John's remarks about the need for a shared infrastructure for evaluating copyright status are well taken and echo a concern we've heard expressed by colleagues throughout the research library community.
Some DLF members will already be aware of work underway at OCLC to define core requirements for a collaborative copyright assessment tool that might eliminate some of the system-wide redundancies that you allude to. Specifically, we are examining ways to leverage the shared investment that libraries have already made in pooling descriptive and administrative data for their print collections. The WorldCat database represents a potentially rich source of collective intelligence about the copyright status of titles earmarked for digitization.
We are looking at how bibliographic data in WorldCat can be mined to derive item or work-level copyright status. In collaboration with interested libraries, we are also investigating the potential benefits of aggregating additional institutional copyright assessment data to create an even richer source of shared intelligence.
We would be happy to discuss this work at the BOF/open discussion session on Tuesday, April 24th. In the meantime, feel free to contact Bill Carney ([log in to unmask]) for information about the evolving service architecture for copyright assessment, or Constance Malpas ([log in to unmask]) for information on related efforts in OCLC Programs and Research.
OCLC Programs and Research