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RE: Libraries and archiving (Re: RE: If electronic is to replace paper)

	Many, many issues about copyright and licensing need to be
resolved, starting with teaching those who are generating the source
materials what their responsibilities are or should be, what their
institutions policies and practices are regarding ownership of products,
etc., generated by employees (yes, faculty are employees) and their
obligations to the institutions.  Many of us need to re-read our
contracts.  I am sure we might be surprised what we agreed to.  Product
development, trademark, copyright and most revenue generated from research
and scholarship may actually reside with the university and not with the
individual, which may have implications that have not been considered
especially if universities decide to recover control of their "property."

	Like Mr. Anderson, I believe the licensing issues can be overcome
because we are already in the midst of resolving some of the technical
difficulties with managing large data sets, databases and electronic
resources.  Many universities and libraries have invested in improving
their technology infrastructures and developing expertise locally.  We all
realize the cost of maintaining such practices and we all realize that
standards have not been universally accepted.  However, we also realize
that there are models for maintaining and managing digital libraries.  
The concept of regional sites makes sense for certain types of electronic
products and resources such as widely used indexes or standard
cross-disciplinary research journals, but the concept of a single site
(with at least one other mirrored site) for certain research topics such
as high energy particle physics needs to be considered.  Scholarship and
scholarly communication are and will continue to undergo radical
restructuring as more and more of the advantages of telecommunications and
digital technologies are more fully realized.

	I hope that the concept of the university press also undergoes
reconsideration.  Why not have the university promote the scholarship and
research achievements of its faculty, staff and students?  With machine
signatures and dates, we could truly have peer review--scholars of all
types can critique, argue, review, substantiate and acclaim others works
in a more compressed time frame.  We are already aware that much
scholarship takes two years to publish, which is a model that may no
longer be acceptable to researchers and scholars.  With the possible
change in how works are published and disseminated, the often onerous
tenure processes may be reviewed and revamped.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Rick Anderson [SMTP:rick_anderson@uncg.edu]
> Sent:	Thursday, November 18, 1999 7:25 PM
> To:	liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu
> Subject:	Re: Libraries and archiving (Re: RE: If electronic is to
> replace paper)
> > There are some serious technical and licensing problems with this. The
> > electronic representation available to licensees will be in a display
> > format such as HTML or PDF or more proprietary formats on CD
> publications.
> > Many of these formats are subject to obsolescence over the years as
> > software evolves and commercial fortunes change. The publisher holds (or
> > should hold) a more durable representation of the data based on
> > Only if you have access to this can you be sure that in decades to come
> you
> > will be able to gain electronic access to the works in a convenient
> form.
> > What is the likelihood that in 20 years time we will have full backwards
> > compatibility in web browsers (or whatever we are using then) to todays
> > 'primitive' HTML markup?
> The licensing problems are not serious -- they are problems of attitude
> and policy and can be dealt with through education and negotiation.  The
> technological concerns are serious, and I don't wish to discount them. But
> they don't address what I think is the core question: where does it make
> the most sense to locate the archival function: with publishers (who have
> never served that function before) or with libraries (who have always
> served that function)?  Once we answer that question, THEN we can discuss
> how the technological problems will be addressed.  No matter who takes on
> the responsibility, those issues will be more or less the same.  That
> doesn't mean that we should lightly pass over the problems posed by
> proprietary formats and the unpredictability of backwards compatibility --
> on the contrary, I think it means that libraries must get more involved in
> solving them.  This is our job.  If the primary function of a library is
> to maintain a durable collection for its patrons, why shouldn't libraries
> be the ones to develop a durable representation of the data to which it
> has purchased access (based on SGML/XML or whatever other
> language/context/technology comes up in the future)?
> ><snip>
> > It seems unlikely that publishers will licence their source data to
> > libraries for archival purposes. 
> I'm not convinced that licensing the source data would be necessary.  I'm
> not a technology expert, but I can't imagine that there's no way to
> translate the published manifestation of online content into a durable
> electronic format.
> > Why would libraries want to take on the
> > role of maintaining current electronic publications from such data, even
> if
> > they could get it? They would have to become publishers in their own
> right.
> Libraries would obviously not be able to support indefinitely the exact
> representation of content as originally published -- the bells and
> whistles would probably disappear in an archival context.  But I think it
> would be possible to archive the basic content (text and associated
> multimedia files).  To the degree that libraries create content of their
> own for public use (as they always have and always will), I suppose
> libraries are "publishers" in the most literal sense of the term.
> > Regardless of who does it, it will cost money.
> Libraries have always been expensive, and always will be.
> ----------------------
> Rick Anderson
> rick_anderson@uncg.edu