Creative Access

Digital archives between open knowledge society and commodification

Digital archives are not just collections of information – they are public interfaces that let us access the cultural heritage of our society. However, this development also creates new copyright problems for the creative industries.

In the course of the project we analysed the role of digital archives as storage places and as public interfaces for content produced in the creative industries. The aim of Creative Access was to lay down the groundwork for a sustainable and open access environment in Vienna, focussing on the cultural, economic and legal aspects.

Right to intellectual property – but how

The ITA’s main contribution was to help create a knowledge base about intellectual property law. Legal knowledge is essential when it comes to creating digital archives. However, the legal situation is highly complex, as a number of different national and international legal systems apply at the same time. Account must also be taken not only of the law created by Parliament, but also of international treaties and –the decisions of the courts. The never-ending stream of new questions shows the many gaps in the law.

Publicly accessible multi-lingual database

The result of our cooperation with legal and copyright experts is a multi-lingual database. It covers not only Austrian, European and international legislation, but also the laws of a number of other countries. The user interface is designed to meet the needs of both legal laypersons and experts. The database was extended in a subsequent project called KB-Law.

This project was coordinated by the Democracy Centre Vienna and funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF) as part of the “Science for Creative Industries" programme. We co-operated with copyright experts at the Vienna University of Economics, namely with the Department of Information Law at the Institute of Private Law.

In our digital age, open access to information goes hand in hand with questions of copyright and intellectual property.
08/2004 - 08/2006