Towards a Legal Ontology for the Digital Preservation Domain

M. Bakhshandeh, Hossein Miri, B. Kolany, S.A. Yankova, M. Galushka, A. Caetano, J. Borbinha

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Digital preservation is all about long term preservation of data substance and operability. That enables future users not only to benefit from today’s knowledge, but also to actually use stored data and rerun the preserved processes. Furthermore, Law is becoming an essential application domain for technology developments. For example, in the case of digital preservation, all kinds of copyright protected data is an exclusive right of the copyright holder which, every process of a digital preservation system may violate this right, if it stores copyright protected material. This paper presents a Legal Ontology that provides a hierarchical overview of how legal constraints and obligations (e.g. IP rights and licensing issues) could be implemented in an automated process of a DP system. In simple words, the problems with legal taxonomies arise when the creators and the users don’t share the same perspective and it usually happens when the creators of the taxonomy are lawyers and the users are not lawyers. Legal taxonomies for digital preservation can be represented with ontologies which are an explicit account of a shared understanding in any domain and can improve communication which, in turn, can give rise to greater reuse, sharing, transparency, and inter-operability. An inherent element of every DP activity is ensuring the authenticity and legitimacy of the performed actions and processes. The correctness of our legal ontology is validated with a set of competency questions defined in a specific case study. The aim is to obtain a clearer taxonomical view of the necessary legal knowledge that will address the concerns of industrial use-case DP stakeholders. We propose using the Legal Ontology for the DP domain, in order to integrate different legal perspectives and perform reasoning and inference over legal knowledge and information.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication1st International Conference on Information and Communication Technology, Law, Protection & Access Rights
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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