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Europeana opens cultural dataset for re-use

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Europeana has opened up its dataset of over 20 million cultural objects for free re-use by apps developers, designers and other digital innovators.

The dataset is the descriptive information about Europe’s digitised treasures. The metadata is released under the Creative Commons CC0 Public Domain Dedication. This means that anyone can use the data for any purpose - creative, educational, commercial - with no restrictions. This release, which Europeana says is 'by far the largest one-time dedication of cultural data to the public domain using CC0', aims to boost the digital economy, providing electronic entrepreneurs with opportunities to create innovative apps and games for tablets and smartphones and to create new web services and portals.

Applying the CC0 waiver also means that Europeana’s metadata can now be used in Linked Open Data developments. This holds the potential to bring together data from Europe’s great libraries, museums and archives with data from other sectors such as tourism and broadcasting. The result could be a powerful knowledge generating engine for the 21st century.

Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission with responsibility for the Digital Agenda for Europe, commented: 'Open data is such a powerful idea, and Europeana is such a cultural asset, that only good things can result from the marriage of the two. People often speak about closing the digital divide and opening up culture to new audiences but very few can claim such a big contribution to those efforts as Europeana's shift to creative commons.'