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Creating Museum IP Policy in a Digital World

Hosted by the
Museum Computer Network Conference
and the
Canadian Heritage Information Network

Hilton Toronto Hotel
Saturday September 7, 9am-4pm

Free and Open to the Public

Registration Required: http://www.mcn.edu/mcn2002/register.htm

MCN Conference | Agenda | Speaker Biographies | Resources | Report

In a world where many content-providers are worried about digital misappropriation of material, and users are concerned about inaccessible, expensive or low-grade resources, how important is it for museums to have clear and fair intellectual property policy to monitor the use and distribution of digital content and how do they go about creating it? "Creating IP Policy in Museums," the subject of the next NINCH Copyright Town Meeting, will attempt to answer these questions.

This Copyright Town Meeting, presented at the Museum Computer Network (MCN) conference in Toronto, in collaboration with MCN and the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) will be held in the Hilton Toronto Hotel on Saturday September 7, 9am-4pm. The meeting is open to all and is free of charge but registration is required.

The Toronto Town Meeting will be part presentation, part practicum. It will open with several speakers defining what policy is, what core values it represents and why it is important for an institution to have an IP policy. A keynote address will situate the role of institutional policy within an international context. Museum legal expert Maria Pallante will then analyze the key issues to consider when preparing a policy.

In the second half of the meeting two practitioners will examine policy-building. Brian Porter will report on his experience at the Royal Ontario Museum, while Rachelle Brown of the Smithsonian Institution will examine the importance of understanding an institution's larger values in constructing policy. These talks will introduce the workshop component of the Meeting, at which participants will break into working groups to construct policy solutions to particular museum situations. The results of the working groups will be reviewed by a panel of all the speakers.

The focus of this meeting is designed to complement that of the NINCH Copyright Town Meeting, held November 2001 in Eugene, Oregon, on "Creating Policy: Copyright Policies in the University." Laura Gasaway, a key presenter and organizer of the Eugene meeting, is a featured speaker at this meeting. A report on the Eugene Town Meeting and workshop is available.

The NINCH Copyright Town Meetings seek to balance expert opinion and audience participation on the basics of copyright law, the implications of copyright online, recent changes in copyright law and practice, and practical issues related to the networking of cultural heritage materials. The program will include plenty of time for audience questions, comments and discussion.

Please register for this meeting on the MCN Conference registration page. If you are not otherwise attending the MCN conference, please still register online: complete your name, organization and email address, check the NINCH Town Hall Meeting option and type "no payment required" under credit card and expiration date. For questions, call 877.626.3800.

This series is made possible by a generous grant from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.



Welcome & Introductions
Leonard Steinbach, MCN President; CIO, Cleveland Museum of Art

David Green, Executive Director, NINCH


Why Policy: The University Experience
Laura N. Gasaway, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Distinctions Between Universities and Museums: Why Museums Need I.P. Policy
Rina Elster Pantalony, Legal Counsel, Department of Justice, Canada, representing the Canadian Heritage Information Network

Questions & comment


Christopher Hale, Partner, Blake, Cassels and Graydon, LLP., Toronto

Questions & comment



From I.P. Audit to Valuation and Management
Maria Pallante, Associate General Counsel, Guggenheim Museum/Foundation, New York


A hallmark of all NINCH Town Meetings, the open forum will give all attendees the opportunity to participate in an examination of the issues through prepared queries and informal discussion.



Putting Together a Museum's IP Policy: A Case Study
Brian Porter, Director, New Media Resources, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Constructing Values: What to Put into a Policy
Rachelle Browne, Assistant General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution

Policy Building Scenarios (download as MS Word document)

Tables of participants will work on three scenarios to

  • Identify the issues presented by the scenario.
  • Group the issues as Technology, Policy, Process or Organization Issues
  • Address other factors related to the scenario.
  • Reach consensus on how those issues would be reflected in an IP policy statement.
  • Draft an intellectual property policy statement based on the group consensus.
  • Record the statement.

Report Outs

Each table leader will present their issues and final draft statement.

OPEN FORUM: with the entire panel


Amalyah Keshet, Jerusalem Museum, Israel
Rina Pantalony, Canadian Heritage Information Network
Leonard Steinbach, Cleveland Museum of Art
Diane Zorich, Consultan

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