Virtual Reality Materials and Experiences

   Endangered large

Virtual reality (VR) refers to a set of technologies which build on existing 3D rendering technologies, with the aim of creating experiences which completely immerse a user in a virtual environment. The related term of Immersive Media (also known by the acronym XR) refers to a set of technologies used to create experiences, which either completely immerse a user in a virtual environment (Virtual Reality), augment the real world with virtual elements (Augmented Reality) or combine elements of the two (Mixed Reality). Key technologies include headsets, tracking systems, real-time 3D software and 360 video.

Group: Media Art

New Entry

Consensus Decision

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance and Impact

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on a large group of people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve / Inevitability

It would require a major effort to prevent or reduce losses in this group, including the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Oculus Rift, VR tours, art installations

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions lack of established frameworks and tools; technology is relatively poorly understood in the digital preservation domain; many of the technologies relied upon are proprietary; technology is seen as inherently fragile and therefore risky to collect and preserve; emulators do not currently support XR applications; expected to be difficult and costly to migrate, a process itself dependent on access to vulnerable source materials.

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Effective replication; emulation; strong technical documentation; preservation pathway; good descriptive cataloguing; trusted repository.

2021 Review

This is a new 2021 entry submitted through the open nomination process. These VR technologies are finding use in many sectors including archaeology, architecture, contemporary art, documentary film, gaming, forensics, science and engineering. While these technologies are not new per se, having experienced a first wave in the 1990s, they have experienced renewed interest recently as a result of a new generation of hardware. There are connections between this entry and others relating to both Media Art and Gaming but has been included as its own entry because the Jury wanted to emphasize the issues of preservation that pertain to the interconnected set of specific hardware and software components that access to XR experiences is contingent on.  VR is challenging to document due to the individual nature of the experience, and components are tending to become rapidly obsolete, due to a fast rate of technological change as the industry pushes newer, higher fidelity hardware and software. This results in the potential to lose access to XR software applications, as old VR applications can no longer communicate with new XR hardware. The reliance on proprietary software and hardware components as well as the lack of industry standards poses a further risk.

Additional Jury Comments

The current wave of materials made using XR technologies represent a unique point in time for the continued development of the technology and therefore represent a significant piece of computing history. Individual materials/experiences created using XR technologies present their own significance beyond this, which, noted elsewhere in this entry, can be represented in a wide range of sectors.

The impacts of the loss of access to virtual reality materials could be widely felt, given their wide-ranging uses across many sectors — most notably collections and archives containing materials accessed using these technologies. Simultaneously there is a risk of a loss of understanding of this technologies' development during the 2010-present period, which is likely to be of historical significance in and of itself.

See also:

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Published Research Data Appended to Journal Articles

   Endangered large

Closed research data sets produced and documented in accordance with good practice and simply appended to a journal article or transferred to a repository which does not have sufficient subject-matter expertise or funding commitment to ensure reliable or ongoing preservation for the long term.

Group: Research Outputs

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Trend towards reduced risk

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a small effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the deployment of proven preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Data sets added to papers in repositories that are designed primarily for papers; electronic journals offering data sets without obvious preservation capacity; institutional repositories servicing highly complex scientific data sets with insufficient subject-matter expertise.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Unstable funding or revenues; poorly designed migration or normalization processes; poorly formed ingest and quality assurance procedures; rapid churn of staff; incoherent patterns of subject matter; lack of domain knowledge; no or very small numbers of users; weak or absent collecting policy; deposit to ensure minimal compliance with funder mandate; limited or dysfunctional data management planning.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Clear preservation planning; repository development roadmap; ability to transfer collections or share metadata with subject repositories or portals; strong user base; demonstrable re-use of data; clear collecting policy; data management planning early in data lifecycle.

