Friday 23 October 2009

Final post

A short and final post to let you know the DCC Blawg has come to an end. As part of the Phase III restructuring of the DCC there will be some changes in the coming months. One of these is that the DCC will no longer have a legal component.

Should you have any queries about the legal aspects of your digital curation activities you may find the JISC Legal service a useful source of guidance.

Best wishes

Monday 19 October 2009

Digital Lives - New Paper on Legal and Ethical Issues

The Digital Lives Project has just released what looks to be a very useful and comprehensive discussion paper on Legal and Ethical Issues authored by Andrew Charlesworth.

The paper examines a range of legal and ethical issues that pertain to personal digital archives and their collection, preservation and access. The legal areas covered include copyright, data protection and privacy law, freedom of information requirements, and content liability both civil and criminal. The paper also examines the issue of ethics in the collection and preservation of, and access to personal digital archives.

One of the conclusions the paper comes to is that technology frequently runs ahead of existing laws and ethical guidelines, and at least some of the solutions to the problems this can cause are likely to lie outside traditional approaches to handling legal and ethical issues.

It goes on to examines a number of potential strategies/solutions that could be employed to
reduce legal and ethical problems/risks. These include:
  • Wider use of metadata
  • Greater involvement of repositories in the development of Web 2.0/user created content
  • Relinquishing some of the ‘gatekeeper’ role, traditionally held by repositories when accessioning content, to depositors
  • Seeking to change aspects of the legal deposit system.
Digital Lives are welcoming feedback on the paper. You can contact them via

Thursday 15 October 2009

New data protection resources

The DCC has published a new standards watch paper on BS 10012 Data Protection — Specification for a Personal Information Management System.

The standard, which is the first British standard for the management of personal information was introduced in May this year. It was developed by the British Standards Insitute (BSI) to provide a framework that enables effective management of personal information, paving the way for an infrastructure for maintaining and improving compliance with data protection legislation.

Take a read of the new DCC Standards Watch Paper here.

In related news, BSI has launched BSI Data Protection Online, a tool designed to help organisations with the effective management of personal information.

Research carried out by BSI earlier this year found that many organisations are falling behind in their approach to data protection, with almost one in five surveyed admitting to unwittingly breaching the Data Protection Act.

The new online self-assessment tool offers guidance and self-assessment in support of BS 10012. It is applicable to any organisation that holds personal information, regardless of its size, complexity and sector. It allows organisations to undertake a self-assessment process against the requirements of BS 10012 and embed data protection best practice within the organisation.

Specifically, the resource will allow you to:
• Undertake a self-assessment process against the requirements of BS 10012
• Get contextual help throughout the process, written by data protection experts
• Start new, or amend existing, self-assessments whenever needed allowing you to track your progress
• Share self-assessments with colleagues and embed data protection best practice within your organization.

Mike Low, Director, Standards, BSI, said:
"Our recent survey showed that there are many organisations out there struggling with data protection. With the Information Commissioner’s growing compulsory audit powers it is more important than ever to make sure that your data protection practices are up to scratch. If you hold personal information, whether it relates to staff, clients, customers or members, you need to be familiar with current legislation and confident that your own organisation measures up."

Digital Evidence Workshops

We wanted to let you know about a series of workshops on the subject of digital evidence taking place next week at Liverpool University. These will investigate how digital information should be considered in court; and the consequential need to create new rules of evidence based not on tradition but on how digital information actually comes into creation.

The public workshops take place over three days and are as follows:

Tue 20 October - International compliance requirements (EU perspective) using iRODS data grid as policy engine (Reagan Moore / Stephen Mason)
Wed 21 October - General NARA presentation (Reagan Moore / Jason Baron)
Thur 22 October - eDiscovery and eRetention (Jason Baron)

All days are free of charge. If you are interested in attending please contact Paul Watry -

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Press release - JISC Collections to acquire Content Complete Ltd

You may be interested in the following press release from the JISC Collections service:

“JISC Collections, the organisation which manages the acquisition and provision of digital resources for universities and colleges in the UK, has reached an agreement to acquire Content Complete Ltd, the Oxfordshire-based licensing and negotiations company.

Content Complete was established in 2003 by Albert Prior and Paul Harwood with the aim of supporting organisations involved in licensing scholarly online content. The Company provides an outsourced service, representing clients in direct negotiations with publishers on pricing
and licensing issues. Content Complete employs seven staff and has a range of clients in the academic, health and corporate sectors.

For the last six years, Content Complete has been JISC Collections' Negotiation Agent for NESLi2, the UK's online journal initiative for the higher education and research communities and has delivered significant savings as a result of this focused and centralised approach. The company has also worked very closely with JISC Collections on a range of projects and activities in this area including archiving, usage data, online journal business models and, more recently, e-textbooks.”