At the Intersection of the OCLC Records Use Policy and the WorldCat Local Cloud-based Library Management Service

Last Friday, Andrew Pace (Executive Director of Networked Library Services for OCLC) was interviewed by Richard Wallis of Talis on OCLC’s recent announcement of a cloud-based library management service. As part of that conversation, Richard and Andrew touched on the ongoing debate on the OCLC record use policy. Below is a transcript from that part of the interview (with time markers from the start of the interview).

Richard Wallis (27:00)
What about [libraries'] local data? By providing data up onto the OCLC platform, will that data be restricted in its use — how they can use it — or will it be totally open for them to use it in any way that they want to?

OCLC Record Use Policy Issue Coming to a Head

In roughly a week, the OCLC membership through the Members Council will hear of the preliminary findings from the Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship. The Review Board was tasked with formulating recommendations in response to the community’s objections to the proposed Record Use policy. The charter for the Review Board says that “delegates will discuss the report at the May Members Council meeting….” In anticipation of this event, I posed this question to reviewboard@oclc.org: is the review board planning on publicly posting a draft report prior to the meeting so the Members Council delegates can bring community feedback to the meeting?

Dr. Jennifer Younger, director of libraries at the University of Notre Dame and chair of the of the review board, replied and gave permission to post her response widely:

Summary of Recent Google Book Search Settlement Activities

Today was to be the deadline for objecting to, opting out of, and/or filing briefs with the court on the Google Book Search Settlement. That was the plan, at least, when the preliminary approval statement from the court was issued last year. That deadline changed, and that is part of a recent flurry of activity surrounding the proposed Settlement. This post provides a summary of recent news and an index of documents that you might want to read for more information.

Library Associations File Amicus Brief for Google Book Search Settlement

The American Library Association (through the Association’s Washington Office and the Association of College and Research Libraries Division) and the Association of Research Libraries filed a brief [PDF] with the court in support of the Google Book Search Settlement while asking the judge to “exercise vigorous oversight” over details the settlement. In the 22-page amicus1 brief, the library associations say they do not oppose the settlement, but they do request that the courts provide strict oversight of the activities of Google and the Book Rights Registry. From page 2 of the brief:

The Settlement, therefore, will likely have a significant and lasting impact on libraries and the public, including authors and publishers. But in the absence of competition for the services enabled by the Settlement, this impact may not be entirely positive. The Settlement could compromise fundamental library values such as equity of access to information, patron privacy, and intellectual freedom. In order to mitigate the possible negative effects the Settlement may have on libraries and the public at large, the Library Associations request that this Court vigorously exercise its jurisdiction over the interpretation and implementation of the Settlement.

The brief then describes “concerns with the Settlement, and how the Court’s oversight can ameliorate those concerns.”

Footnotes

  1. Latin: “friend”, informal form of amicus curiae of “friend of the court” — Wiktionary []

Intervention by IA Denied; Deadline for Objections Extended

New York Judge Denny Chin recently issued two rulings in the Google Book Search settlement. In the first, he the request by the Internet Archive to intervene as a defendant in the lawsuit (and thus, presumably, be on firmer founding to guide aspects of the settlement). In his response, Judge Chin said:

The Court has received requests for pre-motion conferences by the Internet Archive, Lewis Hyde, Harry Lewis, and the Open Access Trust, Inc. seeking leave to intervene in this action. I have construed their letters as motions to intervene, and the motions are denied. The proposed interveners are, however, free to file objections to the proposed settlement or amicus briefs, either of which must be filed by the May 5, 2009 objection deadline.

Letters Begin Flying in Objection to the Proposed Google Book Search Settlement

We are starting to see objections to the Google Book Search Settlement this month in advance of the May 5th deadline set up by the court. The first comes from the consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog (found by way of the American Libraries news feed). They have submitted a letter to the U.S. Justice Department asking the antitrust division to delay the settlement until the “‘most favored nation’ clause favoring Google is removed and the deal’s ‘orphan works’ provision is extended to cover all who might digitize books, not only Google.” The letter in PDF is available on the Consumer Watchdog website. The objections revolve around the provision that require the Books Rights Registry to give Google the same terms as anyone else who enters into agreements with the Registry (noting that more favorable terms might be required by a new party in order to compete with Google) as well as the fact that the copyright infringement protection for digitizing orphan works only extends to Google.

Survey Responses Sought from the OCLC Review Board on Shared Data Creation and Stewardship

The OCLC Review Board on Shared Data Creation and Stewardship is conducting a survey to gather opinions on OCLC’s proposed Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records. The survey is 6 pages long and took me about 20 minutes. After the demographic information, the survey asks about your organization’s practices for acquiring and sharing cataloging data. This is followed by a series of questions stating your preference for the existing and the proposed policies, how those policies affect your organization’s plans, and opinions about the roles of OCLC and WorldCat in sharing bibliographic records. You are then offered a chance to provide your contact information to the external research organization gathering the data. (The survey states that this information will not be provided to the OCLC review board.)

What Does the Google Book Settlement Mean for the Online Book Market?

The blog post title is a serious question — it is one that I need some help figuring out: What Does the Google Book Settlement Mean for the Online Book Market? There have been stories and speculation about how Google is going to turn the settlement for the class-action lawsuit against its library book scanning project into a monopoly — or in the case of the recent Ars Technica article, a duopoly — of online publishing. I just don’t see it happening without the publishers explicitly allowing it to happen.

Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship

Earlier this month a group of law schools released a statement promoting open access publishing of law school journals. Called the Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship, it was signed by representatives from Duke, University of Virginia, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Yale University, Stanford University, University of Texas, Columbia, Northwestern, Harvard, New York University, University of Chicago University of California — Berkeley, Barry University, University of Cincinnati, and Fordham University.

The undersigned believe that it will benefit legal education and improve the dissemination of legal scholarly information if law schools commit to making the legal scholarship they publish available in stable, open, digital formats in place of print. To accomplish this end, law schools should commit to making agreed-upon stable, open, digital formats, rather than print, the preferable formats for legal scholarship. If stable, open, digital formats are available, law schools should stop publishing law journals in print and law libraries should stop acquiring print law journals. We believe that, in addition to their other benefits, these changes are particularly timely in light of the financial challenges currently facing many law schools.

ARL Statement to Scholarly Publishers on the Global Economic Crisis

ARL issued a statement today on the impacts of the global economic crisis on library budgets and the corresponding effect on subscriptions and purchasing patterns. The statement backs up a similar release by ICOLC last month.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released a statement on the current global economic crisis and its effect on publishing and library subscriptions. The ARL statement, which is aimed at scholarly publishers and vendors, reinforces some of the key points in a recent statement by the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) and offers additional observations and recommendations from the perspectives of ARL member libraries.