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60 DigiCULT
Duranti stated, `...could take from 1 to 10 years. If it
takes so long, we will be so behind in finding appro-
priate solutions that much of our cultural heritage in
digital form will be lost.'
Also, Anne Gilliland-Swetland (Department of
Information Studies, UCLA, USA), Co-Director of
the US InterPARES project team, made it clear that
the `lack of a systematic preservation infrastructure
is going to result in a significant loss of digital assets
(digital assets = not only content, but all supporting
metadata) as well as diminution of their ability to be
trusted'. Besides the reluctance of key stakeholders `to
take ownership of the long-term questions', Gilliland-
Swetland thought it important to recognise that `rights
legislation also undercuts the ability of researchers and
repositories to develop new preservation technolo-
gies'. However, what she hoped for was that in the
next few years an infrastructure could be developed
`that spans not for-profit and for-profit sectors and has
a viable economic model'. The latter would include
an `increased understanding of the economics of long-
term preservation, including a way to conduct cost-
benefit analyses over complex variables such as time
and cultural and personal empowerment values'. Oth-
er major steps for framing and driving RTD in digit-
al asset preservation management Gilliland-Swetland
considered to be securing government and commer-
cial sector `funding commitments, commercial soft-
ware development, and more openness to supporting
preservation technology requirements in digital intel-
lectual property legislation'. With respect to com-
mercial software development, she saw a demand for
`off the shelf software designed according to archi-
val specifications to assist organizations in preserving
their digital assets'. Gilliland-Swetland would not give
a timeframe, but stated that major breakthroughs in
long-term digital preservation management were not
hindered by technological issues; `technologically they
could be developed now'.
Richard Wright (Technology Manager, BBC, UK)
suggested the building of a European Digital Herit-
age Repository as a sustainable environment where
digitised/digital content could be stored and accessed;
`among other features, this repository would provide
a common catalogue to archived works of record-
ed music, broadcasting, performing arts and all the
myriad small digital collections that currently have
no sustainable home'. The `biggest breakthrough' for
such a venture Wright thought to be `probably polit-
ical seeing that a European cultural collection is a
valid and necessary EC task. We don't have Europe-
an museums. In the digital world, there is every rea-
son to consolidate "digital heritage" at the European
level: sustainability, cross-national and cross-cultur-
al research, economy of scale, common access, mul-
tilingual access.' Given such a political breakthrough,
`communication with all European sources of materi-
al needs to be established, and a legal framework (such
as Creative Commons) needs to be adopted to sup-
port "donation" of material to this European collec-
tion/umbrella.'
Wright also mentioned that discussions on a pos-
sible European role in holding `digital culture' had
already started, as in a recent Den Haag meeting
`Strategies for a European Area of Digital Cultural
Resources' (http://eu2004.digitaliseringerfgoed.info).
So he thought it not impossible that a European com-
mitment could happen by 2006. With respect to the
expense of building and maintaining a European Dig-
ital Heritage Repository, Wright thought that this
`could be addressed by RTD in cost-effective repos-
itories, but more significantly by research in broader
and deeper access methods: new services, comprehen-
sive metadata, usable search tools'. More specifically,
he suggested that a funding model should be devel-
oped, `involving RTD in European-level integration
of national (or local) repositories, and effective mech-
anisms to link a European repository to commer-
cial uses' as well as `exploitation of existing projects
Political and institutional issues...
selected statements
`Preservation responsibilities should become more orderly
and routine, but will need to be funded on a recurrent,
not a project, basis'. A participant from a govern-
mental body or agency
`The research tends to be piece-meal, generally not well
co-ordinated, and with the developed world taking the
lead'. Patrick Ngulube (Lecturer, University of
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa)
`Promulgation of Creative Commons licences, see
http://www.creativecommons.org.uk' and `internation-
al certification of preservation services, for example, "We
have used the PREMIS guideline" so a certain baseline
is agreed upon'. A participant from a governmental
body or agency
`Quality predicates for companies that guarantee a cer-
tain life-time of their products to a national agency'.
Martin Doerr (ICS-FORTH, Greece)
`Simplification of intellectual property, copyright regimes
to enable easier digitisation/preservation access to cul-
tural heritage'. A participant from a governmental
body or agency
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