Tag: Access

EC Adopts Proposal for a Directive on Orphan Works

27 May 2011 – On 24 May 2011, the European Commission adopted a Proposal for a Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works with a view to establishing common rules on the digitisation and online display of so-called orphan works. Orphan works are works like books, published articles and films that are still protected by copyright but whose authors are not known or cannot be located or contacted to obtain copyright permissions.

According to a study ACE carried out among its member archives in 2009, about 21% of the films held in Europe’s film archives and cinematheques are estimated to be orphan works. But with no common rules available to make the digitisation and online display of orphan works legally possible, they are doomed to remain untouched and therefore inaccessible. In order to proceed with large-scale digitisation projects such as the Europeana portal, common guidelines on how to deal with such works are necessary.

The Proposal forsees a new EU law providing lawful, cross-border online access to orphan works. Libraries, museums and archives in the EU country where a work was first published would be required to conduct a thorough search to find the copyright holder before creating a digital version. If the rightholder cannot be identified or located, the work would be identified as an “orphan” and that status would apply throughout the EU so that the work could be made available online without prior authorisation until the owner is identified and found.

Further information on the Proposal for a Directive on orphan works as well as other language versions of the related documents are available here.

New VoD Platform for Dutch Film and AV Heritage

7 April 2011Ximon.nl, the new online streaming platform of the Dutch film and TV heritage institutions, was launched today. Over 650 hours of high quality feature films, documentaries and TV drama are now available for online viewing. The earliest work dates from 1901 and the latest productions were made in 2010. Prices start from 0.99 eurocents for a video. Ximon’s platform automatically adjusts the quality of the video stream, even up to full HD (1080p), depending on the end-users’ bandwidth and local computer power. Initiators EYE Film Institute Netherlands (Film) and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (TV) plan to make their whole digitised repository available through Ximon in the next couple of years. Selected films from the EYE Film Institute will also be made available via the European Film Gateway.

Swedish Film Archival Material on filmarkivet.se

20 February 2011 – As of 10 February 2011, more than 300 archival films are available online for free at filmarkivet.se, a joint project between the Swedish Film Institute and the National Library of Sweden. The majority of the films originates from the Swedish Film Institute’s Archival Film Collections; mainly shorts, non-fiction films, newsreels and commercials – films that reflect the transformation of Swedish society over the last century.

The selection of films is being done by an editorial board with representatives from both institutions. Many of the films selected are virtually unknown but the locations, events and people depicted in them are very familiar. Each film is presented with a short synopsis and production credits. Many also contain longer texts to put the films into context.

Besides an English project description, filmarkivet.se  is available in Swedish only.

EYE Launches Website Instant Cinema

8 February 2011Instant Cinema is a new global online platform for experimental and art film, launched by EYE Film Institute Netherlands during the International Film Festival Rotterdam end of January. The goal of the project, initiated by filmmaker and multimedia expert René Daalder, is to make the remarkable works of experimental filmmakers and artists accessible to audiences worldwide. The platform features both classics from the experimental genre as well as new films by young filmmakers. Instant Cinema is a community website that enables filmmakers to create custom-designed portfolio pages, where they can upload and manage their own content. Curators, museums and other institutions can also upload films to the website, create online exhibitions, cross-link to each other, and react to one another. To view the full press release, please click here.

Austrian Film Museum Publishes Schlemmer Frame Collection

28 April 2010 – The Schlemmer Frame Collection is the property of Edith Schlemmer, the former chief archivist of the Austrian Film Museum. Mrs. Schlemmer had received it in the 1960s as a donation from an anonymous collector, and decided to make it available to the Austrian Film Museum for purposes of research and publication.


This little treasure consists of 2254 frames and fragments of films, mostly silent and mostly from the period between 1910 and 1920, many of which are believed lost. The collection has now been digitized and ordered, with the aim of identifying and cataloging the individual items as well as preserving the original order. At present, 35% of the collection have been identified. The process of research and identification is ongoing and will presumably continue for several years. As a parallel endeavour, a visual database of these beautiful images has been created and can be accessed here.

Although many film archives are in possession of these types of collections, it is the first time that one of them receives such detailed attention from researchers. The aim of the Austrian Film Museum is to make these images accessible to the larger public, to enable everyone to enjoy the colors and photography of early cinema, to constitute a historical resource for archivists and researchers, and to enlarge the debate about open archives and “orphan” collections held in those archives.

More information



Danish Film Institute Launches Carl TH. Dreyer Website

8 June 2010 – Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968) is one of the icons of international cinema. In May 2010, the Danish Film Institute launched a new website on Dreyer – generally considered the greatest Danish filmmaker of all time – and his work.

Audiences around the world are invited to explore the full extent of Dreyer’s ingenious art through a rich collection of original material and fresh perspectives contributed by Danish and international advocates of the filmmaker’s legacy.

http://www.carlthdreyer.dk