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AMICO Executive Committee

Art Museum Information Consortium (AMICO)
Archives & Museum Informatics:
Activities Report
November 1998


AMICO received its first check for royalties through RLG on behalf of the university testbed participants. Actual income exceeded the budget.

At the Dublin Core metadata meetings early in November, ground was laid for AMICO metadata to co-exist with that of the publishing and rights holding communities. Towards the end of November, AMICO applied to become a member if the ISAAC Network, a test of distributed metadata exchange funded by NSF. Both endeavors will continue to ensure that AMICO metadata is widely distributed and interoperable.

AMICO's framework for royalties and pricing of the 1999-2000 year library was introduced to potential distributors. Negotiations were commenced with an aim of having distribution agreements in place before the January 26 1999 Board meeting. A framework for negotiation between AMICO and the artists rights societies was approved by the Executive Committee and proposed to ARS and VAGA. Again the aim is to have terms for Board review in January. The Executive Committee approved conducting discussion with publishers of "Art 101" textbooks who had approached AMICO to index The AMICO Library to their texts; the framework assures that all agreements will be open and on the same terms and will cover AMICO's costs for indexing.

Detailed Reports:

Distributors/Subscription terms: AMICO management proposed to provide a pricing discount of 50% to distributors who agree to provide The AMICO Library to all of their members (or all members in a relevant category). The 1999-2000 "list" prices for The AMICO Library were proposed to be set at $0.25 per student to higher education, $0.10 per student to K-12 schools, and $0.01 per card holder to public libraries. Minimums and round-up quanta were left for discussion with the distributors but will probably be at least $1000 for higher education and $200 for schools and public libraries. No consortial discounts will be offered except to distributors, as noted above. Final prices will be set by the Board at its January meeting.

Rights Societies: AMICO is seeking a blanket agreement with rights societies to document works of art by artists/estates whom they represent in return for a formula based royalty. This would acknowledge that AMICO earns income from the works of art and is willing to share its income with other rights holders while relieving AMICO members of the need to negotiate each work individually with each rights society. At the same time, it would establish the principle that educational uses of works and different than commercial uses, that limited and controlled access is different than public web site access, and that members use of works in their own educational programs is different than AMICO's use in its non-profit, but nevertheless income earning, product. A proposal has been made to ARS and VAGA to initiate discussions of terms for such a general agreement.

Publishers: AMICO was approached by a publisher of one of the basic "Art 101" textbooks about obtaining links between their product and The AMICO Library. After consideration, AMICO management determined that such an arrangement could be beneficial to both the textbook publisher and AMICO. A method of making such links was envisioned - involving the hiring of graduate students in art history at a university that uses the text. Under the direction of a faculty member, these students would index The AMICO Library during each summer before it was released for classroom use in the fall. We envisioned that if such an arrangement could be made, and a publisher as willing to pay the costs, including some overhead to AMICO for administration of the program, we could treat it as a "grant" to AMICO. If a number of publishers could be attracted under the same terms, The AMICO Library would become much more

Members: In response to requests from AMICO members for more guidance on information policies, Archives & Museum Informatics arranged with AMICO General Counsel Michael Shapiro to offer a workshop on museum information policies at the MW99 conference in New Orleans in March. AMICO members will be given free registration at the workshop (but must register in advance). Shapiro also wrote some copyright guidance to interpret the new "term extension" and Digital Millennium Copyright acts for AMICO's Members.

University Testbed/University Museum participation: In response to inquiries from Harvard University, the Executive Committee decided that Universities which are subscribers to The AMICO Library are also entitled to provide access to their museums, but that the museums should be required (at no extra cost) to sign the separate, and more appropriate Museum Library Agreement. This does not make the museums members of AMICO, entitle them to contribute works or receive member benefits; in order to become members of AMICO, university museums must apply as regular members (as for example, the Davis has).

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