Digital cultural collections in an age of reuse and remixes

Kristin R. Eschenfelder, Michelle Caswell


This paper explores the question of under what circumstances CI should seek to control non-commercial reuse of digital cultural works. It describes the results of a 2008 survey of CI professionals at U.S. archives, libraries and museums which gathered data on motivations to control access to and use of digital collections, factors discouraging control, and levels of concern associated with different types of unauthorized reuse. Analysis presents three general themes that explain many of the CI motivations for control:“Controlling descriptions and representations,” “Legal risks and complexities” and “Getting credit: fiscal and social costs and revenue.” It concludes by offering a set of examples of varying levels of reuse control (from none to complete) to serve as heuristics.


digital collections; copyright; privacy; creative commons

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