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Memory of the World

International Advisory Committee
Sub-Committee for Marketing


Notes from the
First Meeting of the Marketing Sub-Committee
Oslo, Norway 10-12 July 1996

The Sub-Committee
The vision
Achieving the vision
Patrons of "Memory of the World"
Programme sponsors
Specific sponsors
Acceptance within the community of librarians and archivists
A subscription scheme based on major libraries
National tie-ins
Listings
Merchandising
Securing sponsors
Legal framework


The Sub-Committee

The Marketing Sub-Committee is composed of Professor Jon Bing (Norwegian Council of Cultural Affairs, Head) as Chair, Ms Sandy Norman (International Federation of Library Associations) as Rapporteur, Ms Isabelle Rambaud (International Council of Archives), Mr Bendik Rugaas (National Librarian, Norway), Mr Fathi Saleh (Cultural Counselor to the Embassy of Egypt, France), and Mr Ian E. Wilson (Archivist of Ontario, Canada). The ""Memory of the World"" Programme Officer Abdelaziz Abid and Ms Ingunn Kvisterøy, Deputy Secretary-General of the Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, attended the meeting.


The vision

The Sub-Committee emphasized that the vision behind the ""Memory of the World"" Programme was firm and clear. The mission to preserve and communicate the most significant documentary heritage of the different nations and cultures of the world to the international community and to the future, employing information technology, is readily understood and appeals to the imagination. It is a unique and sound feature of the Programme and one should place one's trust in this vision when promoting the Programme and seeking economic support.


Achieving the vision

The Sub-Committee complimented UNESCO on the high quality of the design of the logo and the print material that it had prepared for this initiative. They laid the foundation for a successful marketing plan. The Proclamation of the First International ""Memory of the World"" Conference noted that the forthcoming millennium focuses media attention on the documentary record as the basic source of understanding of the developments of the past century and millennium. It provides a unique opportunity for the establishment of the "Memory of the World" Programme. The first, or Establishment Phase, of the Programme should be planned to take full advantage of this opportunity. This phase should focus on several objectives:

The Sub-Committee discussed the structure of the Programme. The components are clear:

In addressing the financial requirements of individual projects, several models are possible - outright grants, partnerships with other funders or loans. Properly conceived and marketed, certain computerization projects can earn revenue. Part of such revenue should be used to conserve the original materials and some should help defray the overall costs of the "Memory of the World" Programme. To achieve the Programme's potential, creative partnerships and appropriate revenue generation must be part of every project. To establish the image and reputation of the "Memory of the World" Programme, the initial years should be devoted to emphasizing identification and designation of the most important library and archives holdings around the world. The co-operation of the major libraries and archives is vital. The projects selected for support must be inclusive of all cultures and convey the compelling vision of the "Memory of the World" initiative to all who hear of them. The Sub-Committee noted that few of the projects currently under consideration achieve this level of recognition and that in this initial phase, a proactive effort will be required to place the Programme on a footing that will attract and deserve world-wide recognition.


Patrons of "Memory of the World"

The Sub-Committee noted with interest the idea of securing a small, but exclusive, number of Patrons of the "Memory of the World" Programme. Several names for such patrons were put forward in the discussion; at this stage they should be considered merely as examples.

It was emphasized that before such persons were approached for patronage, one should have a very clearly defined plan. From one viewpoint, one would like to have programme sponsors before approaching the patrons: yet patrons may be one of the features that would attract programme sponsors. The question as to the order in which to organize the contacts with possible patrons and sponsors was not answered by the Sub-Committee, but the "package" to be proposed to the sponsors ideally should also be available when approaching the possible patrons. The patrons would not be expected to do much more than lend their name and support to the Programme, but hopefully they would participate in a videogram or another presentation. It was suggested that a broadcasting company would probably be willing to finance the production of such a videogram featuring the patrons and presenting the Programme, provided the company got a share of the rights to such a programme.


Programme sponsors

The Sub-Committee considered it appropriate to attempt attracting some major global firms as programme sponsors, the number indicated being between 10-20 companies. These would be given the right for a period of, say, five years to associate their products with a legend indicating that they were programme sponsors for the "Memory of the World" (in contrast to sponsors for more limited efforts for a certain project, or within one country, see below). They should be given access to the sponsors to the degree allowed by the agreement between the sponsors and the Programme and one would be able to introduce the sponsors to decision-makers within the framework of the Programme.

