rights_categories
Three categories of rights statements at RightsStatements.org

On May 10 & 17, 2017 Emily Gore (DPLA) and Greg Cram (NYPL) presented a two-part webinar on RightsStatements.org, a joint initiative of DPLA and Europeana that provides standardized rights statements for cultural heritage institutions and aggregators to apply to digital objects. RightsStatements.org was launched on April 14, 2016, and currently provides 11 statements for institutions to use for sharing usage rights status of their digital objects.

In the first half of “RightsStatements.org: Why We Need It, What It Is (and Isn’t) and What Does It Mean for the DPLA Network and Beyond?” (5/10/2016),  Emily and Greg spoke about the background and philosophy behind RightsStatements.org’s creation. They pointed out the vast variety of statements currently describing digital objects, and the potential for users to be confused or misled regarding restrictions in using the objects; they also covered a basic primer on copyright and fair use.

The second half of the webinar (5/17/2016) focused on the statements themselves, which are separated into three types: In Copyright, No Copyright, and Other. Emily and Greg covered each of the 11 statements (and a potential 12th addition), and described the difference between rights statements (which institutions may apply) and the licensing tools of Creative Commons (which, aside from the public domain mark, only original copyright holders may apply). They also spoke about implementation of the rights statements in the DPLA, noting that the overall goal is to let users “know, as accurately as possible, what they can and cannot do with materials that they find,” and acknowledging that the work of implementation will require some time and resource-intensive work.

The presentation slides from the webinar have been made available on the DPLA website, as well as detailed Q&A from questions submitted by webinar participants.

Further Reading

International Rights Statements Working Group (2016), “Rightsstatements.org White Paper: Recommendations for Standardized International Rights Statements.”

DPLA (2016), “Announcing the Launch of RightsStatements.org,” DPLAblog.

Sarah Shreeves (2016), “Clarity for Our Users,” In the Open.

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