Digital Public Library of America, Session III

Here are some quick notes on three take-aways from Session III at the Content and Scope planning meeting of the Digital Public Library of America.

1) Materials that are in copyright will have to be thought about by the DPLA differently (the red zone) from those in the public domain (green) or orphan works and gray literature (yellow).  But ideally the members of the public accessing the works would not know about these differences when approaching the content.  This issue leads to the tiering issue (or perhaps we need a different word) for DPLA.  From a user perspective, could we make it not matter whether the material, before coming to DPLA, was red, yellow, or green?  There are a variety of ways that might come to pass, including a possible alternative compensation model for books as a way to pay creators.  (For a proposal to create two types of alternative compensation system in a parallel field, music and movies, see William W. Fisher, Promises to Keep, Ch. 6).

2) A user may have multiple roles: on the one hand, may be an author who wants credit or payment for her work, and on another is seeking low-cost or free, unfettered access to the work of others.  And diversity of users becomes tricky when one adds the international access dimension.

3) A five-year (or other) moving wall strategy, in partnership with publishers, seems like an attractive possible approach to digitizing materials and making them available.  One might be able to enable payment for a series of years and then return the works to the public domain.  But there may be issues lurking here, too.

The moderator adds some more: a) the scope and content of #dpla must include materials that are not just in the public domain, which leads to sustainability and incentives; b) talking about services and lots of added values, with many players with multiple roles, where many people in the ecosystem of publishing, reading, and using information have a stake in the success of #dpla; c) library materials should be made available to the public in ways that are as free, open and useful as possible.

One thought on “Digital Public Library of America, Session III

  1. Pingback: A national digital library system for George Roper, Mount Vernon High School, and McAllen, Texas, please–not just the American elite | LibraryCity

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