Rights Metadata for
Digital Collections
Peter Hirtle
Metadata Working Group
31 March 2006
Why Rights Metadata?
•Helps with management
•Aids users
•Protects Cornell
3 Aspects of Digital Rights Metadata
•Status of the original item
–How can you digitize it?
•Information for users
–What copyright allows
–What the repository is willing to
license
•Rights in the metadata?
Management data in digitization
•Public domain
–Federal work?
–Pre-1923 US work?
–Non-renewed work?
http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/training/Hirtle_Public_Domain.htm
Permission not needed?
• Unpublished work digitized for
preservation
• Published work digitized as a
replacement copy
–Record information on the search for
an unused replacement
• TEACH Act digitization
Each of these has specific limits on access
Fair use?
•504(c)(2) safe harbor when
library staff “had reasonable
grounds for believing that his
or her use of the copyrighted
work was a fair use.”
•Need to document the fair use
assessment
•Where to record it?
Orphan Work?
•New legislation will likely
require a reasonable search for
an owner
•How and where to record
search information?
Permission
•Contact information for the
rights holder
•What does your license
permit?
Not just a digital problem…
Is it…
• African American Lives
(DVD) for $34.95?
“may be viewed only in
a home or in a face-toface classroom
situation as part of a
systematic educational
program.”
Or is it…
• African American Lives
(DVD) for $64.95?
– From PBS Education
“may be shown in a
classroom, screened by a
public group that is not
charged for the viewing, or
transmitted on a closedcircuit system within a
building or single
campus.”
Information for users
•Who currently owns the
copyrights
–Copyright Office isn’t doing this
•When they will expire
•What additional obligations the
institution may impose
–As owner of the physical item
(separate from copyright)
How is this information expressed today?
•“Terms and conditions” for a
site
–Example: Guidelines for Using Text
and Images from Cornell Digital
Library Collections
How is this information expressed today?
•“Terms and conditions” for a
site
• General statement on copyright
status
–Examples: Library of Congress,
Kheel Center
–Note: informs and protects
From the “Prosperity and Thrift” web site,
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/coolhtml/ccres.html
How is this information expressed today?
• “Terms and conditions” for a site
• General statement on copyright
status
• Sometimes, item information
–Example: KMODDL
–Note: no statement on original
copyright, collection permissions
Possible standard solutions
•OAI Rights:
http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/
guidelines-rights.htm
– Focuses on rights in the metadata
• METSRights: draft METS rights
declaration schema
http://www.loc.gov/standards/mets/new
s080503.html
– Simple rights declaration statement
Publisher standards
•Examples:
–ODRL, MPEG-21 (using xRML)
–ERMI
–DLF/EDItEUR/NISO/PLS
working group on rights
expression languages
•Focus is on license terms, not
copyright
Creative Commons
• Standardized way of
expressing rights
• Based on copyright
ownership
User-focused approaches
• Proponents:
–Karen Coyle in Oct 2005 First
Monday
–Elizabeth Townsend Gard (lawyer)
• Argument: provide users with all
the information they need to use a
work with that work
• Downside: Another 20 metadata
elements, libraries interpret
ownership
Conclusions
•Tracking copyright status is
important
•Part of a larger problem
•Standards are emerging
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Rights Metadata for Digital Collections