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Rights

As discussed in the section on entity types, Rights records provide rights related restrictions that can be linked to accession records, archival descriptions and their related digital objects. AtoM Rights metadata elements use PREMIS rights elements. In AtoM restrictions can be based on Copyright(s), License, Statute(s), Policy, or Donor (as in an agreement established with a donor). Rights can be set to be inherited in AtoM, which means that rights added at a higher level (e.g., fonds level) can be inherited by the lower levels (e.g., item level). See Manage rights inheritance, below.

If you add rights to an accession record, all archival descriptions created from that accession will inherit the same rights.

AtoM also allows you to choose one PREMIS rights act (such as Display, Disseminate, etc) to use as an action for your digital objects - though you can configure different digital object access permissions for each PREMIS rights Basis. See Make rights actionable on digital objects, below.

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Add a new rights record

This section describes how to add a new rights record by using the rights dialog provided through the add/edit template. You must add rights to an existing accession record or archival description. To create an accession record or archival description first, please see: Add new accession record or Add new archival description.

Note

You must be logged in and have the appropriate privileges, such as editors and administrators to be able to add/edit content in AtoM, which includes creating a rights record. See: Log in.

Add rights to an Accession record

  1. Navigate to the accession record you want to edit. You can do this via the main menu in the AtoM header bar, by clicking on Manage > Accessions. For more information on navigation in AtoM, see: Access content.
An image of the Manage menu
  1. AtoM will redirect you to the accession record browse page. Select the record you want by clicking on the hyperlink Identifier. You can also search for an accession record with the accession records search box located at the bottom of the browse page. For more information on searching for accession records in AtoM, see: Searching for accession records.
An image of searching for an accession
  1. When you have arrived at the record to which you wish to add rights, click on “Create new rights” in the button block. The PREMIS rights entry form will appear.
Access Create New Rights link through the button block
  1. The Rights entry page allows you to establish the basis for which rights are granted or disallowed as well as describing the rights themselves.
  1. Rights basis:

AtoM provides a drop-down menu to select the basis for the rights associated with the description. You can select: Copyright, License, Statute, Policy, or Donor.

Rights entry page with copyright as the basis

The Rights entry page with Copyright set as the basis.

The fields below the rights basis will differ depending on the basis chosen. Compare for example the figure above, showing Copyright as the basis, and the figure below, showing Statute as the basis:

Rights entry page with statute as the basis

The Rights entry page with Statute set as the basis.

As you complete the Rights basis fields, tooltips will appear to explain the purpose of the field.

When adding the Rights holder, can add a new Rights holder name, or select an existing one using the auto-complete action provided by AtoM.

  1. Act/Granted rights:

Once you have established the basis for the rights you need to grant, fill in the Act/Granted rights fields:

  1. The “Act” data entry field is a drop-down list. You can select: Delete, Discover, Display, Disseminate, Migrate, Modify, and Replicate.
  2. The “Restriction” data entry field provides three choices: Allow, Disallow or Conditional.
  3. Add Start and End dates for the right. Leave the end date blank if it is unknown or open.
  4. You can add notes related to the granted right.

If you are finished adding granted rights related to this basis, click Save. If you have more granted rights to add related to this basis, click Add granted right and fill in the fields again. Click Save when you are finished.

Tip

You may have granted rights to record that are related to more than one basis. For example, you may want to record a granted right related to Copyright, and another granted right related to Policy. After you click Save, you can return to the accession and add more rights related to another basis by clicking More -> Create new rights again.

After rights are created for an accession, they can be edited or deleted by logged in users with the correct permissions by clicking the links from the archival description in view mode:

Edit and delete links for rights records.

Important

When you click delete, AtoM deletes the rights record without asking for confirmation, so be sure to click only when you are positive you wish to delete the rights information!

  1. Once you complete adding information to the rights record, click on the click Save.

Add rights to an Archival description

  1. First, navigate to the archival description you wish to add rights to. You can do this by browsing or searching for the archival description - see Access content for more information on navigation in AtoM.
  2. In the button block, click on “More,” then on “Create new rights”.
  3. The Rights entry page allows you to establish the basis for which rights are granted or disallowed as well as describing the rights themselves.
  1. Rights basis:

AtoM provides a drop-down menu to select the basis for the rights associated with the description. You can select: Copyright, License, Statute, Policy, or Donor.

