Open Access for heritage items

David Koller and Marc Levoy, Protecting 3D Graphics Content, Communications of the ACM, June 2005. Abstract: ‚Valuable 3D graphical models, such as high-resolution digital scans of cultural heritage objects, may require protection to prevent piracy or misuse, while still allowing for interactive display and manipulation by a widespread audience. This article considers some techniques for protecting 3D graphics content, and describes a remote rendering system that we have developed for sharing archives of 3D models while protecting the 3D geometry from unauthorized extraction. Additionally, we demonstrate how digitized 3D models can be used to generate accurate physical replicas of artworks such as Michelangelo’s David.‘

Here are two good comments to get the conversation going:

From DocBug’s Owning David, June 20, 2005: ‚[A]s academics Koller and Levoy understand how the free sharing of history, art and scholarly data contributes to society as a whole, but they also recognize that without some assurance that this data is not shared freely, the authorities who control access to the original works won’t allow any sharing. The museum would also like to see the data shared with fellow researchers, but don’t want to see it used to make replicas without their approval and license fees….What Koller and Levoy are protecting are not the museum’s property — the 3D models of David belong to the public at large. What they are protecting is a business model, one that is based on preventing the legitimate and legal sharing of information. Their opponents in this battle are neither thieves nor pirates, they are merely potential competitors for the museum’s gift shop, or customers the museum fears losing.‘

From Ernest Miller’s Free the David, June 20, 2005: ‚Piracy!? Theft!? I do not blame the authors of the paper, who are forced to agree with the relevant authorities in order to gain access to the works in the first place (and it is better that the works are scanned than not at all). I do blame the cultural authorities who dare to claim a gatekeeper function to the digital reproductions of these works that are the cultural heritage of the world. These works are not „owned“ by their representative cultural institutions, but held in trust for all mankind: a position of responsibility with a duty to preserve our common cultural heritage. A secondary duty is to provide open access to these works, consistent with the duty to preserve….When digital scans can provide everything but physical access, the true pirates and thieves are those who would deny such access. They may do so out of a misguided belief that they require such control in order to fund themselves, but this only means that they are essentially holding access to our cultural heritage hostage.‘ (My emphasis, KG)

From Peter Suber’s Open Access News
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/2005_06_19_fosblogarchive.html#111935638808644804

See also
http://docbug.com/blog/archives/000377.html


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