[OAI-implementers] restricted and free records

Hussein Suleman hussein@vt.edu
Tue, 12 Mar 2002 11:53:07 -0500


some thoughts ...

the mechanisms for doing what you propose are to some degree already in 
place. some additional work needs to be done within specific communities 
however ... to elaborate,

firstly, i am not sure if you mean "restricted resources" or "restricted 
records". if the former then intellectual property and usage information 
could go into the Dublin Core 'metadata/dc/rights' field. if the latter, 
then the same information pertains to the record rather than to the 
resource and the information should ideally go into the 
'about/dc/rights' field.

now, some things to consider:

- what if the the metadata is not dc only ? other metadata formats have 
places in which to add such information - IMS, for example, has a 
'rights' category

- the problem with most metadata formats is that there is no 
machine-readable vocabulary. that is a separate problem and can be 
resolved independently of making the relevant containers available. 
there are a couple of projects out there - try http://odrl.net/. i have 
seen a simpler scheme but cannot remember who is working on that - maybe 
someone on this mailing list can help ...

- if you really want to protect your data, what is there to stop a 
service provider from ignoring the rights information ? especially if 
the sp does not understand the rights language you are using ... maybe 
an access control list in the data provider would be better ?

- what if you are using the about container for something else already ? 
in v2, "about" will be repeatable!

- in most metadata formats, rights are human-readable strings ... on the 
other hand, most rights management schemes are structured - hence, for 
example, i do not believe you can encode the ODRL scheme in DC ... so 
either you do not use DC, you use extensions, you serialize (aka fudge) 
the structured rights data, or we completely revisit the notion of simple dc

the bottom line is unfortunately that until there is a requirement for 
service providers to respect rights statements (and ignore records if 
they do not understand the statements), nobody is going to do it

a quick question to anyone who harvests data: do you read the "rights" 
field of every record you harvest ? e.g., does anyone read the stuff we 
put into the VTETD dc.rights fields ?


Kat Hagedorn wrote:

> Hi all,
> You're probably familiar with our OAIster project (I sent around a 
> message last month). If not, check us out at 
> http://oaister.umdl.umich.edu/.
> Besides developing a search service with OAI harvested records, we're 
> also a data provider. We've been discussing in-house how to best make 
> our OAI records available for harvest by others.
> In particular, we're wrestling with the issue of restricted records vs. 
> free records. We have a number of sets that contain free records, but 
> other sets are restricted to UM or institutions that carry licenses for 
> materials we have. We're OAI-enabling both types of records, since 
> restricted materials are valuable for certain audiences (e.g., our 
> partners).
> To make it clear what is restricted and what is free, we developed the 
> concept of groups. One group is "dlpsall" which contains the sets that 
> are both restricted and free. Another group is "dlpsfree" which contains 
> only those sets that are free. We're serving up groups as sets. The 
> repository explorer at http://oai.dlib.vt.edu/cgi-
> bin/Explorer/oai1.1/testoai gives a more complete view of what we're doing.
> My question is: wouldn't it be nice if we could indicate whether a 
> record is restricted or free not at the set level but within the record? 
> A harvester could then easily choose one type over another without 
> resorting to parsing sets info (which would probably take human 
> intervention). Is this something that could be made available in v2 of 
> the protocol?
> Regards,
> Kat
> -------------------
> Kat Hagedorn
> OAIster Librarian
> Digital Library Production Service
> University of Michigan
> khage@umich.edu
> 734-647-8000 (not a direct line)
> _______________________________________________
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> OAI-implementers@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
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hussein suleman - hussein@vt.edu - vtcs - http://www.husseinsspace.com