Rights entry page with copyright as the basis

The Rights entry page with Copyright set as the basis.

The fields below the rights basis will differ depending on the basis chosen. Compare for example the figure above, showing Copyright as the basis, and the figure below, showing Statute as the basis:

Rights entry page with statute as the basis

The Rights entry page with Statute set as the basis.

As you complete the Rights basis fields, tooltips will appear to explain the purpose of the field.

When adding the Rights holder, can add a new Rights holder name, or select an existing one using the auto-complete action provided by AtoM.

  1. Act/Granted rights:

Once you have established the basis for the rights you need to grant, fill in the Act/Granted rights fields:

  1. The “Act” data entry field is a drop-down list. You can select: Delete, Discover, Display, Disseminate, Migrate, Modify, and Replicate.
  2. The “Restriction” data entry field provides three choices: Allow, Disallow or Conditional.
  3. Add Start and End dates for the right. Leave the end date blank if it is unknown or open.
  4. You can add notes related to the granted right.

If you are finished adding granted rights related to this basis, click Save. If you have more granted rights to add related to this basis, click Add granted right and fill in the fields again. Click Save when you are finished.

Tip

You may have granted rights to record that are related to more than one basis. For example, you may want to record a granted right related to Copyright, and another granted right related to Policy. After you click Save, you can return to the archival description and add more rights related to another basis by clicking More -> Create new rights again.

After rights are created for an archival description, they can be edited or deleted by logged in users with the correct permissions by clicking the links from the archival description in view mode:

Edit and delete links for rights records.

Important

When you click delete, AtoM deletes the rights record without asking for confirmation, so be sure to click only when you are positive you wish to delete the rights information!

Manage rights inheritance

AtoM will allow you to add a rights record to a parent record and choose whether or not the same rights record should be applied to that parent’s child records.

After creating a rights record at a parent-level, in edit mode click on “More” then “Manage rights inheritance” in the button block of the parent record.

Manage rights inheritance, available in the button block in edit mode.

On the next screen, decide:

1. If you want the rights record(s) inherited by all descendants (children) or only descendants with digital objects associated with them (see Make rights actionalable on digital objects, below) and,

2. Whether you would like to delete any rights which pre-exist in the child records and replace with the parent rights (option 1) or combine the parent rights with any existing rights in the child records (option 2).

Rights inheritance options in AtoM.

Click Apply. The child records will now reflect the rights inheritance from the parent record as you indicated.

Note

AtoM will only allow you to manage rights inheritance from the top down- you will not be able to modify the rights of a child record and have them passed up to the parent record.

Tip

Rights inheritance is a task that AtoM performs asynchronously, via the Jobs Scheduler. If the parent description has many children, it may take some time for all of the children to inherit the rights. See Manage Jobs for more information.

Make rights actionable on digital objects

Administrators can choose an act/granted right for which digital object permissions are set. This means that digital object thumbnails, reference display copies and master digital objects can be made visible or invisible to non-authenticated users by changing the rights record in conjunction with the appropriate administrative settings.

To access the settings, click on the gears Admin menu in the main menu and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Then click on “Permissions.”

Permission settings for digital objects based on granted rights.

First, choose from the drop-down menu the act/granted right you would like to apply to digital objects. You can choose from: Delete, Discover, Display, Disseminate, Migrate, Modify and Replicate. For many institutions, either Display or Disseminate will be the logical choice since this functionality relates to the display of digital objects.

Selecting which PREMIS act will be actionable on digital objects

Tip

The PREMIS acts are maintained in the “Rights act” taxonomy, and can be customized by users with the proper edit permissions. If you add a new term to the Rights act taxonomy, it will appear in the PREMIS Access permissions table when you return to the Settings page. You can then configure its settings.

