[openbiblio-dev] Bibsoup legal issues

Karen Coyle kcoyle at kcoyle.net
Wed Sep 28 20:48:55 UTC 2011

Quoting Jim Pitman <pitman at stat.Berkeley.EDU>:

> 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.

Didn't we write a set of principles stating that bibliographic data is  
not/should not be considered to be under copyright? Or are you  
considering the collection copyright-able?

>  I really dont like this.  I think every collection displayed
> on the bibsoup should have a source file on the web.

I'm not sure what the nature of this source file would be. Couldn't it  
be a temporary output from something like Zotero or Mendeley, and  
would not be retained after uploading?

Are users expected to re-upload their collections when they add something new?

If they can add to the collections without re-uploading, then the  
"source" needs to be at the citation level, not the collection level.  
But I still think that there shouldn't necessarily be a permanent  
source file for the collection.

It seems to me that the best thing to capture is some identity (email)  
of the person who uploaded it. That implies that the registration  
facility use an email to the registrant to validate the email address.


> 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
> 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.
> 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.
> We may also consider providing users with private displays  of their  
> data. But I advise against this, because we then have to provide  
> security on collections,
> privacy policy, ...  which is costly. Lets leave that to others. I  
> think we should say that anyone can upload their data to bibsoup,  
> but that in doing so they make their
> content more public than it otherwise would be, unless they provide  
> explicit licenses on their records or collections.
> This is something we will have to work through also with the bigger  
> suppliers like Mendeley and Microsoft.
> --Jim
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Karen Coyle
kcoyle at kcoyle.net http://kcoyle.net
ph: 1-510-540-7596
m: 1-510-435-8234
skype: kcoylenet

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