OpenLibrary discussion mailing lists (powered by GNU MailMan, of course), you come across debates like a long discussion on how to deal with doubles in the entries, is a different version of a publication a new book and, by extension, how should a book be uniquely identified in the system, how should OL interact with Google Book Search in a fashion that would make usable, non-amputated metadata available, if a text is freely available, should it be linked/inkluded – and so on. And on.

The entire material is published under a Public Domain license, so under all circumstances it is freely accessible. I would routinely prefer to use Creative Commons licenses, but public domain offers a different level of freedom… perhaps. Well, that is another discussion for you there. I would assume the licensing is chosen to to sync it with the rest of the Internet Archive.

In conclusion: This is an interesting project which I will be keeping an eye on and contributing to. A highly qualified professional discussion of how to deal with this kind of data makes it even more appealing.
The project has also made me aware of the technical implications of the registration of library data, and though it will hardly be interesting to everyone, I have found some interesting articles in the Code4Lib magazine – mostly articles on principle, since I am hardly a library hacker – and the website of Karen Coyle, the OL metadata guru, came to my attention. She has some interesting observations – also of interest for those who are into the copyright discussions going on at the moment.

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