¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 In some ways, copyright and intellectual property in digital files is relatively straightforward: donors and/or other copyright holders may either retain or transfer their intellectual property rights in digital formats just as they may in physical formats. Matters are complicated, however, by the ease with which digital materials can be collaboratively created and shared, and by the desire of archival repositories to provide online or other access to patrons who cannot travel to use the materials on-site. Furthermore, acquisitions that cross national boundaries can be challenging due to different copyright and intellectual property laws and practices around the world.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Donors and dealers should be aware of other people’s intellectual property in the digital files that they offer to a repository; for instance, a computer may be shared by coworkers or by an entire family and contain files created by children and spouses. When possible, donors and dealers should provide repositories with information about the likely primary creators of born-digital materials. As with all recorded information, the intellectual property rights of contractors, contributors, or collaborators will need to be respected in digital formats, but repositories may not be aware that the creations of others are present in the files, nor able to determine that a digital file was created by a third party, unless told. Agreements transferring digital files to a repository should include provisions governing the repository’s handling of third-party digital materials created and accumulated by computer users other than the donor.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Repositories continue to work toward providing access to digital materials while also balancing privacy and intellectual property concerns. Acquisition agreements may include capture and access restrictions specific to born-digital materials. Even if a copyright holder retains copyright to all materials in a collection, special considerations such as licensing terms or online access via a limited number of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses may enable a repository to publish certain materials online.