In the Establishment Phase, sponsors may also be active partners offering technology and marketing expertise as well as funds. The sponsors should be approached with a "package" including a presentation of the Programme (the promotion leaflet, perhaps prototype CD-ROMs), the "faces" fronting the Programme (see below), a review of the possible projects to be undertaken within the Programme (a re-drafted version of the "Pending requests and project proposals" pro memoria). Potential sponsors to be approached should have a certain affinity with the vision inherent in the idea behind the "Memory of the World" Programme. Examples of possible sponsors would be:

The Sub-Committee was aware that the companies it named emphasized US-based ones and that a better balance should be sought. One should also give serious thought to the advantages that could be offered to the Programme sponsors. The Sub-Committee considered the draft Internal Guidelines for Private Sector Fund-Raising in Favour of UNESCO (Annex IX). It was felt that the exploration of UNESCO's name and reputation would be valuable and that access to governmental decision-makers within the framework of the Programme might be of interest [items (i) and (iv) of the first item of summarized commercial interests]. The contribution should certainly be acknowledged and a certificate or similar issued to confirm the support. There might also be an interest in joint projects.

The Sub-Committee considered that for substantial contributions, the sponsors should be able to use in their advertising the "Memory of the World" logo and words like "official sponsor" for a limited number of years. But the main incentive would be, the Sub-Committee felt, the possibility of associating the products or services of the sponsor with the Programme and its logo. This actually feeds back to the need to make the Programme and its logo well known and respected. Before approaching corporate sponsors, a suitable 6-year, or multi-year, project plan with defined objectives, a multi-year budget, specific guidelines of projects and partnerships and clear expectations of UNESCO and the role of the private sponsors should be prepared. We have elements for this, but many parts remains vague.


Specific sponsors

Sponsors should also be sought for specific projects and countries. National Committees should be encouraged to find national programme sponsors. This would follow more or less the same lines as the Programme sponsors.

The Sub-Committee also briefly considered each of the specific proposals in the pro memoria on "Pending requests and projects proposals". An improvised statistic was drawn up, which indicated that a majority of the projects had African or Asian background (24 out of the 39) and that 15 were concerned with manuscripts. There certainly is a bias in favour of countries that need the economic support offered through the Programme. The Sub-Committee sees no problem in this, provided that countries where national funding is available can have their national projects included in the Programme (see below). In several of the projects, sponsors are already indicated, among them the agencies for developing countries in several developed countries. The projects are currently also in a very different state with respect to budget, project organization, etc. It is suggested that those projects to be presented to possible programme sponsors should be tested against certain minimum criteria in order for them to be perceived as realistic and important. As an example of a project well suited for a sponsor, the Sub-Committee identified "From Baghdad to Isfahan - the Book of Herbs". The Sub-Committee indicated that a pharmaceutical company would be interested in having its trade name associated with the publication of a facsimile in paper or machine-readable medium of such a rare and beautiful book.


Acceptance within the community of librarians and archivists

The Sub-Committee emphasized that the success of the Programme would rely upon deep penetration of the community (or communities) of librarians and archivists. It was indicated that the current promotion had not been sufficiently successful in engaging the individual members of the community. The Sub­Committee noted that a number of computerization initiatives are being undertaken by various libraries and archives around the world, frequently in partnership with a private corporation. Many of these are structured to repay expenses over time or to generate a profit. Some of these deal with collections which by popular consensus would be seen as an integral part of our collective memory. The "Memory of the World" Programme needs to develop some clear benefits to attract such initiatives under its umbrella. The Sub-Committee doubted that general flyers or leaflets would be assigned sufficient importance to carry the message deep into the community. It was suggested, however, that one might want to approach some "faces" or "names" to develop such material. Among the names (or "faces") suggested were Umberto Eco and Catherine Deneuve, as well as Nobel Prize laureates.


A subscription scheme based on major libraries

Related to the issue set out above was the suggestion to directly involve the national libraries of different countries, in addition to major public or university libraries. It was suggested that one might try to create a subscription scheme among the national libraries for CD-ROMs produced within the Programme. This might indeed provide the Programme with a certain guaranteed edition of each CD-ROM that would make the economic risk of producing such a product sufficiently small to make it possible to carry out projects with a relatively modest contribution from sponsors. This would also create a distribution system which would make sponsors more prone to take an interest in joint projects, etc, as there would be a warranty for global distribution of the final product.

The Sub­Committee suggested that consideration be given to designing a series format for all CD­ROM projects under this Programme. The external appearance of the packaging should follow a defined format and the contents should have a similar structure, using for the introductory and descriptive material in every instance the language appropriate to the original document recorded, as well as English.


National tie-ins

The vision of the "Memory of the World" Programme is shared by many within the area of cultural policies and several countries with sufficient national resources are attempting to realize the same ideals based on their own budgets. There should be a possibility for such projects to apply to the Programme in order to achieve the status of a "Memory of the World" project. This would presuppose some sort of assessing procedure. There should not be an automatic issuing of such a label: it should only be awarded where the - perhaps still to be properly specified - criteria for the Programme qualify the project as part of the "Memory of the World" Programme. As such an assessment procedure would involve costs, one should also consider whether applications should be associated with a fee, a fee that perhaps not only would cover the costs of the assessment of the national project, but also contribute towards covering the general costs of the Programme. This item is not, however, the most important aspect of the national tie-ins, i.e. the fact that the "Memory of the World" Programme should not be the name for projects that have a certain funding, but rather projects that have a certain objective, e.g. creating a library of the world's most significant documentary heritage.


