Final whitepapers for establishing international & interoperable rights statements released

Over the past fifteen months, representatives from the Europeana and DPLA networks, in partnership with Creative Commons, have been developing a collaborative approach to internationally interoperable rights statements that can be used to communicate the copyright status of cultural objects published via the DPLA and Europeana platforms.

The purpose of these rights statements is to provide end users of our platforms with easy to understand information on what they can and cannot do with digital items that they encounter via these platforms. Having standardized interoperable rights statements will also make it easier for application developers and other third parties to automatically identify items that can be re-used.

We also anticipate that these statements will be used by other cultural heritage aggregators across the globe, and see these statements as the initial effort towards international interoperability around standardized rights statements.

In May of this year, we released two draft white papers on the recommendations for standardized international rights statements, one on the rights statements and one on the technical framework to support the statements. Both white papers received a tremendous amount of community response.

After considering the community feedback and making significant edits to both white papers and the list of statements, we are pleased to share with you today the final versions that describe our recommendations for establishing a group of rights statements, and the enabling technical infrastructure. These recommendations include a list of shared rights statements that both the DPLA and Europeana can use depending on the needs of our respective organizations.

The workings and signing of a marriage contract, Wellcome Library CC BY

Recommendations for standardized international rights statements

This paper describes the need for a common standardized approach. Based on the experience of both of our organizations and community feedback, we have described the principles we think any international approach to providing standardized rights statements needs to meet. Together we propose a list of ten new rights statements that can be used in situations where the licenses and legal tools offered by Creative Commons cannot be applied. The statements whitepaper and recommended list of statements can be found here.

Requirements for the rights statements.org technical infrastructure

In order to ensure that the new rights statements can be used by institutions around the world, we are planning to host the new rights statements in their own namespace: rightsstatements.org. The whitepaper describing the technical framework can be found here. We have recently issued an RFP to assist us in building the technical infrastructure and anticipate launching the rightsstatements.org website in early 2016.