Submissions/digitization of cultural heritage in Argentina

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010
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This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission

Digitization of cultural heritage in Argentina

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Beatriz Busaniche (Wikimedia Argentina - Vía Libre Foundation)

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)



Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Beatriz Busaniche - Wikimedia Argentina / Vía Libre Foundation (Argentina)

Personal homepage or blog

Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

Most of the cultural production of the 20th century is still under copyright, including books, music recordings, photographs, visual arts, cinema, and television. Current copyright and related rights systems are artificial barriers to knowledge sharing, conservation and dissemination of orphan works and cultural heritage from the last century. Consumers International's research considers Argentine Intellectual Property Law as the 6th worse copyright law in the world, regarding access, democratization and dissemination of knowledge. In this context, the discussion regarding digitization of cultural heritage and access to knowledge projects is urgent. Wikimedia Argentina is currently working on potential agreements with public institutions to try to find the way to digitize cultural heritage and use them in wikimedia projects. One of these institutions is the National Library and the other is The Public Radio and Television System in Argentina. The case of public television is particularly interesting.

The Argentine Public Television (Channel 7) has an enormous collection of tapes recorded during the last 50 years, since it was created, which are still under copyright and in danger of being damaged by time and careless treatment. Those tapes contain the most important moments of Argentine history of the last decades, including relevant archives from last dictatorship period (1976-1982). After buying technical equipment for the task, the digitization of these materials is now a legal challenge. Some of these tapes could be considered under Public Domain and some others could be considered as orphan works. Our main goal is digitizing those tapes and publishing them in Wikimedia Projects, but we still have to find the legal way to do so.

Other works that might be under some copyright, including the channel's, will also be digitized for the internal archive, and we will work with their digitization department to try releasing as much material as possible to the Public Domain, or at least under a non-privative license. In any case, the digitization of the material will prevent unavoidable deterioration, and if not before, it will be released to the Public Domain when the material's copyright expire.

Categorization of these works is also a big issue, where we expect, our wikipedia experience could be of great help.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

Knowledge and Collaboration

Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Beatriz Busaniche -Yes

Slides or further information (optional)
Digitization of cultural heritage in Argentina. Slides for Wikimania 2010

You can check some examples of what we are doing at:

  • Raúl Alfonsin entry

Raúl alfonsin was the first democratic president in Argentina after the last dictatorship. We uploaded a video with his first speech at National Parliament, in 1983.
  • Juan Domingo Perón entry

We inserted a piece of a speech done in 1973, one year before his death in 1974.
  • Proceso de Reorganización Nacional entry (about last military dictatorship in Argentina)
we uploades the last report from military government (1983)

These three videos are of high historic value in Argentina.

Interested attendees

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