2021 Review

This 2019 entry was previously introduced in 2017 under ‘Research Data’, though without explicit reference to the research data appended to journal articles. In 2019, the Jury split the ‘Research Data’ entry into a range of contexts for research outputs including this addition. The entry draws attention to services which take upon themselves commitments to preserve research data, but which may not be able to deliver those promises through lack of capability. The 2021 Jury agreed with the endangered classification but commented on the improvements and initiatives towards preservation of research data outputs, with good practice documentation and replication in this space (e.g. collaborations with publishers and repositories, LOCKSS,CLOCKS, etc). For these reasons the 2021 trend is towards reduced risk.

Additional Jury Comments

Research data is complex and has specific requirements for documentation which may only be known to subject matter experts. However well intended, it is risky for institutions to attempt to replicate that level of expertise across all the domains within the institution, and it can be hard for smaller publishers to make commitments to sustain data in the long term.

Case studies or examples:

  • One example of publishers encouraging repository deposits is the FAIRsharing Collaboration with DataCite and Publishers. See: McQuilton, P., Sansone, S.A., Cousijn, H., Cannon, M., Chan, W.M., Carnevale, I., Cranston, I., Edmunds, S., Everitt, N. and Ganley, E., (2019) FAIRsharing Collaboration with DataCite and Publishers: Data Repository Selection, Criteria That Matter, online at https://osf.io/m2bce/

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Recordings of Video Gameplay Uploaded to Online Platforms

   Endangered large

Recordings of game playing and e-sports that show how games are experienced and played, especially multi-user online games and tournaments.

Group: Gaming

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Trend towards greater risk

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Material uploaded to Amazon Twitch, game channels on YouTube and other playback services

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Controversies around intellectual property rights; lack of offline backup; changing business model of providers; limited recognition of cultural and historic value of game play; over dependence on goodwill subsidy of ad-hoc community; lack of preservation know-how at service providers; dependency on bespoke hardware or interfaces.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Offline backup; managed intellectual property rights; players and audiences invested in data

2021 Review

This entry was added in 2019 as a subset of an entry made in 2017 for ‘Gaming,’ which the Jury split into four more discrete entries. There are overlaps with the social media entries, except this category specifically draws attention to gaming and e-sports and therefore is a subset of both. By including as a separate entry, the 2019 Jury encouraged greater consideration of the cultural and historic value that such recordings are likely to acquire as well as the technical and economic challenges to preservation. The content is not particularly distinctive in technical terms, but there are aggravating circumstances, namely an almost complete reliance on commercial third parties (Google/YouTube and Amazon/Twitch) for the infrastructure around video capture and hosting. As the majority of this material is experienced and hosted on user-driven and ephemeral platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, it is less 'collectable' than the actual games and is unlikely to exist in private or public collections. Involves platforms that the digital preservation sector does not have much experience working with, e.g., Twitch. For these reasons, the 2012 Trend is towards greater risk.

Additional Jury Comments

Copyright claims on video content by publishers such as Nintendo - while less prevalent now than a few years ago - also complicate things. The significance of loss here is high because recordings, including commentary, and onscreen interactions with other players, seem likely to be the best way of preserving the experience of playing certain games at certain times. We are familiar with the challenges of preserving video, but we need to think about how established approaches will work in the context of the aggravating circumstances outlined above. There is a degree of urgency associated with working out how (legally and technically) preserving the materials that they hold may be preserved.

Important for social context, and from a DP point of view videos should not be too hard, but if we are capturing the experience to inform digital preservation actions and intents, then do not these videos exist in places such as YouTube and wouldn't they be brought in as part of the 'documentary' evidence of DP actions taken on the game or sports that have come into the archive?

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Semi-Published Research Data

   Endangered large

Data sets produced in the course of research and shared informally between researchers such as by posting to a website or portal but without preservation capability or commitment. Typically the data remains in the hands of the researchers who have the job of maintaining it.

