by Luella Upthegrove and Tom Roberts
The global electronic library will need standards that facilitate the controlled distribution and protection of digitized intellectual properties, and that encourage library expansion and access. This paper describes a system based on intellectual property distribution and protection that is currently being tested at Case Western Reserve University, and defines a global header descriptor applicable to the electronic distribution of intellectual properties.
The mission of the Library Collections Services Project (LCS) at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is to establish an online multimedia repository to serve the academic and research needs of the CWRU community. To this end, LCS has created a number of prototype applications that demonstrate the potential of a networked multimedia repository. These prototypes address the interests of the providers and consumers of intellectual property (IP) resident in the repository.
Early on, the LCS project team recognized the responsibility it had to maintain and protect the electronic IP. The team collected IP management requirements by meeting with members of the publishing and legal communities, reproduction rights organizations, librarians, online information service providers, and academicians.
The issues that resulted from these meetings fall under the general headings of: IP protection, IP use management, and royalty compensation.
DEVELOPING THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
The LCS team began its system design by defining end-to-end system components based on the requirements gathered. The requirements fell logically into the broad categories of: Ownership, Compensation, Permissioning, User Access, Privacy/Confidentiality, and Permitted Uses. Prior to building the prototype repository and applications, appropriate permissions were obtained from participating rightsholders.
Applications were designed that verify user authorization, access the IP, and manage IP use before and during repository access. These applications compare user information and usage data coupled to the IP to determine access and use. Comparison of user information and usage data satisfies the protection and use requirements detailed in license agreements negotiated with IP rightsholders.
These applications, all of which adhere to a set of data and protocol standards, are called compliant applications. Only compliant applications can access the IP in the repository.
EXPANSION TO THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
To expand this model, consider that all IP consumers are part of the local environment. They access repositories on which they have registered accounts, and information passed between user and repository is managed at the local level. Users maintain the ability to query information contained in remote repositories; however, the request for the IP transacts between the user’s local repository and the remote repository in the global environment.
The LCS model can be expanded to this global environment. To accomplish this the following assumptions, significant issues in themselves, are made:
- Permissions for storage, access, use, and compensation have been negotiated and agreed upon.
- Compliant applications are resident and in use on all participating systems.
- Economic structures for billing and compensation have been established.
- Technical strategies for locating IP are in place.
A typical global transaction may develop as follows.
A user locates and requests IP on a remote repository. The request is routed through their local repository to the remote repository where the requested IP resides. The protocol of this communication contains a standard request that includes information identifying the IP, the requesting repository, the user environment specifications, and the intended use. The remote repository verifies the request, constructs a header descriptor based on that request, and replies to the requesting repository. This header descriptor is in the form of a standardized global header descriptor.
Using the local environment presented earlier as a base, data common across the global environment can be identified. The following elements are proposed for inclusion in a global header descriptor.
to include rightsholder identification and contact information for use in compensation, special permissioning, and copyright code compliance.
to include uses as negotiated with the rightsholder detailing authorized users, display resolutions, print capability, etc.
to include the compensation framework as it relates to the permitted uses.
to include the physical attributes, and component parts comprising the IP.
To accommodate this information, each descriptor element would contain a variable length data string preceded by a standard ID. These elements would be mapped to the local repository for use by functionally compliant applications.
In the form of a dynamically generated global header descriptor, information common, particular, and primary to IP providers and purveyors can be developed to enable global and local protection and use management.
The challenge of developing standards for the global electronic library may seem overwhelming; however, inaction will render the vision vain. Opportunities are afforded to those who begin now to define the framework of the new environment.
This paper presents a prototype system designed for intellectual property protection and use management in a local electronic environment. It then begins to describe a global header descriptor based on the two premises that: the electronic environment is comprised of local users connected to primary global repositories, and that intellectual property access is mediated by applications compliant to established protection and use monitoring requirements.
To this end, it is proposed that a global header descriptor contain a set of data elements that identify intellectual property: Ownership, Permitted Uses, Royalty Compensation, and IP Attributes.
Local and global standards must cooperate to provide access and use controls such that IP providers, purveyors, and consumers are confident that their interests are protected. Properly designed standards will enable repositories to fulfill their responsibilities, and encourage the use and expansion of the global electronic library.
Thomas Roberts, DBA Communication Media and Documentation Services, is consulting with CWRU’s LCS Project. CM&D specializes in knowledge transfer using established and emerging technologies. With CWRU, CM&D is identifying and analyzing copyright, permissioning, and royalty compensation issues as they apply to electronic intellectual property distribution.
Tom Roberts Library Collections Services Case Western Reserve University 10900 Euclid Ave., Baker 6 Cleveland, OH 44106-7033 email@example.com
Luella Upthegrove, Database Administrator for CWRU’s LCS project, helped design and develop the prototype electronic library, and is currently involved in planning for the second version of the system.
Luella Upthegrove Library Collections Services Case Western Reserve University 10900 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44106-7033 (216) 368-8921 FAX: (216) 368-8880 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org