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It’s been a busy start of the year for open culture at CC! Here’s an update

Since June 2021, thanks to a grant by the Arcadia Fund, Creative Commons has been developing our Open Culture / Open GLAM program to help transform institutions and support them as they embrace open culture and all the benefits it creates for themselves and their communities. Our core task is to enable galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAMs) to share their collections online as freely and openly as possible in participatory, interactive, sustainable, ethical, and equitable ways. 

Here’s an overview of what we have been up to in recent months. 

Open Culture VOICES

Our Open Culture VOICES Vlog consists of a series of short interviews with dozens of open GLAM experts from around the world, who all bring their unique perspectives, in various languages, on what it is like to open up heritage content online. We asked all our guests the same four questions: (1) What are the main benefits of open GLAM? (2) What are the barriers? (3) Could you share something someone else told you that opened up your eyes and mind about open GLAM? (4) Do you have a personal message to those hesitating to open up collections? Their answers reveal not only the key advantages of open GLAM and the transformative power of open access to cultural heritage, but also the hurdles that stand in the way. Look out for two videos per week on our website and social media channels.

GLAM Public Domain Tools

On Public Domain Day, we launched the CC Public Domain Tools in GLAMs – Needs Assessment, an online survey to probe whether CC’s tools are fit-for-purpose to make cultural heritage available. We are reaching out to GLAM practitioners and experts to help create a clearer picture of the use of CCs’ public domain tools, CC0 and the Public Domain Mark (PDM). These tools serve to communicate the public domain status of content and indicate it can be used for any purpose, free of charge, without copyright permission. GLAMs are key users of CC tools — nearly 5 million works from GLAM collections have been released using our tools. We look forward to learning from the data gathered, and hope they will guide us on where and when to take action as we continue to build and improve the sharing infrastructure in support of better sharing of cultural heritage. The survey can be answered in English, French or Spanish until 15 February, 2022. 

Listen to the latest episode of CC’s Open Minds Podcast

Don’t miss Brigitte Vézina, CC’s Director of Policy, Open Culture, and GLAM, on the latest episode of Open Minds… from Creative Commons. We discuss everything you need to know about the Creative Commons Open Culture / Open GLAM program and the new and exciting opportunities we have in store.

GLAM Case Studies 

In October last year, we launched an Open call for open GLAM case studies and invited members from our community to share their stories from institutions in the Global South or those involved with underrepresented or underserved communities. We look forward to publishing the eight successful case studies this month and sharing their inspiring stories from Brazil, Poland, Chile, India, Pakistan and Nigeria. We hope to discover diverse and inclusive avenues of engagement with the open GLAM community. 

Teaser of Open Culture Remix Art Contest

What is so exciting about open sharing is its almost limitless potential to unlock creativity as people discover, share, and remix cultural heritage. When content is openly accessible, anyone can reuse it, build upon it, and create something new and unexpected. That is the idea behind our upcoming Open Culture Remix Art contest. Participants will be invited to reuse public domain or openly licensed works like paintings, photographs, drawings, etc. to create original artworks. Not only is it a way to showcase contemporary creativity, it is also a means of canvassing the importance of CC’s infrastructure for the dissemination and revitalization of culture.

CC GLAM platform and its working groups

The CC Open GLAM Platform provides a space for GLAM professionals and open advocates to share resources, enhance collaboration and raise awareness about open access to cultural heritage. We at CC are lucky to work with a global community, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved. We hold monthly calls, and over the course of 2022, several working groups will engage in conversations to tackle emerging issues, such as folklore and indigenous heritage collections, heritage materials from community-driven initiatives, the impact of reuse of cultural heritage, contemporary archiving of cultural heritage, and “attribution” models for public domain materials. Other groups will develop practical resources, like a bibliography and glossary of open GLAM. If this is for you, make sure to become a platform member and sign up to our mailing list.

CC policy paper on GLAMs 

CC influences global policy to bring down the copyright barriers to universal access and reuse of the cultural heritage held in GLAMs. We work to ensure that the interests, concerns and needs of the public and GLAMs in fulfilling their public-interest mission are balanced with those of rights holders in a fair manner. As part of the copyright platform, we have developed a draft policy paper provisionally entitled “Towards Better Sharing of Cultural Heritage — An Agenda for Copyright Reform.” It is intended as a reference point for CC’s advocacy work in copyright reform in the cultural heritage context, with a focus on issues arising in the digital environment. It will hopefully serve to support the CC community in various advocacy efforts, guide policymakers in their legislative processes, and inform anyone interested in the policy issues gravitating around access and reuse of culture and cultural heritage. The paper recognizes the pivotal roles of GLAMs in preserving and providing access to knowledge and culture to all members of society. It will be published on CC’s website very soon, so watch this space!

Launch of the first GLAM Certificate cohort

The CC Certificate program offers in-depth courses about CC licenses, open practices and the ethos of the Commons. Courses are composed of readings, quizzes, discussions, and practical exercises to develop learners’ open skills. On January 31, CC welcomed its first cohort of the new GLAM certificate. The CC Certificate for GLAMs is a professional development training for institutions or community groups engaged in cultural or documentary heritage. As more GLAMs adapt to increasingly online audiences and users, they often seek CC legal tools, expertise and community support. Cultural heritage institutions share a common goal with CC: to make knowledge and culture globally accessible. In the CC Certificate for GLAM, community members will develop capacity in opening access to cultural heritage. They will develop a deeper understanding of open licensing and copyright considerations with digitization projects, Rights Statements, Traditional Knowledge Labels, working with the public domain, and more. CC Certificate for GLAM participants will also gain access to a global community of professionals and activists working toward similar cultural and policy changes in their own cultural heritage institutions.

Interested in knowing more about CC’s work on cultural heritage? Get in touch: info@creativecommons.org

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