Limiting Considerations

Below are examples of matters that may be relevant in determining whether the Foundation Policies and Open Access Guidelines are appropriate in particular cases. They constitute valid reasons to limit access to material.

  • Legal considerations, for example copyright, moral rights, privacy and national security
  • Cultural considerations, for example in relation to indigenous resources
  • Ethical considerations, for example in relation to resources dealing with minors
  • Cost recovery requirements, where costs are incurred by the institution in responding to a specific request, such as investigating the copyright status of a previously uncleared object or providing the resource in a particular format or quality
  • Demonstrated commercial disadvantage to the institution or the copyright owner (where copyright still applies)
  • Valid donor concerns or rights

The following considerations will not usually be valid reasons to limit access to material; however they may be relevant when prioritising material for release.

  • Potential embarrassment to public figures, institutions or the government
  • Protecting works from ‘undesirable’ users or uses (eg commercial entities or ‘bad’ remixing)
  • Categorising the resource as unimportant or not ‘worthy’ of release
  • Unsubstantiated concerns that there may be unidentified legal problems with the resource (ie extreme risk aversion)
  • Fundraising for the institution generally, as opposed to recovery of costs incurred as a result of a client request
  • Protecting existing distribution policies and models without assessing their efficacy
  • General concerns about the ‘veracity’ of a resource being compromised by third party reuse (noting that the copy on the institution’s website remains as an authoritative version)
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