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Overview of Terms and Conditions for NYPL's New Catalog


This overview provides NYPL's users with a summary of some (but not all) of the key terms and conditions that govern your use of NYPL's new catalog, powered by BiblioCommons. However it should not be relied upon as an agreement or policy. When you use pages in the NYPL catalog that say "Powered by BiblioCommons" in the lower left-hand corner of the screen, you are using what is referred to in this document as the "BiblioCommons Service," and any information/user-generated content that is shared on those pages will be collected by NYPL as well as by BiblioCommons. We encourage all users who use the BiblioCommons Service to read the BiblioCommons Terms of Use as well as the NYPL Website Terms and Conditions. Those policies spell out the terms of the "contract" you are entering into with BiblioCommons and NYPL when you use the BiblioCommons Service.

Many portions of NYPL's website, including the BiblioCommons Service, allow users to contribute content to the NYPL site. What should users keep in mind when they are contributing content to the NYPL site?

  • All content that you share on the NYPL site must be owned by/created by you. For example, if you would like to upload a photo to the NYPL site, the photo should be a photo that you have taken (or that you own the intellectual property rights to). If your photo contains the image of a person, you will also need to make sure that you have obtained the written consent of the person in the photo. For more information, please read the Patron-Generated Content section of the NYPL Website Terms and Conditions.
  • Some portions of the NYPL site, including the BiblioCommons Service, allow users to contribute comments, reviews, lists, etc. Again, this material must be material you have created/written. For more information about things to keep in mind before contributing content, please click here, here, and here.

Why does NYPL insist that users own the material that they contribute to the NYPL site?

    • The answer is simple: we want to make sure that you aren't illegally expropriating someone else's ideas or work. When you contribute writing, artwork, photos, etc. to our site, you are granting us (and, in some cases, partners we work with, like BiblioCommons) broad rights to use those materials. You can only grant those broad rights if you are the owner of the material in question.

If a user contributes content to the NYPL site, can the user control how that material is used?

    • Not really. Like all content posted on the web, your Shared Content may be copied or indexed by third parties. When you contribute materials to most pages on the NYPL site, you are granting NYPL a really broad license to use that material in just about any way. For example, NYPL could use that material in marketing materials about the Library, in its annual report, on posters, etc. For more information about the exact nature of the license you are granting to NYPL, please click here.
    • When you post material on the BiblioCommons Service, you are granting both NYPL and BiblioCommons the right to use that material and you are also granting the public at large the right to use that material. For example, if you post a review of a book online, NYPL and BiblioCommons would have the right to use that review to advertise their services. NYPL and BiblioCommons would also have the right to sell those reviews to a third party like a publisher. For authoritative information about these possible uses, please read the Shared Content section of the BiblioCommons Terms of Use.

Where can you get more information?

    • We encourage all users of the BiblioCommons Service to read the NYPL Website Terms and Conditions as well as the BiblioCommons Terms of Use. Those documents describe the terms of the "contract" you are entering into with BiblioCommons and NYPL when you use the BiblioCommons Service, and are the ONLY documents that govern your relationship with NYPL and BiblioCommons when you use the BiblioCommons Service.