background image
Still another risk is commercial usages of cultural heritage resources that run counter
their character of being public goods. As Bruce Royan, CEO, SCRAN stated, cultural
heritage institutions "feel that they have a duty to protect the resources and the rights
which they are funded to curate, and that part of that duty is to protect that material against
exploitation by commercial companies without any return to the public purse." (DigiCULT
ERT, Edinburgh, July 24, 2001)
And, last but not least, there is the risk that smaller institutions anyway find it difficult to
participate in the information society and therefore their collections and activities might be
completely invisible online.
SCRAN, with its competency and resources, manages successfully to take away from
cultural heritage institutions most of the risks they perceive in the online world as well as
reduces considerably the barrier to entry for the smaller ones.What the institutions see are
the benefits of partnering with SCRAN that supports the digitisation of resources and
brings online interesting parts of their collections within a licensed user environment that
caters to the educational institutions of Scotland and potentially world-wide.
How to bring in smaller institutions?
"One of the things that we had to change quite drastically from original models was that we
expected quite a lot of the project management to be done by these smaller organisations, and that
just did not work. So we have actually had to really increase our project management capacity
within SCRAN to cope with that. But partnerships do not have to be equal, and certainly in the
SCRAN case we do not have very many equal partnerships, there are all sorts of different levels
and different scales of partnership."
Sandy Buchanan, SCRAN, DigiCULT ERT, Berlin, July 5, 2001
Building a "walled garden": SCRAN`s educational licensing model
About 350 institutions so far have contributed digitised resources to SCRAN's
multimedia online interactive library, including museums, galleries, libraries, archives,
institutions responsible for built cultural heritage as well as organisations fostering
contemporary and performing arts.
SCRAN's approach to make sure to contributors of digitised resources that their rights
are protected is not based on copyright law but a well-developed licensing scheme. As
Bruce Royan, CEO, SCRAN described its basic idea in the DigiCULT round table on
"The SCRAN approach has been to say, that we cannot rely on copyright.We need to
rely on licensing. So we never make available into the public domain an image which is of
marketable quality.We only ever provide that to institutions which are licensed to use our
services, who have signed a license saying, we will do this, this, this but we will not do that`.
And if we need to prosecute we would do this on the basis of their breach of license
contract rather than the breach of copyright law. (...) We emphasise the idea of a walled
garden within which high quality resources can be exchanged and used and re-used but
which is restricted only to those who have a license." (DigiCULT ERT, Edinburgh, July 24,
Within the licensing model, contributing institutions grant SCRAN the perpetual, non-
exclusive, world-wide right to make the digital resources useable on the basis of strict
licensing agreements. SCRAN has different licensing terms and conditions for individuals,
schools, institutions of further and higher education, museums, libraries, as well as
commercial use. Here only the most common educational scheme can be shortly described.