The museum as Public Domain

Today I attended the conference ”Sharing is caring – digital cultural heritage for all”. Lots of interesting presentations and discussions about how museums can – and should – use digital media, to make their collections more accessible, and to turn their audience into participants.

To do this we of course have to overcome technical obstacles. But probably even more organizational and even mental obstacles. And then there are all the issues raised by copyright and digital rights management. During the discussions of concepts such as Creative Commons and Public Domain, I got a sense of déjà vu. Suddenly it occurred to me: the museum as institution is inherently Public Domain.

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