In order to allow sufficient time for feedback and discussion, implementation of the Policy will be delayed until the third quarter of the 2009 calendar year.OCLC will form a "review board" to solicit info from members and others, and to advise the OCLC board of trustees about the policy. Jennifer Younger will chair this committee.
This delay is welcome, but I am dubious that a review board would be able to convince the trustees that OCLC must welcome open access to bibliographic data. Minor tweaks to the policy are not going to make much of a difference, and I doubt that any "advice" is going to force the board to do an about-face.
Those of us who promote open access must use this time wisely. First, we need to get some solid legal advice. It's clear that OCLC can propose any kind of conditions in a contract and hope to get signers; it's less clear that OCLC can impose a contract on members 1) without their explicit agreement 2) that covers data created before the contract becomes valid 3) that binds third parties to the contract. Next, anyone who has bibliographic data should release it "into the wild" as quickly as possible. Once the data is circulating, it will not be possible to withdraw it. One solution is to create database dumps and to upload these to the Internet Archive. They will be there for downloading by others, and some of the data may end up in the Open Library. Assuming that bibliographic records cannot be covered by copyright, all of this data ends up in the public domain to fuel innovation and creativity.
Note: if you are preparing a data dump, my advice is:
- use a standard format (MARC21, MARCXML, UNIMARC, etc.).
- your local record ID (MARC 001)
- something that identifies the source of the record (your system or institution) (MARC 003)
- the version date (either the last date the record was updated, or the date of the data dump) (MARC 005)