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Sunday, January 20, 2008

More on the barrier of copyright clearance

John Mark Ockerbloom, Copyright and Provenance: Some Practical Problems, Bulletin of the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Data Engineering, December 2007.  Self-archived, January 3, 2008.  (Thanks to ResourceShelf.)

Abstract:   Copyright clearance is an increasingly complex and expensive impediment to the digitization and reuse of information. Clearing copyright issues in a reliable and cost-effective manner for works created in the last 100 years can involve establishing complex provenance chains for the works, their copyrights, and their licenses. This paper gives an overview of some of the practical provenance-related issues and challenges in clearing copyrights at large scale, and discusses efforts to more efficiently gather and share information and its copyright provenance.

From the body of the paper:

...[I]mproved copyright clearance is not simply an interesting research application. The easier it is to safely and legally reuse the works of the past, the easier it becomes to advance the state of knowledge and culture. The technologies that now allow organizations to digitize millions of books for the Internet make it possible to revive, redistribute and build upon the large corpuses of text, data, audiovisual media, and software, that make up the historic, cultural, and scientific endowment of the world. If advances in provenance handling allow us to more easily clear their copyrights, we may all enjoy greater access to a richer heritage of knowledge....