Posting to NGC4LIB
Karen Coyle wrote:
While the main thrust of the policy is the same as it always has been (protecting WorldCat), I am glad that OCLC clarified their stand on the copyright issue. That doesn’t mean that I agree with their copyright statement, but in the past it hasn’t been expressed this clearly and there was a lot of speculation. OCLC claims no copyright in the bibliographic records, but does claim copyright in WorldCat as a whole:
“While, on behalf of its members, OCLC claims copyright rights in WorldCat as a compilation, it does not claim copyright ownership of individual records.”
I hope this is correct, but on the other hand, to me there appears to be a contradiction as shown in the definition of Worldcat Data (or Worldcat bibliographic data):
“WorldCat Data. For purposes of this policy, WorldCat data is metadata for an information object, generally in the form of *a record or records* [my emphasis–JW] encoded in MARC format, whose source is or at one point in time was the WorldCat bibliographic database.”
The definition of Worldcat data appears in a slightly different form in Section 1:
“The purpose of the policy is to define the rights and responsibilities associated with the stewardship of the WorldCat bibliographic and holdings database by and for the OCLC cooperative, including the use and exchange of OCLC member-contributed data comprising that database.”
Worldcat data makes up the Worldcat database, and from this, we see that the Worldcat database is also comprised of “OCLC member-contributed data”.
It seems to me from this reading that, because the data went through the Worldcat database, the following conclusion is mathematically inescapable:
Worldcat Data = OCLC member-contributed data
This seems to me to imply some level of ownership.
In any case, from this reading it seems that a local library, if it wants to do something with its own records, perhaps outside of its own catalog, must follow Section 3.A.4. The only out is the vague terminology of “should” and “are encouraged”:
“OCLC members should ensure…”
“OCLC member’s agent are encouraged, subject to the terms and conditions of a mutually acceptable separate agreement between the agent and OCLC…”
Of course, I am no lawyer either, but while the Google-Publisher agreement is not dealing with library information per se, i.e. we only own copies of intellectual property that belongs to others, librarians have gotten all bent out of shape over it. Here we are speaking of library created metadata that has definitely belonged to the library that created it. Calling it Worldcat data, which then has a number of conditions attached, seems to merit some attention too.