The Painter, the One Horn Cow and Ole Hank Wilson's Back Lot – The Future of Library Digitization in the European Union and Hungary
Nordiskt Immateriellt Rättsskydd, Issue 5/2015, p. 535-562.
28 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2014 Last revised: 31 Aug 2021
Date Written: November 19, 2015
The present article is willing to discuss whether the European Union and especially Hungary can successfully deal with the copyright problematic of the cultural/book heritage in a landscape that is colored with digital technologies, the Internet and the ever growing number of services related to digitization and preservation. The paper introduces the key issues related to the copyright problematic of “digital world friendly” preservation and dissemination of our cultural heritage. It highlights that almost none of these matters are addressed by the European Union law, which serve as an obstacle to effective cultural preservation in the digital age. The article also discusses that the constant development of digital technologies has led to the appearance of new market players, new business models and consequently new economic interests in the book industry. The lack of effective statutory regulation on archiving activity by public institutions leads inevitably to the strengthening of these new stakeholders and the decrease of support of the copyright regime.
The paper compares the present and future of book digitization by cultural institutions from a copyright perspective. It introduces the current framework of limitations and exceptions granted by the European Union – with a special focus on Hungary – for cultural preservation purposes. It is similarly stressed that changes on this territory are inevitable. Keeping the status quo is not a real option. However, finding the right track is difficult. The present article introduces two major types of reaction on the “call of the future”: the limited modernization approach and the cooperative efforts approach. Several examples are listed in respect of both of these models from within the territory of the European Union. The author of the present article favors the limited modernization approach, and urges to grant effective tools for public institutions to fulfill their tasks related to the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Keywords: copyright law, cultural preservation, library digitization, limitations and exceptions, European Union, Hungary
JEL Classification: K1, K11, K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation