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8. Details of Individual Metadata Elements

8.50 Usage Conditions




Identifying Attributes




Usage Conditions

Defined by

Government of Canada Records Management Metadata Standard - usageConditions

Element URI

[To be actioned by Treasury Board of Canada, Secretariat before publication]

Definitional Attributes


Limitations or restrictions on how a record or file may be used.


To protect a record or file against any form of unauthorized use (including unauthorized disclosure), or any use which may place the owner or creator of a record or file (either a corporate entity or an individual) at a disadvantage.

To help an institution ensure that the records or files for which it is responsible are not used in ways that contravene copyright or privacy restrictions or that will cause damage to specific business or domain interests.


"In order to define the content of the record or any aggregation, its logical and physical structure and its technical attributes, and in order to document the relationships that records may have between each other, metadata about the record should … h) document requirements about making available, reproducing or rendering records…" ISO Technical Specification 23081-1, s. 9.2.1

Value Domain

Non-enumerated string of text representing limitations or restrictions.

Datatype Name



Applicable at record level and file level.


Optional at record level; optional at file level.

Relational Attributes

Encoding Scheme



Access to Information Act, R.S. 1985, c. A-1,


Copyright Act, R.S. 1985, c. C-42,


Privacy Act, R.S. 1985, c. P-21,


Policy on the Management of Government Information,


Access Rights; Releasable To

Conditions of Application - Record


Free text


Pre Record Declared Locked

Post Record Declared Locked


Yes, by authorized official only.



Conditions of Application - File


Free text


Yes, by authorized official only.



Comments and Guidance

a) Explanation of Definition/Usage

This element is used to identify any special conditions that may impact the usage of a record or file. Examples include copyright statements, statements which detail who may use the record, and statements which list penalties for unauthorized disclosure.

It is in this element that the intellectual property rights of the record will be defined.

This element should not be confused with the element Supplemental Markings which is used to identify those records or files that are sensitive for specific reasons and require special handling procedures.

b) Best Practices

This element is a free text element and therefore, there is no limit to the number of conditions that can be identified within the element.

Once a record is locked, the value for this element may be modified by an authorized official only. Similarly with a file. Such modifications would accommodate changes to intellectual property rights of the record, for example.

c) Obligation

This element is deemed to be optional because it is primarily descriptive in nature and does not assist in the management of the record or file through the information management life cycle.

d) Default Values/Auto-populate

Since this is a free text element with different values depending on the situation, the element cannot be defaulted or auto-populated.

e) Linkages

This element is linked to Access Rights and Releasable To because the value of this element can have a direct affect on the value of the other two elements.

f) Examples

  1. "Copyright held by Acme Consulting Inc."

  2. "Access restricted because of licensing fees."

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