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What are the barriers to open culture? Here’s what the CC community has to say

Open Culture

What are the barriers to open culture? What challenges do cultural heritage institutions — such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs) — face in making their collections openly accessible online? How could Creative Commons support institutions in addressing these challenges and taking part in better sharing of cultural heritage?

In search of answers, we looked at past research, notably Andrea Wallace’s Barriers to Open Access · Open GLAM, and asked more than 30 experts in the open culture movement. You can watch what they told us in our CC Open Culture VOICES vlog series. Here’s a small sample of what we heard:

“A number of imbalances related to power, priority, interests, and resources can facilitate or impede participation in digitization and open access initiatives…” — Andrea Wallace

“…we need to consider what openness online really means and who the audiences are. Are they mostly privileged audiences? Are they mostly people who have access to very expensive laptops and mobile phones? Or is this truly an open culture that can be accessed anywhere, anytime by all people around the world?” — Temi Odumosu

“Another perceived barrier is that [GLAMs] are missing out on opportunities to generate income from the collections.” — Dafydd Tudur

“Open GLAM requires resources, expertise, and investment in rights management and copyright, which are complex.” — Douglas McCarthy

We identified three main clusters of barriers: 

Read the full report.

?Do you face these or other barriers? Do you have ideas about how CC could help GLAMs overcome these barriers to opening up culture? Reach out and let us know: Fill out this short form or write to us at and share your ideas and opportunities to overcome these barriers. 

Posted 22 July 2022