We’re copyright nerds—here are the #MCN2020 VIRTUAL sessions we’re taking a close look at.

Next in our Special Interest Group conference previews is from the Intellectual Property Special Interest Group (IP SIG), a group for people interested in the intellectual property issues involved with technology and museums. The SIG is chaired by Margaret McKee of the Menil Collection in Houston and Evelin Heidel (aka Scann) of OpenGLAM. Interested in registering for the conference AND joining a SIG? If you’re not a member yet, you can take advantage of our special bundled registration rate.

A grouping of buttons with CC Creative Commons on a table.

Scann: I’ve been a copyright nerd for several years now, and I’m very enthusiastic about being able to be the co-chair of the MCN IP SIG. Cultural heritage institutions still face a lot of challenges when it comes to copyright. And more and more, they are also being asked to release their collections under open access. How can institutions strike the balance between respecting copyright owners, getting funding, and releasing collections? 

Margaret: Understanding intellectual property issues is such a key component of planning for successful and sustainable technological solutions for sharing museum collections and programming with your audiences. As chair of the MCN IP SIG, I want to do what I can to help connect people working in technology in the cultural heritage sector with the continuing education and professional network they need to help their institutions realize their goals! 

Here are some of the #MCN2020 VIRTUAL programs we’re looking forward to. 

Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage: What are our Guiding Principles for Ethically Practicing Open in GLAM Institutions? with Fiona Romeo, Scann, Claudio Ruiz, and Andrea Wallace

Scann: I’ve been closely involved with the work of the Declaration on Open Access for Cultural Heritage. The sector still has multiple definitions of what “open access” means, and some of the definitions provided in the past decade by the open access to science and education movements might not be as relevant for the cultural heritage sector. With “being online” being a given right now, it is important to help users understand what and how they can re-use digital reproductions of works. The Declaration is also backed by heavy research that explores the last ten years of growing evidence about the benefits of open access, so this is also a great opportunity to hear Dr. Andrea Wallace explain her research. 

Open GLAM for Critical Open Educational Resources: Free Knowledge Pedagogy Via Intercultural Co-Curation with Tevis “Garrett” Graddy-Lovelace 

Margaret: This Deep Dive looks like a great opportunity to consider how to maximize the educational impact of your institution’s online offerings. Many museums have experimented with new platforms and formats for their content during this pandemic era, and now is the time to consider what is working, what isn’t, and how we can be thoughtful and strategic about what we are creating. 

Scann: I’m a big follower and fan of the work that the folks from MhZ Curationist are doing! It is really important to make the connection between Open Educational Resources and online, open access cultural heritage. How can we help build resources that get used in the classroom to illustrate everything from history to science to arts to geography?

The Joys of Connecting Your Collections to Wikidata with Andrew Lih

Scann: Wikidata is the future. That’s it. Come to this workshop.

Margaret: Lastly, don’t forget to be on the lookout for the announcement of SIG meet-up times! We look forward to hearing what intellectual property topics are top of mind for you right now and how the IP SIG can support your work.

This has been a challenging year for everyone, and specially cultural heritage institutions. MCN is not the exception. By registering, you are not only gaining the opportunity to attend the conference by the forward-thinking community on digital museums, you’re also helping MCN achieve its mission!