"A fundamental condition for the entire Libris collaboration is voluntary participation. Libraries that catalogue in Libris can take out all their bibliographic records and incorporate them instead into another system, or use them in anyway the library finds suitable." (from the blog post)This is an example of the down-stream constraint issues that we discussed while working on the Open Bibliography Principles for the Open Knowledge Foundation. While open data may appear to be primarily an ideological stance it in fact has real practical implications. A bibliographic database is made up of records and data elements that can have uses in many contexts. In addition, the same bibliographic data may exist in numerous databases managed by members of entirely different communities. Someone may wish to create a new database or service using data coming from a variety of sources. At times someone will want to use only portions of records and may mix and match individual data elements from different sources. Any kind of constraints on use of the data, including something as seemingly innocuous as allowing all non-commercial use, require the user of the data to keep track of the source of each record or data element. Practically this means that an application using the mix of data is effectively constrained by the most strict contract in the mix.
The Swedish library was concerned that their participating libraries would be hindered in their future systems and activities if any limitations were placed on data use. In addition, they would not be able to share their data with the Europeana project, as Europeana requires that the data contributed be open precisely because of the complications of managing hundreds or thousands of different sources with different obligations.
As many of us pointed out during the discussions about the OCLC record use policy, the practical problems of controlling down-stream use of data are insurmountable. Some people argue that the record use policy hasn't affected libraries using WorldCat, but my experience is that the policy has a chilling effect on some libraries, and is making it more difficult for libraries to embrace the linked open data model. The Swedish National Library had to make the difficult decision between WorldCat services and future capabilities. It was undoubtedly a hard decision, but it is admirable that the National Library did not give up what it saw as important rights for its users.