What is the Open Content Alliance?

The Open Content Alliance (OCA) represents the collaborative efforts of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that will help build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia content. The OCA was conceived by the Internet Archive and Yahoo! in early 2005 as a way to offer broad, public access to a rich panorama of world culture.

What is in the OCA archive?

The OCA archive will contain globally sourced digital collections, including multimedia content, representing the creative output of humankind.

How can users find OCA content?

All content in the OCA archive will be available through the website. In addition, Yahoo! will index all content stored by the OCA to make it available to the broadest set of Internet users. Finally, the OCA supports efforts by others to create and offer tools such as finding aids, catalogs, and indexes that will enhance the usability of the materials in the archive.

Participating in the OCA

Who is a contributor?

Contributors to the OCA include individuals or institutions who donate collections, services, facilities, tools, or funding to the OCA.

To inquire about becoming a contributor, please email: oca at archive dot org.

What kind of international representation will the OCA have?

Initial OCA contributors located outside the United States include the European Archive, the National Archives in the United Kingdom, and the University of Toronto. The OCA will continue to solicit the participation of organizations from around the world.

Content in the OCA Archive

What collections will be in the OCA archive initially?

The OCA will seed the archive with collections from the following organizations:

  • European Archive
  • Internet Archive
  • National Archives (UK)
  • O’Reilly Media
  • Prelinger Archives
  • University of California
  • University of Toronto

What can people do with materials contained in the OCA archive?

The OCA will encourage the greatest possible degree of access to and reuse of collections in the archive, while respecting the rights of content owners and contributors. Generally, textual material will be free to read, and in most cases, available for saving or printing using formats such as PDF. Contributors to the OCA will determine the appropriate level of access to their content.

For example, the collection of American literature contributed by the Internet Archive, the University of California, and Yahoo! carries no restrictions and may be downloaded and reused for any purpose.

Additionally, the OCA welcomes all efforts to create and offer tools (including finding aids, catalogs, and indexes) that will enhance the usability of the materials in the archive.
What are some of the metadata formats through which the OCA will expose its hosted collections?

Metadata for all content in the OCA will be freely exposed to the public through formats such as the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) and RSS.

Copyrighted Content

How will the OCA deal with copyrighted content?

The OCA is committed to respecting the copyrights of content owners. All content providers who contribute to the OCA must agree with the founding principles of the OCA, contained in the OCA Call for Participation, which describes how their materials and associated metadata will be accessed and used. Further, all contributors of collections can specify use restrictions on material that they contribute.
What plans does the OCA have to work with publishers to explore new business models around making copyrighted content available electronically?

The OCA is committed to working with all types of content providers to grow its archive. The OCA has been in discussions with major publishers and the organizations that represent them in order to explore legal, sustainable business models through which more copyrighted content can be made widely available. O’Reilly Media is one commercial publisher that has already agreed to make certain content available to the OCA. The OCA looks forward to continued dialogue with publishers in order to explore and build solutions that benefit the entire community of Internet users.