May 23, 2022

Cultural Heritage: DPLA and Europeana Launch, 11 Standardized Statements Available

Here the Full Text of Today’s Launch Announcement:

2016-04-14_10-56-51In May 2015, the International Rights Statements Working Group released two white papers with our recommendations for establishing standardized rights statements for describing copyright and reuse status of digital cultural heritage materials, and the enabling technical infrastructure for those statements.

After working for nearly a year to implement the recommendations of the white papers, the Digital Public Library of America and Europeana are proud to announce the launch of

In partnership with Creative CommonsKennisland and key stakeholders of the DPLA and Europeana networks, is a collaborative approach to rights statements that can be used to communicate the copyright status of cultural objects.  As aggregators of cultural heritage materials, this work is key to both DPLA and Europeana, as we both seek to share clear and accurate information about copyright status with our users.

In this cooperative effort, we have built a flexible system of rights statements that allows our contributing cultural heritage partners, who hold the digital works, to clearly communicate to users what they can or cannot do with the objects they discover.  Use of the statements also means that use of the data can become more standardized across the world.

There are three categories of rights statements: Statements for works that are in copyright, statements for works that are not in copyright, and statements for works where the copyright status is unclear. The statements provide users with easy to understand, high-level information about the copyright and re-use status of digital objects.

The rights statements have been designed with both human users and machine users, such as search engines, in mind, and are published as a linked data vocabulary. Each rights statement has its own Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).

The Digital Public Library of America plans to begin implementing these unique rights statements with our partners in the summer of 2016, and those efforts are expected to continue into 2017.  Europeana will integrate the new rights statements into its existing Licensing Framework in the second half of 2016 after having consulted with their contributing institutions.

The work of the International Rights Statements Working Group has been funded in large part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.  The working group wishes to acknowledge and thank the Knight Foundation for support of this important work.  Thanks also goes to the European Commission as the funder the Europeana DSI project, which facilitated this work.

Direct to Eleven Rights Statements

A DPLA, Europeana, and Creative Commons Working Group Release White Papers on Establishing International & Interoperable Rights Statements

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.