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Web person at the Imperial War Museum, just completed PhD about digital sustainability in museums (the original motivation for this blog was as my research diary). Posting occasionally, and usually museum tech stuff but prone to stray. I welcome comments if you want to take anything further. These are my opinions and should not be attributed to my employer or anyone else (unless they thought of them too). Twitter: @jottevanger

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

International projects in the international legal minefield

This is but a (delayed) note to remind myself about the challenges that projects like Europeana face in integrating assets from, and providing services to, several countries with only partially-harmonised legal systems. This was brought home to me by a recent German ruling on use of thumbnails by search engines. Amalyah Keshet (on the MCN mailing list) cited the following snippet from Arc Technica's post on the ruling:

"As much as people complain about the challenges of balancing copyrights and fair use in the US, overseas courts have been happy to provide examples that remind us that some aspects of US copyright law are actually fairly liberal. The latest such reminder comes courtesy of a case in Germany that revisits an issue that appears settled in the US: the right of image search services to create thumbnails from copyrighted works to display with the search results. The German courts have now determined that this is not OK in Germany, where Google has just lost two copyright suits over image thumbnails..."

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