Group: Research Outputs

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Trend towards reduced risk

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent losses in this group, such as the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Departmental webservers; project wikis; GitHub repositories

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Originating researcher no longer active or changed research focus; staff on temporary contracts; dependence on single student or staff member; weak or fluid institutional commitment to subject matter; weak institutional commitment to data sharing; complicated or contested intellectual property; encryption; limited or dysfunctional data management planning; web capture challenges that means unlikely to be picked up by automatic crawlers

Vulnerable in the Presence of Good Practice

Data in preparation for transfer to specialist repository; robust data management planning; documented and managed professionally;

2021 Review

This 2019 entry was previously introduced in 2017 under ‘Research Data’, though without explicit reference to semi-published research data. In 2019, the Jury split the ‘Research Data’ entry into a range of contexts for research outputs including this addition. The entry draws attention to represent ‘self-help’ data sharing which is to be encouraged as a means to facilitate open science but shouldn’t be confused with long-term preservation. The 2021 Jury agreed with the endangered classification, noting problems with volume of data being produced but not being kept in meaningful way. Research data is complex and has specific requirements for documentation which may only be known to subject matter experts. However, data creators (e.g. researchers) are not necessarily well placed to sustain data in the long term.

There have also been a few significant changes to the entry in the 2021 Bitlist.

  1. Removal of ‘informally’ from the previous entry description (‘shared informally between researchers’) due to possible misperception or misunderstanding; ‘informal’ may imply researchers would perceive the data as low value and not want it captured. This may be the case, so it is important to consider, and to provide advice and input to researchers who think there is value in their data. 

  2. Two previous entries (Geomagnetic Data and Software and Maritime Archaeological Archives) have been removed as separate entries and incorporated into this broader entry on semi-published research data to highlight the range of content and forms semi-research data can take, and to highlight the need for specialised knowledge and specialist repositories for preparing and/or managing the data throughout the lifecycle

  3. 2021 trend towards reduced risk based the improvements and initiatives towards preservation of semi-published research data since its addition in 2019.

Additional Jury Comments

None

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Contractual Documents and Related Records

   Endangered large

Documents, correspondence and other records created in the course of contractual dealings between individuals and agencies, especially where the subjects are of long duration and may be subject to legal scrutiny at undefined points in the distant future.

Group: Digital Legal Records

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

No Change

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a small effort to preserve materials in this group, with the deployment of proven tools or techniques.

Examples

Contracts, receipts, correspondence, license agreements, building consent, warranties, and any other document or record that represents a legally binding transaction or permission. Such records may be useful in the avoidance or resolution of disputes whether in court or prior to proceedings. Includes Online Terms and Conditions for e-commerce or end-user agreements for services.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Loss of context; loss of authenticity or integrity; external dependencies; poor storage; lack of understanding; churn of staff; poorly framed or over-zealous disposal; ill-informed records management; misplaced fears with respect to data protection, encryption.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Well managed data infrastructure; preservation enabled at the point of creation; carefully managed authenticity; use of persistent identifiers; finding aids; well managed records management processes; application of records management standards

2021 Review

This entry was added in 2019 as a subset of an entry introduced in 2017 for 'Digital Legal Records and Evidence,' which was split into four more discrete entries. There is overlap with Pension Mortgage and Insurance Records entry, but this entry addresses digital records with value over the long term that may not be immediately obvious at the point of creation.

The likelihood of liquidation, mergers or acquisitions means that these records are trending towards greater risk. There was a 2020 trend towards greater risk in light of the Covid Pandemic causing profound dislocation across the economy, placing many companies and agencies at financial risk. The 2021 Jury, however, noted some improvements in record-keeping legislation and regulations and guidance to this area advising what needs to be kept and for how long; while there is still room for improving how legal agreements are managed through records management standards and processes, there is a growing number of agencies with experience of handling this and therefore there has not been a notable trend towards an increased risk for 2021.

