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EUscreen recommends: Copyright (and) Culture: the governance of audiovisual archives

Copyright (and) Culture: the governance of audiovisual archives” is written by Katharine Sarikakis, Olga Kolokytha and Krisztina Rozgonyi, all working at the Department of Communications of the University of Vienna. In this paper they ask the following research question: What are the policy dynamics of copyright regulation for digital audiovisual (AV) archives in Europe and what is their potential impact? Based on this question the paper aims to discuss the social relevance of archives, European cultural policies targeting operationalisation of these archives and underpinnings and sought implementation of copyright policies.

Special profile of one of the authors: Krisztina Rozgonyi

As an Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Vienna, Krisztina Rozgonyi has a strong background as senior regulatory and legal/policy adviser with a focus on specific aspects of media governance, especially on the governance of spectrum and of copyright, and on the representation of public interest, of democratic values and of fundamental rights within the complex and highly ‘technocratized’ policy and regulatory processes. In her scholarly work she is researching the various aspects of copyright governance with a truly European focus and with a specific attention to audiovisual cultural heritage and digital accessibility thereof in different national contexts.

Abstract of the paper

“Drawing upon three European cultural policy approaches, namely, democratisation of culture, cultural democracy and governmentalisation of culture, the discussion aims to situate current legislative attempts within digital content governance and examine policy as to its proclaimed aims of broadening access. The authors deployed macro-level legal analyses of key legislative acts of the European Union (EU) with direct relevance to the availability of and accessibility to digital historical content by European citizens. Relevant cultural policy interventions are juxtaposed with the corresponding legal rules and norms in copyright legislation. The authors evaluate the ways in which normative arguments are reflected in these acts and propose reflections on documented and possible impact.

The paper argues that the EU’s legal direction is characterised by uncertainty of conviction and internal tensions regarding the place of common cultural heritage in EU policy, and they present a restrictive acknowledgement of what culture and heritage policy entail and, by extension, how cultural matters should be governed. Cultural heritage AV archives are examples of digital content whose governance was almost “automatically” linked to copyright.”

Read the full paper Copyright (and) Culture: the governance of audiovisual archives”.