[OAI-general] OAI and intellectual property issues

Josť Luis Borbinha jose.borbinha@bn.pt
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 01:33:17 +0100

If your data is available for free, even under terms and
conditions for usage, how is a commercial company going to make
money just exploiting a web site with it? (well, in fact
AltaVista and Google have been doing that, as other metacrawlers
have been doing with them, and so on... so I'm afraid that we are
all contradicting ourselves...).

On the other side if you've built a digital library, that should
mean that you have collected one or more collection of resources,
and that you developed your metadata to describe these resources.
And it is this metadata that you put available through OAI, not
the resources (which can be movies, texts, or more and richer

A good thing that I see in OAI is its simplicity and button-up
approach. It'd be sad to see it intoxicated by its possible
success and jump in complicated processes and visions like we had
for Z39.50, for the top levels of the ISO model, etc...

I was aware that I was entering in dangerous areas with my
previous email (I'm not so naive neither libertarian...), but I
think that this is in fact a very interesting issue to discuss,
since it raises the core problem of the scope of the OAI!!!
Very often nice initiatives have been failing nowadays because of
the lack of clear and understandable objectives! They start as
exploratory activities, in the hope that the light will come in
one of the next coners, but in the end they simply get lost in
messy and confuse purposes...

So, for the future, I'd like to post here my position about this:
please lets try to keep the model simple, and assume that what we
put available through a public OAI interface is just structured
data for public usage, available for usages in meta services just
like AltaVista and Google have been doing with our sites. This
doesn't excludes the usage of private OAI networks for more
restricted materials/purposes/data, but lets not afect the OAI
work with these requirements for now, or at leat until we have it
really imposed (which can be the case, but it we are not there
But of course that you all can disagree of me... :-)

Jose Borbinha

-----Original Message-----
From: oai-general-admin@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
[mailto:oai-general-admin@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu]On Behalf Of
Sent: quarta-feira, 18 de Julho de 2001 10:49
To: OAI-general@oaisrv.nsdl.cornell.edu
Subject: Re: [OAI-general] OAI and intellectual property issues

  Terry Kuny writes

> 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?

  RePEc does not run an OAI repository as yet, but
  we have the firm intention to set one up AND to
  claim intellectual property rights to the data

> 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)?

  Everybody who does not like the usage conditions
  attached to the RePEc data can build a competing

> I know this goes counter to most definitions of "open"

  How come? Our collection has usage conditions, but
  is freely available within those conditions.

> and that really a repository built upon metadata made
> freely accessible SHOULD not do such a thing,

  Why not?

  Imagine that you built for 8 years a digital library that is
  arguably the largest distributed academic digital
  library in the world. You and your mates have been
  working on it for nothing essentially, at the margin
  of regular jobs, in overtime spent at the computer in
  the office rather than with your girlfriend at home.
  Then one day, out of the blue. you find that a commercial
  have built a web site, have used all your data and claim
  that *they* have collected it, without a single mentioning
  of your efforts. I bet you would be just as outraged as I
  was when exactly that thing happend to RePEc six weeks
  ago! It cost me a hell of a lot of nerves and a bit
  of effort to put things right.

> 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?

  Sure there should be some thought on that. In fact,
  at the original Santa Fe meeting I presented a
  framework that would address this issue.

> From the OAI perspective, what IP would a
> service provider have claims to?

  I would that think that these would be rather small
  and difficult to defend in court. But I am by no
  means a legal expert.


  Thomas Krichel



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