Additional Jury Comments

The work and outputs of the EDRMS Preservation Taskforce, such as the EDRMS Preservation Toolkit, may be helpful for guidance as many of these records will be held in EDRMS type systems https://www.dpconline.org/digipres/implement-digipres/edrms-preservation-toolkit.

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Current Portable Magnetic Media

   Endangered large

Materials saved to magnetic tape, portable hard disks or other magnetic media in the last five years where the reader devices are still supported and can be integrated easily into hardware infrastructure.

Group: Portable Media

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Trend towards reduced risk

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on many people and sectors.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a small effort to preserve materials in this group, with the deployment of proven tools or techniques.

Examples

LTO8 tapes; portable hard disks

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Poor storage conditions; encryption; digital rights management; lack of replication; lack of documentation; lack of periodic testing; lack of refreshment pathway; lack of access to readers; out of manufacturers’ warranty or no warranty; storage within paper files.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Regular review and testing; replication; refreshment plan; comprehensive documentation; high quality storage; regular maintenance of readers; multiple readers available.

2021 Review

This entry was added in 2019 to ensure that the range of media storage is properly assessed and presented. Magnetic media is typically more fragile than optical media because it is susceptible to 'bitrot' and magnetic damage in ways that optical media are not. However, the 2021 Jury commented on how the types of magnetic media used have improved the last five years, notably the use of LTO, increasing good practice and trending towards reduced risk in this respect. It is important to note that LTO tapes come in different generations. Some pose greater preservation risks now (e.g., an organization with no equipment or way of reading content), so the use of LTO is good practice so long as it includes the active management of associated risks.

Additional Jury Comments

This entry is highly dependent on who is looking after the portable media but made more difficult over time. The lack of granularity in the definition means that only general advice can be offered, such as to refresh media. In time, it may yet be more useful to split all storage media (maybe 100 items long) with an indication of how long these can be expected to last. In many cases, specialists can recover obsolete media, but the cost of employing them can become an aggravating condition.

It is important to emphasize that the short lifetime of many storage devices is not a problem to be solved with new long-lasting storage technologies (and indeed, many inventions have come and gone). Cheap commodity storage has been purposely designed to deliver value at a low price for a short time. Therefore, management and preservation processes for monitoring and refreshment need to take these characteristics into account.

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Email

   Endangered large

Documents, correspondence and other records created in the course of contractual dealings between individuals and agencies, especially where the subjects are of long duration and may be subject to legal scrutiny at undefined points in the distant future.

Group: Formats

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

Trend towards reduced risk

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools or services within this group would have a global impact.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to address losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Email in all its forms, including individual messages, threads of conversation, mailboxes, email servers and file attachments.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Conflicting and unmanaged IPR; use of personal accounts for professional work and vice versa; proliferation and duplication of attachments; email not recognized as a record; absent, unworkable or inconsistent records management; dependence on free cloud-based services; lack of migration path; lack of preservation planning; perverse incentives to delete; encryption.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Application of appraisal and selection tools; timely transfer to preservation facility or archive; commitment to transparency; preservation policy; working preservation plan; clear migration path; widespread recognition of email as a record.

2021 Review

This entry was added in 2017, but the Jury did not have capacity to assess it in detail at that time. It was reviewed and assessed in 2019, including highlights to significant developments including the recommendations of the Email Preservation Taskforce and the development of the ePADD software. Email presents many kinds of preservation challenge, from scale through core technologies, attachments, privacy and intellectual property rights. Because this entry intersects with many others, the aggravating conditions associated with email should be considered in conjunction where relevant. The 2021 Jury discussed the continued developments in email preservation tools and techniques as well as the growing number of archives preserving email content. At the same time, the issues with providing access to preserved email content has arisen; ongoing records management policies towards corporate or business email needs to be better embedded to stop the loss of important email content and more awareness is needed around the potential of personal email.

While Recordkeeping legislation and mandates direct retention periods, Email along with text messages document decisions taken by government officials at local, regional and national level are not always well maintained, if at all; their loss could impact on people's lives along with their ability to assert rights. 

