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Bib records

Aren't individual catalogue records an act of creation?  Diverse and
important decisions (that determine forever the positioning of a work with
respect to the body of knowledge) are made by cataloguers every step of
the way, even though they are coded into a highly structured format (who
owns MARC?).

If so, then to whom do those records belong?  The cataloguers, or...

In the USA, records created at the Library of Congress would be subject to
Section 105 of the Copyright Act (works done by government employees on
government time) and therefore not subject to copyright. 

Who owns records created by state employees (at, say, the University of

Who owns records created at a private school (at, say Yale)?  I would
assume that in this case, the records are "works for hire" and the
property of the University Library. 

Who owns aggregations of records?  Can OCLC or any other group really
copyright these and in so doing, are they usurping the rights of owners of
the assorted records in the database which they have NOT created?

What have our institutions done to give OCLC the right to copyright
the database?  Do we have to do anything to enable this?

Is there any value in an individual cataloging record or is their
value only in lots of them together (the right ones)?

These questions are almost like "how many angels on the head of a pin?" 
but rather fascinating for all that.   I don't know if they belong on
this list, but let's let in a few more messages on this topic.  There
is a relationship here to (licensed) commercial databases, after all.

Ann Okerson, Co-Moderator of Liblicense-l
Associate University Librarian
Yale University
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