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5
ward a passionate and provocative argu-
ment against recourse to copyright, and
what he sees as "our increasing obsession
with very small amounts of money".
Spearman was followed by Sharon Page
of Goldsmiths College, who gave a detailed
legal analysis of current copyright and
other relevant legislation, as well as stress-
ing the implications of increasingly com-
plex multimedia objects.
A
fter a short break for coffee and con-
versation, the real meat and bones of
the afternoon was the group discussion
session, where the delegates were grouped
into threes and fours and asked to brain-
storm what the EMII Distributed Content
Framework would mean for them. Dele-
gates from organisations as diverse as muse-
ums, libraries, governments and academia,
and from countries including Ireland,
Portugal, Greece and the Netherlands,
explained what digital rights management
meant for them personally, and what they
thought of it.The use of open standards
was a common theme, as was the impor-
tance of user-focused strategies.The mda
team will certainly have had much to
ponder in the weeks following the event,
as different organisational viewpoints
produced a wide range of responses to
the increasing use of rights management
software.
T
he event concluded sophisticatedly at
5 o'clock with a champagne recep-
tion in the glamorous surroundings of the
Tate's topmost floor. Delegates continued
conversations begun in the participatory
session and struck up new ones, while at
the same time enjoying panoramic views
of the famous London skyline.
(A case study on the EMII-DCF is cur-
rently in preparation, and will be inclu-
ded in the next DigiCULT Technology
Watch Report, due to be published in
February 2004).
involved in the management of digital
assets, and in particular the challenges faced
by content provider organisations.The
conflict between the urge to present con-
tent and the need to protect it from misuse
was a key theme, and Nairne proposed that
the widespread attitude that Web content is
somehow `commonly owned' be ques-
tioned and realigned.
N
ext to speak was John Wyver,
Chairman of Illuminations Tele-
vision Ltd, who provided a different per-
spective on the subject: that of the content
user. According to Wyver, many cultural
heritage professionals are unprepared to
deal with increasingly complicated rights
issues, and fail to understand fully the
needs of consumers.
A
counterblast to the two preceding
talks was offered by Michael
Spearman of the National Museums of
Scotland's Multimedia Team, who put for-
T
he online journal First Monday
(http://www.firstmonday.dk) has
published a new report: "Business models
of news Web sites: A survey of empirical
trends and expert opinion" by Frederick
Schiff.The report outlines eight business
models in order to assess the commercial
trends of news Websites in a competitive
marketplace and to comparatively assess
different approaches to online news provi-
sion.You can view the article at:
http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/
issue8_6/schiff/index.html
O
n Friday 20 June 2004, around 80
representatives of Europe's leading
cultural organisations met at the Tate
Modern on London's South Bank to par-
ticipate in an EMII-DCF (http://www.
emii-dcf.org/) joint discussion entitled
"A Joint Solution to Managing Cultural
Digital Assets".The afternoon's lynchpin
was Louise Smith, Director of the meeting
organiser mda Europe (http://www.mda.
org.uk/), who outlined the afternoon's
work and provided a quick overview of
the European Museums' Information
Institute's Distributed Content Framework
(DCF) project.The project is aimed at
guiding cultural heritage organisations in
formulating best practice strategies for
dealing with the dissemination of their
valuable content.
T
he afternoon's first invited speaker
was Sandy Nairne, Director of the
National Portrait Gallery, London, who
provided a broad overview of the issues
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