PREMIS Editorial Committee releases study on rights information in the PREMIS data dictionary

The report, "Rights in the PREMIS Data Model," was written by Karen Coyle and commissioned by the Library of Congress' Network Development and MARC Standards Office as part of the PREMIS maintenance activity. The study examines how rights information needed for digital preservation activities is handled in the PREMIS data dictionary.

The Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies (PREMIS) Working Group developed the Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadata, which is a specification containing a set of "core" preservation metadata elements that has broad applicability within the digital preservation community. It constructed a data model that defined entities involved in the preservation process and their relationships. One of the entities in this data model is rights statements, which specify terms and conditions for using the objects in a preservation repository. The PREMIS Working Group chose to consider only rights required for preservation activities in scope for its work, rather than rights for access. Because of the ambiguity of the laws concerning intellectual property rights and the complexity in the roles that institutions play in digital preservation in relation to access, it was difficult for the Working Group to thoroughly cover all information needed about rights to preserve in the data dictionary.

The Library of Congress, as part of the PREMIS maintenance activity, commissioned Karen Coyle to provide this study to assist the newly established PREMIS Editorial Committee, in consultation with the PREMIS Implementers Group, with its first revision of the data dictionary and schemas. The intention is to improve the specification so that institutions trying to assess their rights to preserve materials in digital formats will be able to provide enough information in their digital repositories to make such assessments about their materials over time. In this study Karen Coyle reviews the landscape of digital rights, analyzes various preservation rights scenarios and the sorts of preservation actions that digital repositories might take, relates copyright law to preservation actions, and provides recommendations for revision where the data dictionary needs expansion.

More Information

"Rights in the PREMIS Data Model," by Karen Coyle

PREMIS Maintenance Activity

For more information:

Rebecca S. Guenther
Senior Networking and Standards Specialist
Library of Congress Network Development and MARC Standards Office

Brian Lavoie
Consulting Research Scientist
OCLC Programs & Research