Listings

The Sub-Committee identified a certain potential in two of the proposed lists drawn up as part of the Programme. One was the "Memory of the World Register". This would list both projects carried out within the Programme and nationally-funded projects that were accepted as part of the Programme. It would be important that those projects that found their place on the list should mutually support their prestige and value for the world community. The second was the list of Lost Memory - Libraries and Archives destroyed in the Twentieth Century. The Sub-Committee felt that it reflected the other side of the coin with respect to the Programme and therefore would give a substantial contribution to the promotion of the Programme if made sufficiently available to the public.

Both lists will be part of the "Memory of the World" web site to be opened later this year.

Merchandising

The Sub-Committee also recommended that general strategies for merchandising be considered. Many examples of merchandising were mentioned, including:


Securing sponsors

The Sub-Committee agreed that the activities sketched in this memorandum would require an experienced organization to offer and negotiate sponsorship contracts with possible sponsors and to organize other activities indicated. Though no preference was voiced during the meeting, the Sub-Committee welcomed the initiative of Mr Rugaas and Mr Bing to have preliminary talks with the Sponsor Service organization responsible for fund-raising for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer and currently establishing an international network.


Legal framework

Rights clearance. Although most of the works to be computerized will be out of copyright, there is still the barrier of having to ask the owners of the physical medium containing the works for permission to use them. It was reported that many owners fear "cultural tourism" which could potentially damage their tourist industry. If the works can be seen on a CD­ROM or on the network, the owners think that the tourists will not make the effort to visit the real thing. The Sub­Committee agreed that the opposite was true ­ more people will be encouraged to visit the originals. It will spark enthusiasm. Once the works have been digitized, depending on the complexity of the product, there are other primary copyrights to consider: publisher, editor, story­boarder, commentators, translators, sound production, music rights, composers' rights, performers' rights (voice-overs, etc.) phonogram producers' rights, software producers' rights and so forth.

Copyright concerns. The Sub­Committee addressed the possible copyright problems. There is the problem common to all publishers: how much copying will damage the market? Easy access to the material is a prerequisite of the Programme: so, because it will be easily available, many copies or extracts could be made. It was agreed to offer a mixture of free and pay viewing for on-line access. A different system of payment was needed for those who wish to use it for research or private study. Also discussed was whether it was necessary to use security devices on products such as watermarking, tattooing or fingerprinting. The question was also raised about photographers' rights: is there a copyright if an image is scanned as the scanned work will just be a facsimile copy? Similarly, is there a copyright if a digital camera is used? The quality of resolution was raised as a factor in copying. It is possible to offer very high resolution quality images. It was agreed that we should offer the highest resolution possible, even though this is costly in money and storage. However, at present it is impossible to receive high resolution quality on-line.

Rights management. As a rule 60% of the published price covers marketing and communication. The question was raised as to whether the owners of the physical media should be entitled to royalties. Another problem to consider was how to share a percentage of a product when it is distributed on-line. It was agreed that contractual arrangements were important to ensure fairness to all parties. It was felt that owners were likely to want a far higher share because of the fear of the loss of tourism.

The example of two Egyptian CD-ROMs was cited. Consideration had to be given to the owners, the copyright owners (story­boarders, publishers), derived material and on-line access. The proceeds were split 40:30:30 between the owners of the manuscripts, the developers and the publishers.

A decision should be made regarding rights administration. It was agreed that a contract or memorandum was necessary for each clearance. UNESCO will have to put a representative sample of images on the network.

Ethical Issues. The Sub­Committee discussed certain ethical issues. Technology is available which would allow images to be manipulated and improved. It was agreed that for primary material there should be no such manipulation. The raw data should be available for scholars and researchers. Adding editorial material with manipulations could be considered. The aim should be to ensure that entire files are included where possible.

In general, it was agreed that use should be non­commercial. Permission to exploit a work commercially should be obtained from UNESCO. Any money generated from commercial exploitation should go to owners to be used for preservation of the original manuscripts or archives, etc. Owners should receive remuneration for the benefit of the collection only, not for personal gain. Unauthorized use should be discouraged.

It was agreed that guidelines and a code of ethics should be developed. For instance, UNESCO should avoid dealing with disputed material - property whose ownership is controversial - e.g., war booty. However, the Sub­Committee appreciated that a great deal of material is subject to international dispute. What is happening to it may well be observed, but it is not in our remit to interfere.

Oslo 30/05/97
Jon Bing





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11 September 1997