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Europeana and OCLC agree on approach

OCLC and Europeana, the provider of Europe’s digital library, have worked together on an approach that will enable OCLC member institutions to contribute metadata derived from OCLC’s WorldCat database to the portal in a manner that is consistent with OCLC’s “WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative.

Image attribution: National Library of Finland

This agreement aims to dispel concerns that OCLC’s policies around metadata in its WorldCat database are an obstacle to complying with the terms of the Europeana Data Exchange Agreement (DEA), which places all metadata contributed to in the public domain, using the Creative Commons Zero Public Domain Dedication license. While OCLC makes no intellectual property claims to individual metadata records in WorldCat, it asserts a copyright claim over the WorldCat database as a whole—which created uncertainty over contributions to by members of the cooperative. Nevertheless, OCLC wishes to support participation in Europeana by its member libraries given the significance of Europeana.

In response to these concerns, OCLC requested and Europeana agreed to ask subsequent users of the metadata to give attribution to both OCLC and to the contributing institution as the source, and to make them aware of the OCLC cooperative’s community norms around data. This attribution and awareness are consistent with the expectations that OCLC member institutions have of one another with respect to data use. It is also consistent with Europeana’s Usage Guidelines for Metadata, particularly the principle of “giving credit where credit is due.”

OCLC will continue to publicise its cooperative norms and provide advice and support to members of the cooperative who contribute metadata, while Europeana will actively encourage re-users of the metadata to uphold the aforementioned Usage Guidelines for Metadata.

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