Monday, June 04, 2007

Digitization vendors at the SLA conference, part 1

I have been impressed with the digitization vendors who are at the conference this year. There are more vendors that offer digitization services AND several of the vendors brought their hardware to show off. I know that scanners and PCs can be tough to ship to a conference, but attendees appreciate being able to see the equipment up close and personal. Someone at the Kirtas booth said that people were just standing and watching their machine operate; mesmerized, I'm sure.

I'll blog in more detail later about all of the vendors, but for now want to talk about the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). I visited their booth and asked if they helped organizations do copyright clearance on materials to be digitized. The answer at the moment is "no." The CCC can help organizations -- that have an agreement with it -- to pay the copyright fee on those items where it manages the rights. For many digitization programs, it is those items where the copyright holder is not easily known that can stall a program (and not those where the rights are managed by the CCC). It sounds like the CCC might develop "products" that will help digitization programs track down copyright holders that are not currently part of the CCC universe. I hope that they really do, since having an organization that can be hired to help with that work could really help to move a program forward.

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