[open-bibliography] Openbiblio at OCLC

Edmund Chamberlain emc59 at cam.ac.uk
Fri May 27 11:25:25 UTC 2011

We had an interesting discussion with Karen this week regarding this as 
part of our work with the on the COMET project. It appears that OCLC are 
indeed considering ODC-By as the recommended license for libraries 
wishing to share data derived from Worldcat.

My personal understanding was that this licensing was seen as being 
compatible (in terms of a legal substitute rather than an addition) with 
the rights and responsibilities of members whereas PDDL was not. 
Hopefully someone from OCLC can give us some clarification and greater 
specifics on this.

Karen mentioned her upcoming retirement, indicated that was there was a 
clear handover path in place for her work on Open Data and that they 
have been consulting with acknowledged legal experts in Open Data 
licensing. They next hope to gain feedback from the library community 
and beyond on this issue, especially with regards to how attribution 
would work in practice.

I'd be personally interested in the Open Data community's feelings on 
attribution licensing for data in general. Thoughts and ideas are good, 
but practical examples of where it has inconvenienced, disrupted or 
conversely assisted efforts would be very welcome.

 From a library point of view, I can see some advantage in having 
attribution retained, given that our hard work in creating an original 
record is acknowledged.

 From a developer point of view, I can only imagine it working in 
practice if OCLC give clear guidelines on attribution and make it 
painless. Quite how attribution would work in an 'ecology' of linked 
data is also something I'd also welcome thoughts and opinions on.

I think its also worth highlighting that OCLC have clearly realised that 
non-commercial licensing is not suitable for bibliography, and have also 
avoided the mis-step of trying to 'roll their own' license. This is in 
itself a very good sign.

Whilst I have a personal preference for PDDL/CC0 due to ease of 
consumption, I feel that if OCLC do adopt an Open Data Common License 
recommendation it will still be a major step forward for libraries 
wishing to share data on a wider scale.

Best wishes

Ed Chamberlain

Edmund Chamberlain
Systems Development Librarian	
Electronic Services and Systems
Cambridge University Library
West Road,

tel: (+44) 01223 747437
fax: (+44) 01223 333160

email: emc59 at cam.ac.uk

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