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Copyright, Diggers and archaeology
Sorry if this has been said before (trawling through the 11 pages and the Uo1 posts got me tired) but in terms of copyrighting the work of all those who worked on an excavation (with regard to who wrote the context sheets and did the plan and section drawing, etc). Surely it is enough that the archaeologists who worked on the excavation be referenced at the beginning of the report? Surely it would just get too complicated if it was a big dig.
Hi Gilraen

The issue is actually very straightforward - it's only Unitof1's involvement that muddles the waters.

In terms of copyright, when working on a site, filling in context forms, drawing plans, sections etc:

If you are an employee - you do not acquire copyright over the material you produce. Copyright belongs to your employer.

It is however the accepted norm to acknowledge the work and the input of everyone involved in the production of the report - including both the field and post-ex teams (finds, illustrators etc)

If you are a freelance archaeologist contracted by a unit to carryout the work, copyright of the records you produce is open to negotiation.

However, I seriously doubt any commercial unit will give you a contract to carry out the work if you start trying to quibble about copyright.

To be honest - do you really want to start cluttering up your house with piles of paper? Despite the impression Unitof1 is trying to give - there isn't very much, if any money, to be made from licensing copyrighted material within archaeology. As an illustrator - I rarely retain the original drawings I produce and neither do most of the fellow freelance illustrators I know. We take the view that having another dozen pages of yet another batch of re-touched waste flakes, thumb nail size pot sherds or badly corroded iron 'things' is just going to end up as another pile of clutter needing a drawer to hide in! We keep a note of the job/contract details and copyright, of course, but I've only been asked twice to have material reproduced elsewhere and on both occasions I waved the fee. It might be different for illustrators who specialise in reconstructions and traditional painting techniques.
Yes, that's what I thought.
Just to add to ShadowJack's summary - ownership of the copyright does not require you to own the actual copyrighted items, so claiming copyright on context sheets doesn't mean you have to keep them. I would say the most important things about copyright for archaeologists are: 1 an awareness that it may be an issue; 2 care needed when using or re-using material produced by other organisations.

I've written some more about this on my blog
Dinosaur Wrote:Seeing a site through the eyes of the person who actually dug it always has value - can think of any number of sites where what was originally written has been trashed by more 'up-to-date-thinking' but then it's turned out the original excavator was of course it's just plain rude and disrespectful although those seem to be gradually disappearing as considerations with the youth of today.... :0

On the copyright, good news! If the site was funded by the DoE and dug under the auspices of the local County Council (both of whom were/are unlikely to object to [free] publication of 'their' work) then sounds like I'm in the clear Smile

assuming your barrow site report is at least 40 years old and the site not so far flung as to be removed from any subsequent research framework or regional or local synthesis, I cant believe that the intervening decades of research will not need to be taken into consideration when considering the said site, even if it is ‘spot on’. Verbatim reproduction of the site narrative without regard to current theoretical debate, i would contend, does little service to the original excavator or your current report, even if it is ‘spot on’. Surely what is needed is a properly referenced synopsis of the excavation with appropriately modified and referenced illustrations where necessary, along with directions to the original site archive? How would this be rude?
Sorry folks little old ladies keep giving my phone number to other little old ladies, they then invite me round for tea to waste my time listening to the diabolical conditions that have been imposed on their building fantasies by persons unknown whilst keeping hold of my fascinator.

ShadowJack many apologies on the name changes, mostly generated by closing my eyes and hitting the keys, often meant as an act of endearment but which does appear to constantly backfire. I suppose that it comes across as identity theft. OooOOOH. I like your attitude to copyright and would like the same attitude to my artwork/context sheet. I get a similar feeling of annoyance when curators tell me what an archaeologists has to do. As Martine Locock has pointed out there appears to be a catch 22

If your archive is not deposited there it's not an archive.

and presumably it follows that if an archive is not deposited the archaeology has not been done and the person who did not deposit the archive is not an archaeologist. The paradigm appears to be that until the archaeology can be observed as an archive- it isnt archaeology. What ever it is (Prince Charles). Now a scheme of works sets you out to achieve an archive.

We could turn this round and say that whoever holds the archive is a museum.

In the PSS5 fantasy world ?museums? will store our worthless archive for ever at what cost no questions are asked. How did the PSS get away with that then. Yes the ?curators? love whatsoever record that results from their conditions- must be real valuable archaeology- because they made you put it in the big museum. And Oh someone has to pay for the privileged to store the archive there.
They have ?closed? two museums recently round this way (thats what happens in the bad times). When will the museums put their prices up, more to the point if my archive is so valuable why dont they buy it from me. They dont seem to have any problem buying stuff from metal detectorits

Good idea odin, everybody else is charging students. I bet the students are charged for library services and I dont notice any journals being free. How do the on line versions work? I suppose if its considered not for profit they can get away with it, but somebody around them will be looking to make a ?reasonable profit?. Shall we ask the ordanance survey (who I always thought were originally dictated by statute to map ?antiquaries?-somehow without statute passed it on to nobody called RCHNE who promptly forgot how). What is the boundary between not for commercial gain and research, for instance as a self employed archaeologist could I undertake a Phd and claim it as a legitimate business expense..

Nice blog Martin Locock

?Yes there is the CLA sticker concept

what the diggers need is to be registered with such schemes?.. maybe an organisation representing diggers should set one up?.
Reason: your past is my past
A sticker scheme for diggers would be pointless:

Almost all diggers are employees and hold no copyright in the records they create. (This is not a problem or scam or conspiracy)

Almost all uses made of archaeological records (except photos and drawings) do not require copyright permission.
Quote:Almost all diggers are employees and hold no copyright in the records they create. (This is not a problem or scam or conspiracy)

Currently that is the case. But that is what I am saying has to change.
The diggers also have to be called archaeologists. The archaeologists have to have an association.
This is all done by the archaeologists holding on to their copyrights, or at least recognising that it is the archaeologist that creates the archaeological copyright.
Reason: your past is my past
I do not understand what benefits would arise from such a change: could you clarify?
I think that this is how most other creative data is handled in the real world. I don’t think that archaeological data should be any different to music, pictures, video, or geographic data. I think that the creators of the data should understand it that way.

It might also help the outside world view archaeological data
Reason: your past is my past

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