|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Friday, September 30, 2016
|Literature goes online for free in Norway; 135,000 works now online, will eventually reach 250,000|
Book pages are digitised at the National Library of Norway on December 18, 2013 in Oslo. Most books published in Norway before 2001 will be available for free on the Internet thanks to an initiative that might have found the formula to reconcile authors with the web. From masterworks by controversial Knut Hamsun to the first detective novels by genre king Jo Nesboe, the National Library of Norway is currently digitising tens of thousands of books protected by copyright to offer them for free online with the consent of the copyright holders. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN.
By: Pierre-Henry Deshayes
OSLO (AFP).- Most books published in Norway before 2001 are going online for free thanks to an initiative that may have found the formula to reconcile authors with the web.
At a time when the publishing world is torn over its relationship to the Internet -- which has massively expanded access to books but also threatens royalty revenues -- the National Library of Norway is digitising tens of thousands of titles, from masterworks by Nobel laureate Knut Hamsun to the first detective novels by Nordic noir king Jo Nesboe.
The copyright-protected books are available free online -- with the consent of the copyright holders -- at the website bokhylla.no ("bookshelf" in Norwegian).
The site currently features 135,000 works and will eventually reach 250,000, including Norwegian translations of foreign books.
National Library head Vigdis Moe Skarstein said the project is the first of its kind to offer free online access to books still under copyright, which in Norway expires 70 years after the author's death.
"Many national libraries digitise their collections for conservation reasons or even to grant access to them, but those are (older) books that are already in the public domain," she said.
"We thought that, since we had to digitise all our collection in order to preserve it for the next 1,000 years, it was also important to broaden access to it as much as possible."
The National Library has signed an agreement with Kopinor, an umbrella group representing major authors and publishers through 22 member organisations.
For every digitised page that goes online, the library pays a predetermined sum to Kopinor, which will be responsible for distributing the royalties among its members under a system that is still being worked out.
The per-page amount decreases gradually as the collection expands -- from 0.36 kroner (0.04 euros, $0.06) last year to 0.33 kroner next year.
"A bestseller is treated on an equal footing with a regional almanac from the 1930s," said Yngve Slettholm, head of Kopinor.
A second life
Some measures have been implemented to protect the authors: "Bokhylla" does not feature works published after 2000, access is limited to Internet users in Norway and foreign researchers, and the books cannot be downloaded.
An author or publishing house that objects can also request the removal of a book, but relatively few have done so.
Only 3,500 books have been removed from the list, and most of them are not bestselling novels, but rather school and children's books -- two very profitable genres for publishers.
Among all the works eligible to appear on "Bokhylla" by household names Stephen King, Ken Follett, John Steinbeck, Jo Nesboe and Kari Fossum, only a few are missing.
So far, sales do not appear to have been affected by the project. Instead, "Bokhylla" often gives a second life to works that are still under copyright but sold out at bookshops, said National Library head Moe Skarstein.
"Books are increasingly becoming perishable goods," she said.
"When the novelty effect fades out, they sink into oblivion."
Eight-five percent of all books available on the site have been accessed by users at some point, proving that digitising does not only benefit major works.
While many countries' attempts at digital libraries have gotten stuck in complex copyright discussions, Norway has been successful partly due to the limited number of stakeholders -- the library and Kopinor -- and the near-universal coverage of their agreement, which even includes authors who are not Kopinor members.
"In other countries, you need an agreement among all the copyright holders," said Slettholm, the head of Kopinor.
"But it's hard to find all of them: old authors that nobody knows, publishing houses that closed in the 1960s, every illustrator, every photographer."
"Instead of spending our money on trying to find the copyright holders, we prefer to give it to them," Moe Skarstein said.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
January 21, 2014
Prado Museum analyses the rise, evolution and decline of the subject of the "Furias"
Royal and aristocratic heirlooms from important European dynasties to be auctioned by Sotheby's London
Rembrandt unravelled: Seven new books provide new insights into Rembrandt's etchings
Joseph Wright of Derby portrait donated to the nation under the Cultural Gifts Scheme
Literature goes online for free in Norway; 135,000 works now online, will eventually reach 250,000
Three American art exhibitions from the 1960's to today open at the Musée d'art moderne Saint-Étienne Métropole
Exhibition of new photographs by David LaChapelle opens at Paul Kasmin Gallery
Turkish masterpieces from important collections on view at Antik A.S. in Istanbul
1960s fashion sketches 100% sold at Palm Beach Modern's Jan. 11 auction of Tiziani: Lagerfeld+Liz archive
Highly acclaimed new video work by Willie Doherty on view at Kerlin Gallery in Dublin
Spink 2014 January auction of rare stamps, covers, coins and banknotes achieved excellent results
Sotheby's sets new auction record for single malt whisky selling it for US$628,205
Riga launches stint as one of two European capitals of culture with an emotional ceremony
SP-Arte announces list of galleries for 2014 and 'Solo' a new exhibitor sector
The Mosaic Rooms in London opens two exhibitions
2 m² of Fashion: Lookout Gallery in Warsaw displays works of artists who seldom appear in galleries
Solo exhibition of new work by Yngve Holen on view at Stuart Shave/Modern Art
Neuberger Museum puts public spin on once private diary
Solo exhibition by celebrated Chinese artist Chen Fei opens at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
Time in a bottle: The history of feminine luxury glass explored in "Bohemian Boudoir"
Auschwitz museum launches online Holocaust awareness in Arabic, Farsi
"A Tale: Max Pellegrini and Italo Cremona" opens at the Italian Cultural Institute of New York
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Stone Age mummy Oetzi still revealing secrets, 25 years on
2.- Tunisian remains found by British researchers prove 100,000-year human presence
3.- Rembrandt's four earliest paintings reunited for the first time at the Ashmolean
4.- Baltimore Museum of Art is one of only two major U.S. museums to feature an installation by transgender artists
5.- Archaeologists find 2,000-year-old human skeleton at Mediterranean shipwreck
6.- Digitally unwrapped scroll reveals earliest Old Testament scripture
7.- Rich London residents angry over Tate Modern voyeurs
8.- V&A Museum chief quits to fight nationalism post-Brexit
9.- Exhibition in Turin celebrates the most important family of Flemish artists
10.- Pointillism is now the focus of a high-calibre exhibition at the Albertina in Vienna
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.