We were delighted to attend the Creative Commons Global Summit in Toronto back in April (and more delighted that it’ll be returning in 2018!) and to talk about open culture with fellow enthusiasts from around the world.

Since the conference, we’ve kept up the dialogue about a number of issues that affect cultural heritage everywhere: digitization and lending rights, a robust public domain, and usable licenses for galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) that don’t always have clear ownership of the materials they steward.

In the new CC model, platforms are subject-specific, while chapters are region-specific. We’re pleased to be part of the CC Canada chapter, and to focus our efforts on the Open GLAM platform. We’re also observing the efforts of the Canadian copyright reform team, since we’ll be expecting updated Canadian copyright legislation this year.

GLAMs and Creative Commons have a lot of crossover: opening up knowledge and heritage materials for reuse is a growing phenomenon with digitizers and online collections. Archives, galleries, and museums with unique collections want to put those materials online so that users can exercise their fair-dealing rights, and so objects in the public domain can live their “second life” and see more in-depth engagement and use.

Libraries that serve research needs have their own copyright issues: hunting down interlibrary loans, licensing media for publications or use in lectures and presentations, and letting users know about their fair-dealing rights and copyright responsibilities. People of all ages are learning about rights management, from eBooks, 3D printing projects, sharing on social media, and adding material to Wikipedia.

Sometimes the two halves of GLAM work – stewards of heritage material, and advocates for our users – clash. At other times they just don’t communicate with each other. At OurDigitalWorld we both enable the sharing of our collections, and give users and researchers a voice – through comments, testimonials, user contributions, and all our methods for feedback.

The Open GLAM platform discussions have touched on educating heritage workers on the benefits of opening up materials, and how best to educate their users in turn on their rights and responsibilities. We’re also discussing how to bust myths and share metrics to prove the value of sharing. Potential programs can include a Wikimedia-upload campaign and getting things into the new CC Search tool, developing CC certification for GLAM workers, and sharing workflows, best practices, and successes in open initiatives. Interested in getting involved? Join the CC Slack channel, and sign up for the Open GLAM mailing list.

As we noted in our Summit presentation, we encourage our members to use CC licenses where possible, but they’re not always applicable to the needs of heritage organizations. We’re making plans to incorporate labels into our VITA digital toolkit, to allow for greater clarity about orphaned works, the public domain, and organizations’ desires for attribution and citation.

We’re also interested in hearing from you – are there ways we can help you make your collections more open? Way we can help you track use of your materials, so you can see the benefit of open for yourself? Outreach and education we can provide, so you can understand your licensing and sharing options better? Metadata options we can offer, so you can improve discoverability? Let us know!

You should also check out the great work our colleagues across Canada are doing: fair dealing advocacy by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (PDF), and collaboration on the international Open Education platform. And don’t forget that you can get a grant to make things open!