The internet has made sharing library catalogue records easier for libraries and users – but with it comes a new set of challenges surrounding the legal implications. A new Jisc toolkit helps librarians navigate the legal minefield of making their catalogue records available to others.
“There are now so many ways in which catalogue records can be re-used on the Web outside the formal library catalogue,” says Ben Wynne, the Jisc programme manager responsible for this guidance. “This is great news for libraries and their users but, as in so many other areas, when it comes to copying and sharing data you need to be clear what you can and cannot do within the law.”
Web 2.0 applications such as LibraryThing have opened up new ways for people to share records for their books and other information resources and for libraries to make them available for indexing by Web search engines.
The aim of the guidance is to enable librarians to take a risk management approach to making their catalogue records available for re-use and to audit their current legal position.
The key issues which emerge from the guidance are:
- Contracts (licences) with record suppliers have a greater influence on what individual libraries can and cannot do with their records than intellectual property law
- There is no such thing as a standard licence for the supply of records
To establish what libraries can and cannot do with records sourced from suppliers, they need to check their individual licences. The toolkit includes information on what sort of conditions to look out for in licences and the sort of clauses libraries should consider including when negotiating new licences with suppliers.
Listen to more advice from authors Claire Davies and Max Hammond from Curtis and Cartwright in the podcast interview (Duration 12:31)
This guidance complements a recent RIN report on the supply of bibliographic records which looked at how the sharing of records in a networked world could be made more efficient in the future.