On 2/4/2014 1:45 AM, Linde B. wrote:
In OCLC #827230862, there appears an interesting 588:
588 This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
“Intellectual property” has become increasingly fraught by all kinds of problems ever since the introduction of the world wide web and it will only get worse. Everybody wants to “own” everything today and the ownership of “metadata” of all different types, is becoming more and more of a political issue.
Before the copyright act of 1976, if you wanted something copyrighted, you actually had to go through the process of registration but since 1976, anything is copyrighted from the moment of creation, with no need to register anything. As a result, before 1976 anything that did not have the copyright symbol © or explicitly stated to have a copyright was fair game. We already know that whatever is produced today is copyrighted, so anyone who wants to use it needs to know what to do with it. Since that time, the copyright laws have only gotten more complex with longer terms tending toward infinity.
As an additional point for catalogs, there is the very real question whether metadata is subject to copyright–at least our kind of metadata that summarizes another resource and not the other types of personal metadata (such as phone records) being hotly disputed in the press today. There is little doubt that a huge part of any catalog record cannot be copyrighted, e.g. the title, the number of pages, the type of format, and so on. There must be some level of originality connected to it, so in an individual record, that seems to leave only a summary note (maybe) and, stretching it a long way, the subjects. (See: Karen Coyle’s Metadata and Copyright)
While I could make a great argument for the originality and creativity of at least some of the cataloging records I have made, today it is far more important to make our records open. I think the intellectual property laws and concerns over ownership of information have become increasingly crazy and is making everything dysfunctional. When copyright really made a difference, it was when copies were difficult to make. Digitized copies are made automatically with no effort at all. You just did it when you got this email. A little kid can do it; a baby could do it; I’ll bet I could teach a dog or a cat to do it.
In 200 years time, I believe people will look back with amazement at the incredible tangled web of our arguments over this strange thing called copyright. They will compare the importance of our current debates to the medieval academic debates such as that seen in Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose” where they debated the question, “Did Christ, or did He not, own the clothes that He wore?” That was an important point for those people back then, but it is a different matter today.
Concerning the University of Florida Libraries, I commend them. this is a noble effort to head off a huge debate that can only make everyone angry.