OCLC Research 2010: Well-Intentioned Practices

As 2010 winds down, we are reflecting on what we’ve worked on or created in a mini blog series. You can see a run down of highlights here.

Is copyright making you blue
And you don’t know what to do
Take advantage of others’ tactics
And put in place Well-Intentioned Practice!

I want to give a shout out to the National Library of Australia for what has become an annual display of talent and imagination. Each year the staff performs for their holiday party, and they share with the rest of us on YouTube. The results are funny and toe-tapping. This year’s theme was Putting on the Writs,” an homage to the trials and tribulations of adhering to copyright law.

National Library of Australia. We feel your pain. And we’ve been moved to do something about it. In the US. For unpublished materials.

Following on the heels of Shifting Gears, we began to realize what a barrier copyright law presents to those working with unpublished materials. We convened an advisory group. We held an event. Out of this came a document called Well-intentioned practice for putting digitized collections of unpublished materials online (we call it WIP). WIP encourages institutions to take a risk management approach (rather than apply item by item assessment).

WIP has been a success, and has been endorsed by numerous organizations and individuals. And we’ve just learned that we’ll have a session focusing on Well intentioned practices at the Society of American Archivists meeting in 2011. While WIP is based on US copyright law, as a risk management approach it may work in other situations.

We’ve written about WIP in the past. Here are two previous posts on this topic.

And if you haven’t seen it, here’s Puttin’ on the Writs in its full glory.

If you want to see even more of our accomplishments look at this summary of our accomplishments over the last five years. Only three pages!