Maarten Zeinstra

Maker: Giorgos Gripeos



Advisor copyright and technology

Maarten Zeinstra

@mzeinstraLinkedIn profile

Maarten Zeinstra is a law scholar and philosopher of technology. Maarten works as a researcher, advisor and information architect with a focus on copyright and culture. He writes policy papers and studies about improving access to archives, knowledge and information. He works on standardising the communication of provenance information of creative works (e.g. photos, text, music), he gives workshops and guides technological projects.

The attention span of people in the digital society is short. Information and knowledge that cannot be accessed within a couple of minutes will usually never be found. This also applies to cultural heritage. Access to information and knowledge are of vital importance to a well-informed, learning and creating society. That is why Maarten works towards an open knowledge society with special focus on the gatekeeper of that restrict access to knowledge and data: copyright (and related rights).

Access is often not only restricted by copyright but also by bad policy, lack of standards and missing functionalities in technological products. That is why Maarten works on the intersection of law, technological innovation and policy to make data and knowledge as widely available as possible.

He is one of the authors of the manuals for open publishing of heritage content and data: Open Data Reader (Dutch), ‘A guide to understanding copyright when reusing cultural data’ (English), en ‘Bescherming persoonsgegevens uit oorlogstijd’ (Dutch). These publications help cultural institutions to work within the boundaries of the law and to make as much material available at the same time.

Maarten conducts legal research to (European) law and regulations to untangle them from their legal jargon and structures. With these projects Maarten works towards easy-to-understand insights into these systems to serve as a basis for good policymaking. He created insightsMaarten works on the intersection of law, technological innovation and policy to make data and knowledge as widely available as possible. for the duration of copyright++Duration of copyrightKL is the developer and maintainer of, a platform that allows you to determine whether copyright has expired given a work a jurisdiction. Read more, exceptions and limitations to copyright++Exceptions and limitationsKL launched in 2016. This platform provides an unique overview of the patchwork of exceptions and limitations across the European Unions. Read more and orphan works++Orphan worksWhen you don’t know the rightsholder of a certain work you cannot ask permission to use that work. The European Union adopted a directive to help remedy this deadlock. Maarten is critical on this directive, but also works on providing means to work with this directive..

Maarten also works as a technical advisor and provided an important contribution to projects like Open Images, GLAMWiki Toolset, Europeana,,, and In these projects he collaborated with researchers, software developers and media producers towards a wide distribution of and access to culture and heritage.

Maarten has a bachelor in software engineering (B.eng), a master of science (M.Sc) in Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society, and a master of laws (LL.M) in Intellectual Property and Knowledge Management.