[OAI-general] OAI and intellectual property issues

billn billn@yelmtel.com
Thu, 19 Jul 2001 08:50:06 -0700

I have to disagree here, though I see his point.

My suggestion was to create a standard disclaimer in order to provide
some basic simple structure to OAI metadata harvesting. It does not
preclude anyone who creates metadata from their own raw data from adding
restrictions or completely rewriting the IP restrictions for that
particular database. 

My reasons for recommending this course of action are:
1. For those metadata providers who do not have laywers on staff, a
working legal disclaimer, or a place to start.
2. A base for *consistent* IP standards for OAI metadata. Get it right
and many sites will follow that base, making access and presentation of
the data *much less complex* from the IP POV.
3. It is much easier to set up a consistent IP approach in the beginning
than try and straighten out the mess that will happen if every provider
goes their own way with IP protection. Can you imagine the complexity of
dealing with hundreds of different IP restrictions? As a programmer, I'd
run screaming in the other direction.
4. Nothing I proposed prevents any site from using a different IP setup,
and I'm sure commercial sites sharing data want better protection for
the underlying raw  data. 
5. IP is guaranteed to be an issue. If we avoid dealing with it now,
even in less than perfect form, we will reap the results of our dodge
later with much pain. I believe that IP chaos could stifle the the
potential benefits of the whole OAI concept. 
6. OAI set standards to make access to and the use of metadata uniform
and easy. While IP is not a programming issue, it *will* control how we
access, present and use both metadata and raw data. Without some
coherent IP structure, the only people who will benefit are the IP

There is no doubt overlap in those items as I am writing this 'off the
top'. Even though IP does not appear to be essential to the standard, it
has such potential to add complexity to both metadata and code that we
should not ignore it.

Bill Nicholls

zubair@cs.odu.edu wrote:
> I wholeheartedly agree with the view Herbert is taking on the IP issue.
> Taking any stand on the IP issue for OAI would be a mess. Once the data
> provider has the "technical" capability to communicate the terms and
> conditions, then it is up to the data provider and the service provider to
> see that the terms and conditions are followed. The OAI should not be in
> the picture.
> Zubair