John Mark Ockerbloom
Digital Library Strategist and Metadata Architect
University of Pennsylvania
Associate Director of Copyright and Information Policy
New York Public Library
Director, Copyright Office
University of Michigan
For several years, there has been a conversation about how to better identify the copyright status of a work. A key to that is meaningful access to the records of the US Copyright Office. This panel will feature briefings and discussions of projects that are publishing and using historic copyright data online, and show how making such data available in searchable, machine-processable, and linkable forms can enable libraries and other cultural institutions to legally use and share underused public domain and copyrighted literature and scholarship with greater confidence. The session will report on the Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded project the University of Pennsylvania that undertook to publish a comprehensive inventory online of first copyright renewals of 20th-century serials to make it easier to establish their public domain status, and it will show how putting that data online has also enabled interlinking with rights registries, crowdsourced bibliographic databases, and Wikidata. It will also include a report on the New York Public Library’s ongoing structured conversion of original registrations and discuss how this can be used for rights determination and potential humanities research. Conceptual ideas for possibly using machine learning and crowdsourcing to transcribe the Catalog of Copyright Entries (the CCE) and the value of formal and informal, ongoing professional collaboration will also be discussed.