For these reasons there is a 2021 trend towards reduced risk but the endangered classification remains.

Additional Jury Comments

Email is hugely important as it has been so pervasive as a communication mechanism for society. Some methods used and responsibility adopted for collecting at the business and public body level (again will differ globally), but this will be a fraction of the communities that use it, and few will be set up for the long-term care of this data.

See also:

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PDF other than PDF/A

   Endangered large

Documents presented in PDF (Portable Document Format) format (ISO 32000:1 and ISO 32000:2) and other data wrapped inside them, other than PDF/A but including all other variants and versions.

Group: Formats

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

Trend towards reduced risk

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within five years, detailed assessment within three years.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world..

Effort to Preserve

It would require a small effort to address losses in this group, requiring the application of proven preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

PDF 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 (excluding PDF/A as a subset), 1.5, 1.6, 1.7 and 2.0. PDF/X and PDF/E

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Loss of context; loss of authenticity or integrity; external dependencies; poor storage; lack of understanding; significant diversity of data; poorly developed digitization specifications; lack of integrity checking; poorly developed migration or normalizations specifications; lack of virus control; poor storage or replication; lack of validation at the point of creation; encryption.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Well managed data infrastructure; preservation planning; authenticity managed; use of persistent identifiers; reduction of dependencies; application of records management standards; recognition of preservation requirements beyond formats; strategic investment in digital preservation; preservation roadmap; participation in digital preservation community; format validation.

2021 Review

The 2019 Jury introduced this entry as a subset of a previous entry for ‘PDF’, emphasizing the different threats faced by different types of PDF. PDF/A explicitly reduces dependencies and thus curtails preservation risks for certain types of content: PDFs of other types do not. PDF and PDF/A have sometimes been misunderstood as a generic solution to digital preservation requirements. In the eyes of the Jury it can only offer a preservation solution when embedded within a wider preservation infrastructure. The 2021 review agreed, noting a 2021 trend towards reduced risk as PDF continues to be a pretty stable format and there continue to be developments in tools and techniques (e.g. ability to convert PDF to PDFA to reduce dependencies) but no change to the endangered classification given the need for support and embedding in a preservation infrastructure.

Additional Jury Comments

There is a lot of material produced and kept in PDF. Some of it is authoritative, in other words, the only available copy, while some of it is not. However, if it is the only copy and it is lost, it can have an impact on a lot of people

The challenge in evaluating the significance and impact of the loss of PDFs is that they're quite often a surrogate of something else, whether a digitized record or a Word document, etc. Whether or not that record is retained may be a factor. We should also be considering PDF Portfolios, which are an extension of PDF 1.7. Portfolios contain embedded files and can include text documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoints, emails, Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings. Assessing the risk of this complex format may need to be separate from other PDFs.

See also: Fanning, B (2017) Preserving with PDF/A (Second Edition), DPC Technology Watch Report 17-01 online at http://doi.org/10.7207/twr17-01.

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Proceedings in Court

 

 Endangered large

Digital materials generated through legal proceedings in court.

Group: Digital Legal Records

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2017

No Change

Previous classification: Endangered

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to address losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Digital record of proceedings; digital records of rulings and all manner of quasi-judicial proceedings and tribunals.

‘Critically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Loss of context; loss of integrity; external dependencies; poor storage; lack of understanding; churn of staff; significant or diversity of data; poorly developed specifications; ill-informed records management; poorly developed transfer protocols; poorly developed migration or normalization; longstanding protocols or procedures that apply unsuitable paper processes to digital materials.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Well managed data infrastructure; preservation enabled at ingest; carefully managed authenticity; use of persistent identifiers; finding aids; well managed records management processes; recognition of preservation requirements at highest levels; strategic investment in digital preservation; preservation roadmap; participation in digital preservation community.

