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Call for Papers

Audiovisual and Multimedia Section

Open access - on the horns of a dilemma between piracy and legality?

There are several obstacles to putting audiovisual and multimedia materials on the Internet. The material has to be digitized and adapted for Internet use. There are technical issues in terms of infrastructure, for example streaming audio, which is less complex than streaming video. The metadata and bibliographic control aspects may be as important as the audio or video content itself. In addition, copyright and licensing restrictions have to be considered.

With the current emphasis on digitization and preservation, it may seem paradoxical that the vast majority of audiovisual material on the web does not originate from any library or archive. Instead, it comes from commercial providers of free services such as YouTube, Spotify, Grooveshark, and numerous other websites. The fact that YouTube has become the world's second largest search engine reflects the vast number of users. In addition, numerous online stores such as the iTunes Store offer music and video for download directly to personal computers. In the last several years, services based on the BitTorrent protocol have been widely used, unfortunately mainly associated with the PirateBay and other illegal file sharing networks.

How can the librarian or archivist cope with the rapid increase in such Internet services? Can we learn something from the pirates and the commercial providers? Will copyright become an excuse for not publishing audiovisual materials on the web? Indeed, there is a relatively small number of audiovisual works in the public domain on the Internet. These issues need to be discussed. If no action is taken, future generations may not even know that we existed!

Providing access to information and resource sharing is the work of AVM professionals. Freedom of expression and open access are goals as well as parameters that indicate the level of success of library and information services. It is time for rethinking, and time for change! Proposals are invited for papers addressing the issues outlined here.

Please send a detailed abstract, in English, of your proposed paper (1 page or at least 300 words), plus relevant brief biographical information on its author(s)  via e-mail to:

Trond Valberg
E-mail: trond.valberg@nb.no

The abstracts will be reviewed by the Programme Committee, and successful proposals will be identified by the end of February 2010.
Full papers will be due by 26 April 2010 to allow time for the review and preparation of translations. If speakers cannot produce a full paper, they must at least prepare a substantial abstract, including references such as URLs and bibliographies, by this date.

IFLA's first preference continues to be a full paper however, and each full paper must be an original submission not published elsewhere, and no more than 20 double spaced A4 pages in length. The paper should be in one of the IFLA official languages.

At least one of the paper's authors must undertake to be present to deliver a summary of the paper (no more than 20 minutes, including immediate questions) during the Section's programme in Gothenburg.

It is hoped that simultaneous interpretation will be available for this session, but we strongly recommend that the presentation slides should be in English, even if the presentation is delivered in one of the other official languages. Authors will also be invited to participate in a panel discussion, along with their fellow authors, at the end of the programme.

The nature of this session's subject matter lends itself to the use of sound and projected imagery. The Committee would particularly welcome proposals which offer to use such materials, and will endeavour to ensure that the appropriate technology is available on the day of presentation.


All proposals must be in before 24 February 2010.

Please note

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation can be issued to authors/presenters if that is required.  Some national professional associations may be able to help fund certain expenses, and a small number of grants for conference attendance may be available.

Last update: 3 February 2010