Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blog notes OA and Greek cultural heritage

A few bloggers have posted comments on Digital Heritage in the New Knowledge Environment: Shared Spaces & Open Paths to Cultural Content (Athens, October 30-November 2, 2008):

Eric Kansa, Digital Challenges: Notes from the Hellenic Ministry of Culture’s Recent Conference, Digging Digitally, November 11, 2008.

... The whole “copyrighting the past” argument is interesting. Though I have no formal legal training, I’ve picked up some expectations from living within the Anglo-American legal tradition. At least traditionally, we’ve got a very economic / practical view of copyright, and typically regard copyright as a convenient legal fiction to incentivize creative production. “Copyrighting” a work that is 2500 years-old obviously flies in the face of this tradition. However, parts of Continental Europe have different legal traditions. Copyright over the works of Classical Antiquity seem to be somehow in line with “moral rights” types of perspectives, where the goal of copyright is not only to protect commercial incentives, but it is also to protect, in perpetuity, the dignity and honor of the creator of works. That seemed to be some of the argument given in comments made at this conference. ...

Leif Isaksen, Strictly Platonic, Archaetech, November 11, 2008.

... As a mixture of Greek cultural heritage professionals and a more international group of invited digital specialists, the division between open and closed world views was starkly drawn. Inspired by the location to draw a gratuitous athenian analogy, I dubbed the competing factions the ‘new platonists’ and the ‘new socratics’. The platonists hold the view that there is some kind of objective value in culture that needs to be identified, nurtured and above all protected from the more philistine elements of globalistion. This can only be done by an elite professional class of curators (priests?) and academics (philosophers?). Meanwhile, the socratics see our role as entirely different - it is not our duty to protect, but rather to provoke, undermine and play with the narratives and interpretations we all normally take for granted. ...