The working sessions during the first day included introduction of the ten new Network members:

…as well as regular working group activities of public domain situation analysis and creation of policy recommendations.

The second day consisted of plenary sessions used by about a hundred participants to share experiences from different countries through presentation of expert studies and cases of best practices.

At the opening keynote speaker Ben White (British Library) stressed that “if we don’t get digital preservation today, there will be no [public] historical record tomorrow.” He said that new technologies enable libraries to surpass their traditional roles and to turn into publishers, software developers, search engines and data suppliers.

The plenary work consisted of three sessions:

  • National heritage preservation: legal issues & implications
  • Progressions from open access to the public domain: in museums, archives and film institutes
  • Developing the public domain of the future

According to CASPAR project coordinator David Giaretta, the three biggest challenges in this area include metadata, copyright, and money. The later is a key factor which can solve the first two.

Pointing to number of new developments, Maja Bogataj from the Intelectual Property Institute from Ljubljana stressed the need for reform of the copyright law at EU level.

Most of the speakers agreed that acceptance and practice of Open Access provides a foundation for the educational institutions, but also for central and local governments. Cases of the Girona province which creates a multimedia archive with citizen participation, and the Archive of the Crown of Aragon which enables access to state archive documents were presented as positive examples.

Victoria Reich from Stanford University pointed to the need of long-term retention of the heritage after solving the digitization problems, and presented the LOCKSS project as a FOSS-based solution implementing the principle of keeping “multiple independently held replicas is critical for the digital heritage to survive.”

The workshop program on the official website contains all the relevant links and digital copies of the presentations, while some of the participants also used Twitter at #communia.

Bonus feature: During the event participants had the opportunity to visit the Library of the University of Barcelona where the staff graciously presented their work on preservation of cultural heritage – restoration and digitization of ancient books.