2021 Review

This entry is a subset of a previous 2019 entry, ‘Proceedings and Evidence in Court’, which was itself created as subset of entry in 2017 for ‘Digital Legal Records and Evidence’. The 2021 Jury split ‘Proceedings and Evidence in Court’ into two more discrete entries to highlight their distinct preservation challenges and risk profiles. This entry includes court proceedings and recognizes that courts have a responsibility to provide robust preservation that ensures the authenticity of these records.

Additional Jury Comments

Standard Records Management processes within designated agencies should be able to take care of the preservation of materials like this but given that evidence is likely to involve complex types of data, such agencies may not be equipped to deliver preservation effectively. It is surprising that courts are not more obvious in the digital preservation community, where solutions now exist.

Recordings of proceedings in court may include the AV recording of the court session, which may pose particular preservation risks associated with the video files.

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Digital Recordings Published via Cloud-based Music Sharing Platforms

Digital Recordings Published via Cloud-based Music Sharing Platforms

 

 Vulnerable small

Music licensed and playable through corporate platforms protected by rights management and subscription revenues and presented as compressed single-track recordings.

Group: Sound and Vision

Trend in 2021:

Consensus Decision

Added to List: 2019

Trend to greater risk

Previous category: Vulnerable

Imminence of Action

Action is recommended within three years, detailed assessment within one year.

Significance of Loss

The loss of tools, data or services within this group would impact on people and sectors around the world.

Effort to Preserve

It would require a major effort to prevent or reduce losses in this group, possibly requiring the development of new preservation tools or techniques.

Examples

Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp, SoundCloud

‘Crtically Endangered’ in the Presence of Aggravating Conditions

Lack of preservation capability within corporate systems; conflating backup with preservation; loss of original multi-track recordings; lack of preservation voice at executive level; poor planning and roadmap for corporate infrastructure; slapdash procurement or migration to new systems; mergers and acquisitions; profusion of corporate systems; complex intellectual property rights; single point of failure; technical protection measures that inhibit preservation actions; encryption.

‘Vulnerable’ in the Presence of Good Practice

Strong backup and documentation; use of open formats and open source software; data management planning for preservation; licencing that enables preservation; corporate preservation capability; resilient to hacking; authenticity and integrity managed; recognition of preservation functions at executive level; technology watch; regular preservation audits; accreditation and participation in the professional preservation community.

2021 Review

This entry was previously under the 2017 ‘Digital Music Production and Sharing,’ split by the 2019 Jury into four subsets, recognizing the different challenges faced. This entry is particularly concerned with the music industry at scale and the services that connect the vast majority of artists to their audiences. These are typically large and well-funded, and typically recognize the value of the content they publish. But this is not without risks. It is perhaps surprising that the music industry does not yet have any equivalent to the non-print legal deposit regime that applies to other types of publication, including sheet music in some jurisdictions. The 2021 Jury noted a large amount of vulnerable material on user-driven platforms where material can be very ephemeral (removals resulting from, e.g., account deletion, space limitations, copyright claim), and the issue of license and licensing with the instability of the business model. For this reason, the scope is widened to include ad hoc sharing so that this entry broadly includes all platforms such as SoundCloud, Bandcamp which are more community-driven, as well as Spotify, resulting in a raised classification and trend towards greater risk.

Additional Jury Comments

The preservation of recorded music is one of our generation's most important jobs, but it is unclear where responsibility lies. There are commercial incentives to do so, but there are also incentives to reduce costs. Whilst public archives are permitted to keep this material in some jurisdictions they typically do not have the resources to do so. Consequently, there is an expectation that rights holders will maintain their own archival copies but may not do so. National collecting organizations may need to develop a role to address this.

If managed well, there is hope. It may not be an issue in the cases where the production company would hold master recordings and, if a streaming service lost a track (e.g., Spotify), they would go to the production company and ask for a copy. However, it is an issue for those outside of production companies and platforms such as SoundCloud and Bandcamp, which are more community-driven.

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