Many things called “rights” – at CDL, we decided to
concentrate on Copyright; felt that in today’s environment and with
current law, recording
of data to support copyright analysis was key. Also, other working taking place around
“Rights” –Wesley N.
Hohfeld (1919) Fundamental Legal Conceptions as Applied in Judicial Reasoning
1.Duty (P duty Q not X)
2.Negative duty as well as positive
requirement (rights to active assistance as well as negative freedom
3.Ability of power (power of individual to
alter existing legal arrangements
4.An immunity from legal change (not only
rihgt as power but also lack of power)
Ronald Dworkin—(1984) Rights as Trumps
copyright metadata “suddenly” needed? Because change in copyright law to base
duration on the life of the author rather than counting from the date of
copyright, means that the item itself does not contain the data you
need to figure out if it is under copyright.
enacted, the 1976 law prescribed that all visually perceptible published copies
of a work, or published phonorecords of a sound recording, should bear a
proper copyright notice. This applies to such works published before
March 1, 1989. After March 1, 1989, notice of copyright on these works
is optional. Adding the notice, however, is strongly encouraged and, if
litigation involving the copyright occurs, certain advantages exist for
publishing a work with notice.
Prior to March 1, 1989, the
requirement for the notice applied equally whether the work was
published in the United States or elsewhere by authority of the copyright owner.
Compliance with the statutory notice requirements was the responsibility of
the copyright owner. Unauthorized publication without the copyright
notice, or with a defective notice, does not affect the validity of the
copyright in the work.
in copyright law, plus the extension of the term, may have been terrible
mistakes, but we are stuck with it.
digital environment, ever act of access or viewing is a “copyright event”
(terminology of Michael Carroll of Creative Commons), so copyright has become
even more important than ever.
Our main purpose is to provide an important service to
the user who wishes to make
use of an item obtained from the library.
We often see notices along with
digital works that say something like this:
If the item is covered by
copyright law and not a license , well, it’s covered by copyright law. And the library is often making
restrictions or giving permissions that
it has absolutely no right to make or give. In part, this is done to help the user; to let the user know what is and isn’t allowed. But
this practice is somewhat dubious, and the
information given to users may be incorrect.
no single statement can be true for all uses and all users.
So we began to wonder: what are
the data elements that define copyright status? And how can the owning institution help this
We looked at the excellent chart
by Peter Hirtle that helps people, in an almost algorithmic manner, determine the copyright status of an
item that they have in hand.
From this, we extrapolated key data elements that would help someone make this assessment. Not in all of the detail that Peter
includes, but most of it.
“Life of author” i.e. when author died
“Published vs unpublished works”
“with and without copyright notice”
Next, we had a look at the
excellent work of Mary Minow, who walks us through a similar situation of trying to learn what is the
copyright status of a work that we wish
“published vs unpublished”
“with and without copyright notice”
We also looked at existing metadata schemes to see what
they provided for copyright
metadata. Each had some elements, but no one scheme has all of the data elements.
that the key data elements would be: who is/are the creator(s), who is the
rights holder; if the item is published, when and where was it published; if
the item is not published, when and where was it created? And finally we
wanted to provided information on what services are available to the
is very simple, and has these elements:
publisher and creation info...
User service value – is it worth going back to the archive
to obtain more information? The “contact
archive” method is quite costly to users, and often does not result in more information. Need to know if
archive has provided all that they
We haven’t determined how best to represent this. It may
be covered adequately by the
descriptive rules, but we all agree it’s important to know.