Sunday, July 28, 2013

Questions on Library and Archives Canada Héritage Digitization Project

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of June 21, 2013 entitled Roundup of Coverage on Library and Archives Canada Heritage Digitization Plan.

The Héritage Project is an ambitious initiative that involves the digitization of approximately 60 million pages of primary-source documents from the collections of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). The digitization would be done by the non-profit library consortium which would be granted a 10-year exclusive right to monetize the collections. Each year 10% of the collections would convert into Open Access available free of charge to Canadians. At the end of the project term 100% will be Open Access.

Ariel Katz, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, last week outlined Some Questions on the Héritage Project on his blog:
"From a legal perspective, the decision to grant a 10-year exclusive right to monetize the collections raises a few interesting questions: (a) can LAC monetize its collections; or (b) can LAC enter into an agreement with third parties for that purpose; and (c) can it do it by granting an exclusive right?"

"The short answer, in my view, is: (a) LAC does not have the power to monetize its collections; (b) LAC can allow (or indeed cannot prevent), others from providing services based on its collections and monetize those services; but (c) LAC cannot grant an exclusive right to monetize the collections."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:05 pm


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