Open Committee Call: Legal, May 7, 2:00 PM Eastern

Posted by DPLA in May 5, 2014.

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The Legal Committee held an open call on Wednesday, May 7. The agenda and notes from this call can be found below.


  1. Discussion of metadata rights statement and general update from DPLA on joint DPLA-Europeana rights working group (see more here and here)
  2. Follow-up discussion on recent U.S. Copyright Office round-table meeting (see more here)
  3. Discussion of “On the Right to Link
  4. (Submitted by  Legal Committee member Dave Hansen) A survey we are conducting jointly with Columbia’s American Assembly, about library response to DMCA takedown notices and other similar notices. The survey is going to go out to DPLA hubs, and is available online here: We hope for results later this summer.
  5. (Submitted by Legal Committee member Dave Hansen)  The upcoming US Patent and Trademark Office roundtables on copyright’s first sale doctrine, statutory damages, and remixes:
  6. (Submitted by Legal Committee member Dave Hansen) The imminent release of “Best Practices in Fair Use of Orphan Works for Libraries, Archives, and Other Memory Institutions,” the development of which was facilitated by a joint UC Berkeley-American University team. Background info here:

Notes from call

Dan Cohen opened the call and thanked the participants and members of the committee.

Emily Gore presented the progress of the metadata rights committee. She noted members of the transatlantic committee and that they are trying to deal with a wide variety of rights statements. Would like to reduce those to a set of URIs, and a limited set at that. One meeting has happened and we are hoping for at least one more.

Questions from the audience: Robert Miller: what about print disabled?

Dan: This is probably beyond the scope of the metadata rights committee.

Dave Hansen and Dan talked about the overall Copyright office roundtables, which they found not very productive. Unlikely to have extended collective licensing or significant legislation. Tension between rights holders and libraries. Sandy Thatcher asked if we were completely relying on fair use, especially give the international landscape and lack of fair use in other countries. Dan said that since legislation was so unlikely that was the default anyway, but that Dave and Dan saw encouraging trends in fair use’s favor (and DPLA’s).

Dave Hansen introduced the “Right to Link” and noted that DPLA filed its opposition. Jane Ginsburg asked if anyone from DPLA had attended (no), then gave an overview of what happened. She said that the trend was encouraging–that uses like DPLA’s would probably not be illegal.

Greg Cram: Jonathan Band represented the Library Copyright Alliance at the roundtable on Monday on this issue, and was pro-DPLA.

Dave introduced the work that they have been doing on orphan works, especially noting that existing work emphasizing books has not dealt with the kinds of other materials held by DPLA. A report on that will be out soon, based on many conversations across the country with practitioners. Goal is to get to best practices and consensus.

Jane Ginsburg and Sandy Thatcher raised objections that such a consensus would be difficult to reach without inclusion of the content creators–worries about hostility with those groups. The committee discussed the difficulty of reaching agreement all around, but that maybe information gathering is helpful.

There was further discussion of the possibility or likelihood to a new orphan works bill. There were differing opinions on this.

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