[openbiblio-dev] Bibsoup legal issues

Mark MacGillivray mark at odaesa.com
Wed Sep 28 18:40:36 UTC 2011

On Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM, Jim Pitman <pitman at stat.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> The recent upload
> http://bibsoup.net/collection/CM:Neyman__Jerzy_pub
> raises some systems and metadata and legal issues which we need to deal with.
> This collection is now displayed with no source and no copyright indication.  I really dont like this.  I think every collection displayed
> on the bibsoup should have a source file on the web.
> What we are doing with this upload from file option is allowing users to publish bibs to the web. But no metadata is being collected to
> show
> * what is the source of the data.
> * who the user is
> * what if any rights they may claim over the content,
> I find this quite troubling.  I think we need to try to separate three different functions of the bibsoup/bibserver

yes, at present a file upload does not require metadata, and of course
has no URL to reference. But metadata can be added.

> 1) capability to display a bib file from just about any more/less open biblio source on the web: we should expect such sources to have stable addresses


> 2) capability to upload and provide a url for any bib a user offers from their desktop.  But for this, we must have some clickthrough legal page, which licenses the
>  content and makes it clear what the source is.  I think this is like a pre-stage to 1), and from there the display is identical to 1). It is not properly separated from 1) at present.

Once user accounts are completed (soon), it will be necessary to sign
in to upload (and edit, once editing is built). Therefore, it will
become impossible to create a collection without metadata, as we will
know the user metadata. If we want to, we can have users agree to any
terms on sign up - and this could be configured per bibserver

> 3) capability to acquire, cache and merge public domain components of biblio data uploaded to the bibsoup from whatever sources
> There are also legal issues around 1).
> As long as we just offer display over files that are already accessible on the web, we are probably fairly safe.
> But we should think about our legal/licensing strategy. This is not formulated at present.

So again, this can be resolved on a per-install basis, by having users
agree to whatever conditions you desire at signup. As to what our
conditions would be on our own instance, I presume they are that
uploads should contain open bibliographic metadata as per the open
biblio principles, and that all data is publicly available.


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