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This section describes a vision for the services Clearinghouse could provide for publishers and alternate format producers, how Clearinghouse should evolve, and how it should be governed.
There are five target audiences within the regulatory environment that need to be accommodated through the vision of the Clearinghouse:
Each of these audiences has a slightly different set of requirements and priorities.
Publishers will provide e-text to a Clearinghouse in whatever format they are able to provide.
Access Copyright would provide copyright free access to the e-text in the Clearinghouse for alternate format producers. They would also register alternate formats and make them accessible to other alternate format producers.
Alternate Format Producers would get access to e-text to generate alternate formats. They want to be able to share alternate formats with other producers. They would act as the storage and transformation agents of the e-text. They would provide alternate formats to the Print-Disabled community.
Library and Archives of Canada acting as the partner in charge would coordinate the effort to build and manage the Clearinghouse. It would ensure access to the publishers and the alternate format producers through AMICUS and through the management of the meta data. It would facilitate the development of an agreement in place that ensures access to the alternative format producers via Access Copyright
The Print-Disabled Community are those with a disability that impacts their ability to utilize printed materials, it includes among others the student in class, and people in the community.
The vision described in this section looks specifically at the establishment of a Clearinghouse between publishers and alternate format producers.
The vision for e-text within the Clearinghouse is for a flexible, collaborative environment that provides the tools for effective and efficient development and sharing of alternate formats.
The objective is to build the process and tools for e-text exchange to facilitate the production, storage and sharing of alternate formats by and for alternate format producers. Alternate format producers will still provide material directly to the Print-Disabled community. Users will continue to gain access to the materials through agencies such as public libraries and through AMICUS at the Library and Archives of Canada.
The Clearinghouse will:
The diagram below graphically depicts at a high level the proposed vision.
Figure 1 - Clearinghouse Vision
The vision is best understood by describing how the benefits of the Clearinghouse will satisfy the audiences that have been identified. These benefits can be grouped into the following components - Deposit, Manage, and Transform.
Publishers would deposit requested e-text into one of the registered e-text repositories that would make up the Clearinghouse. The e-text would be provided in the format supported by the publisher. The deposit of the e-text would be facilitated by Access Copyright.
The e-text would be managed by Access Copyright and the managers of the e-text repositories. Management would include the organization and description of the e-text according to standards. Description would include all pertinent information about the e-text including its rights. The e-text repositories would also manage the alternate formats of the e-text and manage the relationship between the alternate formats and the original e-text. This would help ensure that already produced alternate formats could be found, thus avoiding duplication of effort.
Alternate format producers would be able to access the e-text through the Clearinghouse and transform it to alternate formats. Once transformed the alternate format would be deposited in one of the Clearinghouse's e-text repositories and registered with Access Copyright and the Library and Archives of Canada.
Facilitate and manage the relationships amongst the stakeholders via the Council for Print-Disabled Canadians and coordinated by the Library and Archives of Canada.
A number of steps must be taken to realize the Vision as follows: