[Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

Kalfatovic, Martin KalfatovicM at si.edu
Mon Apr 2 09:33:22 CDT 2012


-        BHL attempts to remain agnostic on the "correctness" of current worldwide copyright laws (which isn't to say we all don't have very strong personal opinions);

-        Because there are real, legal, enforceable copyright laws, when working with legitimate rights holders (e.g. those individuals or institutions which have claimed rights by use of copyright) BHL recognizes and respects those rights. So, when we request permission to digitize content from a rights holder, we request a CC-BY-SA-NC type of permission; this is the lowest common denominator that rights holders generally agree to;

-        When a 3rd party violates the terms we have with the rights holders (whether because of faulty metadata or on purpose), BHL needs to keep good faith with original rights holder and ask that this infringement stop;

-        If the rights holders didn't care, that would be one thing, but we've been notified that some do; thus BHL needs to work on all fronts to observe the terms of our agreement with rights holders

Bottom line: BHL is trying to maintain good relationships with rights holders so that they feel comfortable making their content as widely and openly as possible. More open is better than less open, but we know it's not perfect.


Martin R. Kalfatovic
Associate Director, Digital Services Division || Program Director, Biodiversity Heritage Library
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
email: kalfatovicm at si.edu<mailto:kalfatovicm at si.edu>
tel: 202.633.1705

From: Stephen Thorpe [mailto:stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz]
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2012 6:50 PM
To: Kalfatovic, Martin; 'taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu'
Cc: 'biodiversitylibrary at gmail.com'
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

Hi Martin,
I find your comments interesting. I, for one, find BHL extremely useful, and I use it all the time (though I don't see any significant advantage, for me, over accessing the same content on Internet Archive). You say [quote]at the same time, we have discouraged 3rd party commercial use of the digitized content without permission from the copyright holders[unquote]. I am a little confused as to the exact meaning of this, and whether it is enforceable legally? Or are your letters of protest to Nabu all just hot air?  I'm a simple guy, with a simple brain, but I just can't get my head around this simple issue:
If you are giving a publication away, free of charge, to anyone who wants one, then why do you care if they put it to some commercial use? Not only that, but why does the original publisher ("copyright holder") care? Note that selling copies is only the most obvious commercial use, but there are potentially many other, more subtle, "commercial uses", such as obtaining information (such as research findings) to help to develop a new product. Copyright is typically an issue relating to financial losses to the copyright holder resulting from other people copying the work without permission. But if you are making it freely available to everyone anyway, then there are no overt financial losses to BHL or the copyright holder. Perhaps, strictly speaking BHL doesn't want a monopoly for itself, but rather a monopoly for itself and its chosen partners, where there is presumably some sort of direct or indirect mutual financial gain in the partnership? Probably a perfectly legal and legitimate arrangement, I'm sure.  I am interested ... how does it work??

From: "Kalfatovic, Martin" <KalfatovicM at si.edu<mailto:KalfatovicM at si.edu>>
To: "'taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu'" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu<mailto:taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>>
Cc: "'biodiversitylibrary at gmail.com'" <biodiversitylibrary at gmail.com<mailto:biodiversitylibrary at gmail.com>>
Sent: Saturday, 31 March 2012 5:21 AM
Subject: [Taxacom] BHL and print on demand publishers

Dear Taxacom members:

I want to thank you all for your participation on the discussion around the discovery that print on demand publishers, specifically, Nabu Press, have been using BHL digitized materials for commercial purposes.

BHL has worked closely with scientific societies and publishers for permission to digitize and make available via BHL (and the Internet Archive, our scanning partner) in a free and open manner. At the same time, we have discouraged 3rd party commercial use of the digitized content without permission from the copyright holders.

Generally, this is in the spirit of a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) license.

In looking specifically into the Nabu Press issue, BHL staff have found that we've had some erroneous metadata in the rights field that indicated "NOT IN COPYRIGHT". We believe this has led to Nabu scooping this content. We are working now to correct this problem and will work with Nabu, Amazon, etc. to remove the copyrighted materials from commercial sites. It is also possible that Nabu and other POD publishers have scooped content with appropriate metadata, we will also investigate that.

I also wanted to address a couple of points that have come up in the discussion, specifically, "BHL would no doubt like to have a monopoly on providing access to the publications it has (even though the access is free, it can still make money indirectly)". BHL does not seek a monopoly on access to taxonomic literature. Our mission and mandate has been provide ease of access to as much content as possible. This is why content is available through both the BHL site as well as the Internet Archive (and its associated site, OpenLibrary.org). We hope that the BHL portal provides the tools and services to make the content more findable and usable there (through APIs, web services, etc.) but hope that the community doesn't feel that we're enclosing the content in just a different way.

Again, our apologies to rights holders who entrusted their content to BHL in good faith agreements. Be assured we will revise our workflow to make certain that our digitization work will reflect the parameters  given to BHL by the rights holders.

Martin Kalfatovic
BHL Program Director

Martin R. Kalfatovic
Associate Director, Digital Services Division || Program Director, Biodiversity Heritage Library
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
10th Street & Constitution Ave., NW
Room 24 Mz
MRC 154 PO Box 37012
Washington, DC 20013-7012
email: kalfatovicm at si.edu<mailto:kalfatovicm at si.edu><mailto:kalfatovicm at si.edu<mailto:kalfatovicm at si.edu>>
tel: 202.633.1705
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