Posted for less than 48 hours, the still-much-anticipated OCLC “Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records” (archived here) has created a stir in the library community.
The most controversial policy requirements concern the transfer of WorldCat records from OCLC members to other OCLC members and non-OCLC members. The policy, which has been removed from the OCLC site and replaced with the statement
“We are reconsidering some aspects of the policy. More information will be available in the near future.”,
would require members who are transferring WorldCat records to include:
“Attribution. WorldCat and OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. must be clearly identified as the source of WorldCat Records Transferred. Please see the FAQ for information about appropriate attribution of WorldCat and OCLC.
Modification Restriction. The OCLC number (if any), the link to this Policy and any additional means of attribution (besides the link to this Policy) may not be removed from any WorldCat Record.
Commercial Transfer Prohibited. Commercial Transfer of WorldCat Records is prohibited unless OCLC has entered into a separate written agreement with the party that will receive the WorldCat Records. The WorldCat Record Use Form should be used to initiate discussions with OCLC regarding an agreement authorizing Commercial Transfer of WorldCat Records. OCLC may refuse to authorize Commercial Transfer of WorldCat Records, without liability, in its sole discretion.
Copy of Policy. If an OCLC Member Transfers WorldCat Records of its own Holdings under Section D.1.a above, the OCLC Member will provide the party receiving the WorldCat Records with a copy of this Policy (or a link by which this Policy may be accessed) and indicate that Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records is permitted only in accordance with the Policy.”
Further reactions and analysis can be found here.