NEMO stands for Network of European Museums Organisations.
NEMO stands for Network of European Museums Organisations. Image: Wikimedia CC0

NEMO report on digitisation and copyrights on museum collections

Digitisation of museum collections has been an important plan of action during the lockdown to make them accessible to visitors. NEMO observes that preventing piracy, copyright issues and the financial constraints and learning skills to digitise collections are some of the challenges faced in the digitisation process.

The report was published on July 15th and addressed the national implementation processes of the EU Digital Single Market Directive (DSM directive) and arising questions about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Some of the findings were the following:

  1. More than 80% of the responding museums claimed increased visibility as the main objective for digitising their collections. 75% of the museums said their objective was increased access and educational use. More than 65% of the museums’ objective is to digitise their collection is providing metadata for researchers.
  2. 3 out of 4 museums reported insufficient finances and staff as their biggest obstacles regarding the digitisation and online accessibility of the permanent collections
  3. Less than 20% of the collections of responding museums are available online. This means that less than half of the digitised objects are available to the public.

Some worrying tendencies were that the respondents skipped some or all of the questions and there was a clear lack of communication over cultural heritage digitisation process between stakeholders whether it be operational or legal questions.

To read the report further and recommendations for museums, log on to NEMO.

The NEMO (Network of European Museum Organisations) is an independent network of national museum organisations representing the museum community of the member states of the Council of Europe. The organisation supports museums in networking, gaining funding opportunities and organises training opportunities.