[OAI-general] OAI and intellectual property issues

José Luis Borbinha jose.borbinha@bn.pt
Wed, 18 Jul 2001 00:05:08 +0100

Dear Terry,
You raise a very relevant issue, but it might be not a real
problem in the OAI scope...
The idea behind OAI is not to consider "the metadata as THE
resource", but to raise the awareness about the resource that the
metadata describes. In that sense, the value is in the resource,
and not in the metadata that it announces.
IMHO, the organizations willing to put their metadata available
trough an OAI interface must be aware that such metadata will be
"lost" for the public domain. In fact, they should be happy if
someone else will produce added value on the top of it and makes
money with that, since the target is the resource that the
metadata describes...
José Borbinha
PS: Maybe this is more like distributing Linux flavors, where the
kernel is always the same, and is free, but you can sell
something more with it, and everyone wins...

-----Original Message-----
From: oai-general-admin@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
[mailto:oai-general-admin@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu]On Behalf Of
Sent: terça-feira, 17 de Julho de 2001 21:33
To: oai-general@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
Subject: [OAI-general] OAI and intellectual property issues

Hello all,

I have a question about OAI and its relationship to intellectual
property concerns that I sense might arise - that is, if not
beaten back with explicit legal disclaimers on the part of
OAI data providers. This is not a hypothetical interest.

One of the most important things about OAI (to my mind) is
that it explicitly promulgates a principle I call "metadata
transparency" - that organizations who want to make their
information accessible to as broad a range of users as possible
will make metadata accessible for harvesting by a potentially
equally large range of organizations that want to build
interfaces to these contents. This is very appealling and
has great applicability for many communities.

The problem I am wrestling with is that what happens
if an organization builds an OAI repository and then
makes a claim that they hold the intellectual property
rights to the repository?

Under recent WIPO treaties, this would seem to be a
legitimate claim since aggregates of fact or data like this
can be considered "original works". If this is so,
might it not stop other organizations from aggregating
the same data (perhaps to build a competing data service
with some prettier interface or better whizbangs)?

I know this goes counter to most definitions of "open"
and that really a repository built upon metadata made
freely accessible SHOULD not do such a thing, but what
protection is there for a data provider to ensure that
such as situation does not occur?

Should OAI have some sort of GNU-like license that should
be signed onto that would preclude service providers
from unfairly exploiting open archives to the detriment
of others? From the OAI perspective, what IP would a
service provider have claims to?

I look forward to your comments with interest.



Mr. Terry Kuny                    Phone:  819-776-6602
XIST Inc. /                       Email:  terry.kuny@xist.com
Global Village Research           URL:    http://xist.com/kuny/

       P.O. Box 1141, St. B, Hull, Quebec, CANADA J8X 3Y1
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