed Practices of Classical Memory Institutions

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Andras Galambosi, Thank you for raising very pointed questions with your paper (which I share below) for our COMMUNIA workshop Ethical Public Domain: Debate of
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2008
      Andras Galambosi,

      Thank you for raising very pointed questions with your paper (which I
      share below) for our COMMUNIA workshop Ethical Public Domain: Debate of
      Questionable Practices in Vilnius, Lithuania on Monday, March 31, 2008
      http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org This is a great contribution to our
      discussion and debate. I note that we will have live streaming of the
      event at http://www.internettv.lt and also our chat room
      http://www.worknets.org/chat/ for online participants.

      When are you coming to Vilnius? My father Edmundas Kulikauskas is active
      in the movement to rebuild our Royal Palace. Similar questions arise
      with the use of the palace, whether it should serve primarily as a
      museum or as a civic center (currently, the emphasis is on a museum, but
      I personally hope and expect that one day that will change). If you are
      here on Sunday, then I will try to arrange a tour. Also, I will inquire
      if we might find an expert to debate with, although that may not be too
      likely, but you have provided us an excellent basis for discussion.
      Thank you!

      Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas, http://www.ms.lt, ms@..., +370 699
      30003


      *
      Orphan Works going Private? Lack of Freedom of Information? Disputed
      Practices of Classical Memory Institutions *

      To be debated at Communia WS II., Vilnius, Lithuania

      By Andras GALAMBOSI, Hungary

      /(the paper is written in a provocative manner on purpose)/



      *1. Focus*

      The term „classical memory institutions” represents the tax-payer
      financed deposits, repositories of cultural heritage, i.e. libraries,
      museums, archives, public collections, etc. The focus of this paper is
      on the generally experiencable practice of these insitutions, the
      lock-away mentality, the insiders’
      wink-wink-keep-it-all-in-stick-together practice.


      *2. Experiences*

      Some parts of the collections are not accessible to the public. Some
      parts are accessible for a limited audience. Some parts are accessible
      seasonally. Any piece of cultural heritage is accessible only for
      limited purposes. You are not allowed to take pictures inside a museum –
      unless you buy a photo ticket. One is permitted to learn only selected
      slices of culture. Public collections usually publish parts of their
      collection. Libraries even produce reprints. Archives create CDs, DVDs
      containing interesting parts of their deposits. Public collections
      generally do not let commercial use, or reuse of information they collect.


      *3. Statements*

      Culture is what we are living in. Those pieces of information, which are
      never used, are practically non-existent – the never known culture.
      Locked away culture is not for the benefit of the public. Institutions,
      which are given 100% funding, should operate 100% transparent.
      Information gathered, administered, categorized in these institutions
      must serve the public, must be open and accessible to the public. Great
      amount of items in these collections has nothing to do with the
      copyright, so there should be no barrier to reusing or distributing them.


      *4. Collision*

      Institutions often create copyrights on the material which is collected
      by them. It is not permitted to publish a book forgotten long ago -
      without the permission of the copy holder i.e. the national library. No
      one is allowed to publish a photo of a certain painting - without the
      permission of the gallery. The institutions are not able to exploit all
      the possibilities of the content, of the information they hold. Instead
      of opening it to the public, they generally close it, limiting the usage.


      *5. Step forward?*

      Understanding the necessity of guarding unical artefacts, paintings,
      books, etc., public collections should find a good balance turning to
      and really serving the public - while limiting access to (or even
      locking away) small portions of their collections. They may have their
      inner drives, own purposes regarding to certain collections, but the
      focus of their activities should originate from the needs of the
      community around.
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