Yet, the following results show, that in large part the experts were sceptical or unclear
with regard to sustainability.
In the context of the assumed move of cultural institutions towards being more "com-
mercial" it might also be important to mention that the results for the statement "Free
access to cultural content will decrease while commercial services will flourish" were:
Yes: 13, No: 20, and Not Clear: 18.
What cultural heritage experts see to be relevant areas of exploitation
In the DigiCULT-study the topic exploitation was raised in the two rounds of the Online
Delphi, in an Expert Round Table, as well as a sub-theme in (some) interviews with cultural
heritage experts.This paragraph gives an overview of what experts in the field expect to be
relevant or promising sources of revenue generation for cultural heritage organisations.With
regard to this list it must be highlighted that experts, when asked generally, were quite willing
to suggest services or products that might be relevant, which does not mean any guarantee
that a successful exploitation in commercial terms is or would be feasible.
For an (anecdotal) example: In the Expert Round Table on exploitation, held in Edin-
burgh, July 24, 2001, Bruce Royan, CEO, SCRAN, who moderated the round table, drew
the attention of the participants to a snippet of news he picked up that day: Egg, deemed to
be one of the most successful Internet banks in Europe had just posted losses of £63 million
for the first 6 months of 2001.The participants were not too impressed and affected by this.
Sorting out what is appropriate for commercial exploitation
In their statements, some participants of the Online Delphi (round 1) drew a line
between commercial services versus uses that should be free of charge. Services in the latter
group were characterised for example as "for individual and education purpose" or needed
to be "free at the point of use for education". Such services include: catalogues, biblio-
graphical information, standard research on collections. One participant even stated:"all
non-reprographic content should be freely distributed to provide maximum intellectual
access". (David Stockdale, Dundee City Council Arts & Heritage; DigiCULT Delphi, June
21, 2001) But, if a service as for example search for material is conducted for companies or
demands more than "standard effort", experts clearly consider charging to be eligible.
Jennifer Trant, AMICO, with regard do exploiting cultural heritage content made clear:
"This is not black and white; the same content can be both free and charged, depending on
the services offered with it, the use that is made of it and market to which it is offered."
And, she added:"Any service with a revenue-generating potential must offer more than just
`content'." (DigiCULT Delphi, July 17, 2001)
Another major point that was highlighted in the Expert Round Table on exploitation is
that if cultural heritage institutions offer services to the educational sector, it most often will
Cultural institutions will be able to generate enough new
revenue streams to reach sustainability (also public fun-
ding will decrease continuously)
The electronic services of cultural institutions developed
today on the basis of funded projects will be sustainable
in the future