DUBLIN, Ohio, August 25, 2008—OCLC is piloting a new service for libraries that encourages librarians and other interested parties to discover and share information about the copyright status of books.
The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry is a community working together to build a union catalog of copyright evidence based on WorldCat, which contains more than 100 million bibliographic records describing items held in thousands of libraries worldwide. In addition to the WorldCat metadata, the Copyright Evidence Registry uses other data contributed by libraries and other organizations.
Digitization projects continue for books in the public domain, but books whose copyright status is unknown are destined to remain in print and on shelves until their status can be determined. The process to determine copyright status can be lengthy and labor intensive. The goal of the Copyright Evidence Registry is to encourage a cooperative environment to discover, create and share copyright evidence through a collaboratively created and maintained database, using the WorldCat cooperative model to eliminate duplicate efforts.
"Having a practical registry of copyright evidence is vital to our objective of providing our scholars and students with more digital content, one goal of Stanford’s mass digitization projects," said Catherine Tierney, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services, Stanford University. "By leveraging the value of its massive database, OCLC is in a unique position to champion cooperative efforts to collect evidence crucial to determining copyright status."
The Copyright Evidence Registry six-month pilot was launched July 1 to test the concept and functionality. Users can search the Copyright Evidence Registry to find information about a book, learn what others have said about its copyright status, and share what they know.
"The Copyright Evidence Registry builds on the WorldCat cooperative model envisioned by OCLC founder Frederick Kilgour," said Chip Nilges, OCLC Vice President, Business Development. "OCLC, and its network of libraries and librarians, is in a position to take a leadership role in this cooperative effort to build a database of copyright status information for all to share."
During a later stage of the pilot, OCLC will add a feature enabling pilot libraries to create and run automated copyright rules conforming to standards they define for determining copyright status. The rules will help libraries analyze the information available in the Copyright Evidence Registry and form their own conclusions about copyright status.
"The Copyright Evidence Registry is a resource being created by a cooperative network of librarians coming together to share their knowledge and findings about copyright status for the benefit of the entire community," said Bill Carney, OCLC Content Manager.
The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry Beta can be accessed at http://www.worldcat.org/copyrightevidence. Catalogers should feel free to use their OCLC Connexion cataloging authorizations to log in. Others are welcome to create or use their current WorldCat.org authorization. There is a "sandbox" record available to try out the system.
OCLC is encouraging feedback from the library community on the WorldCat.org Web site http://www.worldcat.org/copyrightevidence/registry/feedback.
Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 60,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit www.oclc.org.