[Yazlist] Impact of new OCLC `Policy for Use and Transfer of WC Records' on federated search/virtual union catalogues

Richard MAHONEY r.mahoney at iconz.co.nz
Tue Nov 4 04:19:42 CET 2008

[Apologies if this post appears a little `off-list' but I believe it
touches on an issue germane to many of those using YAZ &c. to provide
federated search or virtual union catalogues.]

Dear Readers,

Over the past few days I have read with interest -- and not a little
dismay -- discussion of OCLC's revised `Policy for Use and Transfer of
WorldCat Records' on the mailing list AUTOCAT. It seems that the
revised policy made a brief appearance over the weekend here, but has
since been removed:

 Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat® Records

Thankfully, the new policy as originally posted has been archived here:


It is suggested that this policy be read with the WorldCat FAQ here:

 WorldCat Record Use Policy frequently asked questions

Without wanting to appear overly pessimistic, let alone cynical, a
reading of this albeit `provisional' policy would suggest that its real
impact may be somewhat at odds with its intended purpose: `furthering
ease of access to and use of world-wide scientific, literary and
educational knowledge and information'.

It seems to me that many of us who provide z39.50 federated search or
virtual union catalogues will be significantly disadvantaged by this
new policy. Unless we can absolutely guarantee that all of the results
returned by our targets are in no way derived from a WorldCat Records
then how can we fail to infringe upon this policy? This issue,
difficult enough as it will be for non-commercial undertakings, would
appear compounded if one wished to provide subscription-based or
commercial services based upon, say, Pazpar2.

Is this just me, or is this the impression formed in the minds of other
readers as well. I am, of course, not after legal opinion, merely
informed opinion ;)

Kind regards,

 Richard Mahoney

Richard MAHONEY | internet: http://indica-et-buddhica.org/
Littledene      | telephone/telefax (man.): +64 3 312 1699
Bay Road        | cellular: +64 275 829 986
OXFORD, NZ      | email: r.mahoney at indica-et-buddhica.org
Indica et Buddhica: Materials for Indology and Buddhology

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