Tuesday, October 01, 2013

More on the Library and Archives Canada-Canadiana Project to Digitize 60 Million Pages of Canadian Heritage

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the non-profit library consortium Canadiana.org had signed a 10-year contract with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to help digitize 60 million pages of primary-source documents.

News of the deal sparked controversy as it appeared to many observers that Canadiana.org would be granted a 10-year exclusive license to sell access to the materials that are part of the LAC's public collections.

University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist today wrote that "newly obtained documents under the Access to Information Act raise troubling questions about public access and promises of exclusivity made by the LAC."

Earlier Library Boy posts on the project include:

  • Library Associations Support Canadiana.org/Library and Archives Canada Digitization Project (June 17, 2013): "The fear seems to be that Canadiana.org would be granted a 10-year exclusive license to sell access to many of the materials that are part of Canada's heritage. The Canadian Library Association (CLA) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) have come out in support of the project and provided more detail about what it involves. What they describe leaves a very different, much more positive impression about the project."
  • Roundup of Coverage on Library and Archives Canada Heritage Digitization Plan (June 21, 2013): "There are 2 places to get an overview of what the discussion - pro and con - is all about: The American site Infodocket has compiled a Roundup of Press and Public Statements: Library and Archives Canada Heritage Digitization Plan. The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association, has published a page on Coverage of Library and Archives Canada/Canadiana.org Heritage Project with press coverage, commentary, statements from library and other associations and Hansard excerpts."
  • Questions on Library and Archives Canada Héritage Digitization Project (July 28, 2013): "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 Canadiana.org 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 12:15 pm


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