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Foster research into business models and systems for trading cultural content,
leading to the exchange of knowledge goods between diverse societies.
Media companies are interested in acquiring content in order to create media products
from it (Microsoft,Warner, Bertelsmann, etc). ALMs are prime holders of content but have
little experience in adding sufficient value to it in order to develop the content they own
into products. Cultural Heritage policy will have to address the danger of sell-out: cultural
heritage institutions have been built up by private as well as public money over generations
and therefore, neither Europe nor any other cultural communities should "sell out" one of
their most precious resources simply because nobody knows how to make use of it, or
because the societal value system has shifted away from cultural content, temporarily.
It is therefore suggested that business models are researched and developed that relate
culture and economy in ways that demonstrate the value of cultural heritage not only in
quantitative terms, but also in qualitative terms.The "value" of Shakespeare cannot be
appreciated simply through "the content" (i.e. his sonnets and plays): Stratford-upon-Avon
does not generate its wealth through selling his books, but through a network of value
chains, primarily centred around tourism.The same holds for Salzburg, or many Italian
cities. Research proposals should demonstrate an understanding of dependencies between
cultural and socio-economic factors.The impact of newly developed technology in such
complex value networks should be assessed using well defined measuring hypotheses.
Research into business models can be approached from three avenues:
Business needs standards, why should cultural heritage related standards differ from
other metadata standards?
Business needs markets, why should cultural topics not be able to create new
markets or demand on existing markets?
Business needs political stability, understanding other cultures and their value systems
may make Western societies more sensitive to the issues that ultimately lead to con-
flict and political instability.Why not use cultural heritage as part of the dialogue?
Why not use new technology as the medium for that dialogue?
Explore the possibility of standards convergence between ALMs, the Internet
communities and broadcasting
In the media industries, the MPEG family of standards is receiving wide-spread support. In
the Internet-based software industries, RDF and the XML family of standards are playing a
similar role. In the ALM community, exchange of information is based upon a number of
weakly-related archiving standards.
We recommend programmes that combine syntactic conventions with ontological
commitment, thus developing description languages based on syntactic standards and
enhanced by group-acknowledged and user-group driven, semantics.This includes
knowledge based reference models which demonstrate usability for machine inferencing.
Explore research opportunities where cultural applications can be technology
drivers, e.g. because of the challenging questions they pose, and where other
domains profit from the research because the findings can be applied.