The Rights Of Reproducing Cultural Heritage


(by Augusto Palombini)

The rights of reproducing Cultural Heritage in the digital Era. An Italian Perspective


The spread of digital technology has led to a renewed phase within the debate on property rights in Cultural Heritage reproduction.

This topic is addressed in different ways, but it is currently under discussion both in Europe and USA. Italy holds a particular position in this debate, due to its  large concentration of ancient remains and  the peculiar structure of its laws.

The interesting experiments of  total open access to Cultural Heritage reproduction on the one hand, and  claims of the State Administration for  control of Cultural Heritage exploitation and a consequent income (in any sense) on the other, are equally valid arguments. At the same time the blurred distinction between the concepts of ‘reconstruction’ and ‘reproduction’, of ‘personal’ and ‘commercial’ use, and the philosophical and mathematical difficulties in defining what is exactly a ‘copy’ in the digital context, make the matter harder.

The paper aims to analyse this debate, and to make a contribution to a new method of considering the economic dimension of Cultural Heritage, taking into account  international discussion, while focusing on the situation in Italy, and trying to sum up the needs of the different subjects involved while expressing a proposal to resolve the problem.

Augusto Palombini (CNR – Itabc)

Keywords: IPR, 3D models, Cultural Heritage reproduction, digital assets.

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