Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Copyright, Cultural Heritage, Mass-Digitization, Public-Private Partnerships


Digitization of library material, archives and museum collections, arts organizations repositories is progressing rapidly, and opens up new possibilities of accessing, using and re-using the knowledge embodied in cultural heritage. By giving new purpose and function to works, it enhances the value of the public domain and enriches the public sphere. However, digitization also creates the conditions for the rise of new proprietary entitlements over cultural objects. Such ‘informational monopolies’ are often justified as necessary to recoup the high costs of digitization, or as the basis to provide additional sources of income for the cultural institutions. At the same time, however, they may impact upon creativity, research and innovation in new and unexpected ways.This event will address the intersection of digitization, public domain and digital monopolies from a legal and economic perspective. Case studies, approaches and methodologies will be discussed, with the view of providing an up-to-date understanding of the policy implications of digitization.