Re: OCLC Formally Withdraws WorldCat Policy

From: Tim Spalding <tim_at_nyob>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 2009 23:45:12 -0400

What's your prediction about what's next?

Is this effort basically toast or not? Will real consensus will be
hard to create, and will events move fast enough that what you and a
few others perceive about alternatives will be obvious to everyone by
the time anything is done? Or is this a strategic retreat and, with
some clever handling OCLC's power grab can be recast as a community


On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 11:29 PM, Karen Coyle<> wrote:
> B.G. Sloan wrote:
>> "According to OCLC's announcement, 'a new group will soon be assembled to
>> begin work to draft a new policy with more input and participation from OCLC
>> membership. Until then, the 'Guidelines for the Use and Transfer of
>> OCLC-Derived Records' will continue to govern WorldCat data exchange, as it
>> has since 1987."
> I recommend that folks take a look at the committee's report, which is at:
> In particular look at some of the technical assumptions in that report (and
> presumably in the thinking of the committee). One in particular, on page 1,
> is the strong affirmation that the answer (question unclear here) is an
> international union catalog. And that union catalog is WorldCat. If you
> begin with *that* assumption about the technology, you don't then explore
> other models, such as distributed data systems or data "in the web." This is
> unfortunate, in my mind, because it seems to reject, a priori, the NextGen
> catalog ideas that are floating around. It would have been interesting to
> use the opportunity that the OCLC policy development provides to have a
> discussion in our profession about future directions. I don't see how that
> can happen if the discussion cannot question whether a centralized union
> catalog is what we see serving libraries in the future.
> There also doesn't seem to be an awareness of the technical difficulty of
> controlling downstream use of data. It has always seemed to me that this is
> patently infeasible, and therefore not a good basis on which to create a
> policy. We have good examples of how this has played out in other sectors --
> including the failure of DRM with materials that are much less mutable than
> bibliographic data, such as sound files.
> kc
> --
> -----------------------------------
> Karen Coyle / Digital Library Consultant
> ph.: 510-540-7596   skype: kcoylenet
> fx.: 510-848-3913
> mo.: 510-435-8234
> ------------------------------------

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Received on Thu Jul 02 2009 - 23:46:54 EDT