[open-humanities] The First Folio

James Cummings James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk
Sat Apr 26 07:55:56 UTC 2014

Hi all,

The project manager (and person whose idea the project and 
crowdfunding that allowed the conservation and imaging to take 
place) is Pip Willcox. I know she pushed for as open a license as 
possible and assume that meant a decision in the Bodleian Digital 
Library Systems and Services (BDLSS) or higher in the 
organisation -- who made that final decision I'm personally not 
sure. I can ask if you want.

Off to Cambridge for a project meeting all weekend,

On 25/04/14 23:02, todd.d.robbins at gmail.com wrote:
> I second Rufus' comment and have learned a lot more about the
> state of licensing there at Oxford. James, what committee/persons
> made the licensing decision that now stands?
> Cheers!
> On Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 3:07 AM, Rufus Pollock
> <rufus.pollock at okfn.org <mailto:rufus.pollock at okfn.org>> wrote:
>     Just wanted to say that this has been a great thread and
>     James comments here were fantastic in explicating a set of
>     complex social and legal issues - thanks James!
>     Rufus
>     On 24 April 2014 17:44, James Cummings
>     <James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk
>     <mailto:James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk>> wrote:
>         On 24/04/14 16:25, Seth Woodworth wrote:
>             Let me begin by thanking Bodleian for releasing this
>             resource
>             online, and for creating this wonderful TEI edition.
>         Hi Seth,
>         Let me be clear that I do not speak for the project,
>         nothing below is legal advice, and I am not a lawyer. I
>         merely provided the project with TEI encoding advice and
>         a few bits of XSLT to help further enrich, correct, or
>         enable some planned searching of the data.
>             Thank you doubly for licensing this work under a license
>             compatible with free cultural works (unlike the current
>             quartos.org <http://quartos.org> <http://quartos.org>).
>         There were some common members of both projects. I
>         believe that the quartos.org <http://quartos.org> XML
>         files have a non-commercial (CC+By+NC) restriction on
>         them and the images might be even more restricted. I
>         would be tempted to think this was an artifact of a
>         multi-national multi-institutional project. I do not work
>         for the Bodleian (but University of Oxford's IT
>         Services), but believe that the Bodleian has been
>         increasingly working towards an open-by-default policy in
>         their digital materials.
>             I will, of course, cite your organization as
>             requested in any
>             projects where I might use your works.
>             But, I believe you are mistaken in your licensing on
>             the scans.
>         I understand that you believe there was no new work in
>         photographing the the Bodleian First Folio. The work was
>         unbound, conserved, and photographed, all of which are
>         quite skilled stages in conservation, curation, and
>         preservation. They were photographed in raw then
>         converted to tiff then even lower-res but still quite
>         high jpg that you can download fully from the site). I
>         would be unsurprised if the Bodleian wanted to argue that
>         these are not mere scans but high quality photographs
>         with a lot of work and thought put into them.
>             In the UK and US there is a doctrine that states that
>             there is no
>             sweat-of-brow copyright.
>             Transcribing the work into a new format (.jpg) does
>             not grant a
>             fresh copyright on the work.
>             Ownership of copyright is a prerequisite to licensing
>             it to third
>             parties, under a CC license or otherwise.
>             Wikipedia has a policy about scans of PD works
>             <http://commons.wikimedia.org/__wiki/Commons:When_to_use_the___PD-Art_tag
>             <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:When_to_use_the_PD-Art_tag>>,
>             that may be relevant.
>         This may confuse the intellectual property right of the
>         text (FF is pre-copyright) with that of the digital
>         images. I do not believe that any new copyright in the
>         First Folio has been created, or indeed ever existed, but
>         digital images of out of copyright works _do_ attract
>         IPR. If I stood outside the Bodleian building and took a
>         photo of the building, you would not argue (I suspect)
>         that I did not have copyright over my digital image. I
>         chose how to frame it, what time of day to take it,
>         whether to have someone cycling by with an Oxford gown
>         on, and indeed how to post-process it to make it look
>         sunny. Likewise if I was in front of a different object
>         that happens to be a book and took a photograph of that,
>         then I should still have copyright in that photograph.
>         (Presuming I didn't sign away this right by conditions of
>         access or something, c.f. British Museum.) I haven't
>         changed the copyright of the original.  You are right,
>         however, that it is possible to argue that the First
>         Folio (as a pre-copyright work) should not be able to be
>         subject to a creative commons license because no one owns
>         the copyright in it. This is not true, many would argue,
>         of the carefully crafted digital images of the conserved
>         object. I suspect that if resource holding institutions
>         were told that they had to openly release any image they
>         took of an out of copyright work as public domain it
>         would be disastrous for the future of (and future
>         research on)  our cultural heritage objects. They'd just
>         stop taking the images (or make it so costly as to be
>         prohibitive). At least these images are available for
>         download under a really quite permissive license.
>         I do happen to know that, because the project to create
>         the images was crowd-funded by the public, the desire is
>         and was always to have the images available with the
>         fewest restrictions possible for the public. I believe
>         those involved with the project went out of their way to
>         ensure a not more-restrictive (e.g. +NC) license was
>         applied. That the Bodleian is moving in the direction of
>         releasing more of its digital materials under open
>         licenses is a good thing, IMHO. And has come a long way
>         compared to a decade ago (compare the restrictions on
>         http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?__collection=balliol&manuscript=__ms238a
>         <http://image.ox.ac.uk/show?collection=balliol&manuscript=ms238a>
>         for example). It is better than the alternative (because
>         the only real alternative is more restrictive, it will be
>         a while, I suspect, before CC0 and/or public domain is a
>         default with resource-holding institutions). Only time
>         will tell.
>             I am unclear if a TEI document is a new creative
>             work, or a
>             faithful conversion into a new format, implying it isn't
>             copyrightable either.
>         A TEI XML marked up work is almost *definitely* a new
>         creative work. The encoding or annotation of texts is
>         almost always an intellectual activity in itself given
>         the amount of interpretation and choice of encoding that
>         digital editors have. To suggest that such encoding could
>         ever be an uncontested 'faithful conversion' shows that I
>         should be pointing you to the TEI Guidelines to see the
>         vast array of choices and possibilities for
>         interpretation that exist:
>         http://www.tei-c.org/release/__doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/
>         <http://www.tei-c.org/release/doc/tei-p5-doc/en/html/>
>           (All TEI Consortium materials are dual-licensed CC+by
>         and BSD 2-clause if you are interested.)
>             But I would be very curious to hear people's
>             positions on the matter.
>         While I dislike cultural resource holding institutions of
>         any kind imposing limitations on access to their digital
>         materials, CC+By is an open enough license for me.
>             Again, your licensing terms are 100% agreeable to me,
>             and I will
>             respect your wishes for attribution regardless.
>         Again, not mine, but the Bodleian's and I believe they
>         were the best the project could get within current
>         policy. In the end it is better to have them available
>         than not available, and citation is a very low barrier to
>         use. I'm sure that feedback would be appreciated to
>         shakespeare at bodleian.ox.ac.uk
>         <mailto:shakespeare at bodleian.ox.ac.uk>.
>         Again, I'm only tangentially involved in the project, do
>         not speak for them or the Bodleian library, and have no
>         legal basis for any of my personal comment or musings
>         above. ;-)
>         -James
>         --
>         Dr James Cummings, James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk
>         <mailto:James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk>
>         Academic IT Services, University of Oxford
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>     **Rufus Pollock**
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> Tod Robbins
> Digital Asset Manager, MLIS
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Dr James Cummings, James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk
Academic IT Services, University of Oxford

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