Leadership investigate

Europe needs to open up to the digital value of its cultural legacy

Open licences for heritage data can realise real social and economic benefits...

...open data gives them a strong strategic advantage, and is the way the full value of the cultural legacy that is held in the public realm can be realised. And they are not alone in seeing the potential of reusing cultural data for commercial purposes.

European Union

The European Union's 2003 PSI Directive needs to be extended to allow the commercial reuse of data from cultural heritage institutionsPhoto: Shutterstock

In a 2010 green paper, Unlocking the Potential of Cultural and Creative Industries, the EC itself committed to increasing the capacity to experiment with cultural assets to promote a powerful creative economy. This commitment shows that policy makers too are starting to recognise the power of cultural open data to the knowledge economy.

This recognition entails a shift in policy makers' thinking about the responsibilities of cultural institutions in the new digital era. Opening up data should be seen again as an important part of the raison d'