Replication of UR* resources and Privacy

weibel@oclc.org
Thu, 6 Jul 1995 12:34:30 -0400


From: weibel@oclc.org
Date: Thu, 6 Jul 1995 12:34:30 -0400
Message-Id: <199507061634.MAA01476@ws02-00.rsch.oclc.org>
To: uri@bunyip.com
Subject: Replication of UR* resources and Privacy


> Let me answer this with a question.  Can you think of an example of a
> service that should _in_principle_, *not* be replicable?

An example from RL (tm):

   OCLC is a cooperative membership organization, supported by access
fees to a database of library resources (some 33 million records
pointing to smoething over half a billion objects).   Our Online Union
Catalog, built by our membership,  is one of the major assets of the
cooperative, and represents an enormous investment of time and expense
on the part of our membership.  We are bound to protect that investment,
as we will be when there are large numbers of Internet resources cataloged
in that or similar databases.

  Access to such databases may or may not appear free to end users... there
are various economic models that can be applied, but make no mistake that
value added resource discovery systems will be protected from arbitrary
wholesale replication.

  As for privacy issues, this may be in part a function of what is in
the DB.  Web walkers that indiscriminantly scoop up  web pages may in
fact violate some privacy laws or standards.  Objects that are selected
by catalogers are more likely to be "published" in some sense of the
term; we don't normally think there are privacy issues for making such
objects more visible in catalogs.  Privacy concerning who has accessed
them, however, is considered a hot button issue for librarians.  Odd
that this has received so little attention on the Web (ooooh, but we
love those transaction logs!)

  
stu