The default terms are mostly derived from the PREMIS 2.2 standard - here are their definitions as found in the PREMIS Data Dictionary (v2.2, 2012), p. 225:

  • replicate = make an exact copy
  • migrate = make a copy identical in content in a different file format
  • modify = make a version different in content
  • disseminate = create a copy or version for use outside of the preservation repository
  • delete = remove from the repository

AtoM includes 2 other default basis terms: discover, and display. These were added because PREMIS is intended to support digital preservation, and its rights module does not get very granular, especially when applied to digital object permissions management in an access system.

  • discover = based on “Resource discovery”, i.e. exposing metadata through searches
  • display = display a digital object in a public access system

Users can use these terms as originally defined, or based on local interpretations. New terms can be added to the Rights act taxonomy as need, and unnecessary terms can be altered or deleted. For more information on managing terms and taxonomies, see: Terms.

Next, use the permissions table to indicate whether viewing/downloading digital objects should be allowed or disallowed. You will set these permissions for each of possible Rights bases (Copyright, License, Statute, Policy, and Donor), covering each of the three possible restrictions (Allow, Conditional, and Disallow). For each restriction you will also indicate whether viewing and downloading masters, reference representations and thumbnails are allowed or disallowed.

Note

You can only make rights actionable based on one act/granted right, determined by the PREMIS act drop-down menu above the permissions table. Other acts and granted rights can be added to an archival description, but they will have no effect on the visibility of digital objects to your users.

When a check-box in the permissions table is checked (and the area surrounding it is green), it means that access is allowed for that particular rights configuration. When a check-box is unchecked (and the area surrounding it is red), it means that access is disallowed for that particular rights configuration.

You can use the “Master,” “Reference,” and “Thumb” buttons above each row to check or uncheck all basis rows in a particular column. You can also use the “All / none” link below the table to check or uncheck all values in the permissions table:

Using the select buttons to toggle values for an entire permissions column

Don’t forget to save your changes with the “Save” button in the button block at the bottom of the page.

Remember, for your rights to have an effect on a digital object attached to an archival description:

  • A Rights statement must be associated with the description (see above, Add rights to an Archival description)
  • The associated rights must have the same act as the one set in the PREMIS act drop-down menu above the permissions table in gears Admin > Settings > Permissions
  • The basis of the rights on your archival description must be configured to disallow access in the permissions table in gears Admin > Settings > Permissions
  • The user must be a public user (e.g. not logged in; also known as a researcher) - the rights do not apply to authenticated (e.g. logged in) users

For a public user, when access to the thumbnail is disallowed based on an attached rights statement, AtoM will instead display a default generic media type icon:

Example of default icons shown in place of thumbnails

When access to the reference display copy is disallowed based on an attached rights statement, users will instead be shown the related Access statement, depending on the Basis of your PREMIS right. Access statements are intended to be user-friendly messages explaining the restriction, and can be configured by an administrator - see below for more information: Configure Disallowed and Conditional access statements.

Example of an access statement shown when access to a reference display copy is restricted via PREMIS rights

If access to the reference display copy is allowed, but access to the master digital object (e.g. the original) is disallowed, the users will be able to view the reference copy, but they will not be able to click on it to view/download the original.

Configure Disallowed and Conditional access statements

When access to the reference display copy of a digital object is restricted to public users via a PREMIS right, AtoM will display a customizable access statement in its place:

Example of an access statement shown when access to a reference display copy is restricted via PREMIS rights

Access statements are intended to be user-friendly explanations of why access is restricted, and what the user can do (if anything) to gain access (for example, contact the Reference Archivist, etc).

These access statements can be individually configured for each Rights basis by an administrator, in gears Admin > Settings > Permissions. Scroll down to the section labelled “PREMIS access statements”:

An image of the PREMIS access statements in Settings

The different Rights basis terms along the left act as tabs - click on one to flip the view and display the current accesss statement text for that basis. Each basis has a Conditional access statement (when the associated rights restriction is set to “Conditional” and the permissions table setting for the reference display copy is set to “Disallow”), and A Disallow access statement (when the rights restriction is “Disallow” and the associated permission for the reference copy is also “Disallow”). You can add custom text for each.

Tip

The PREMIS Rights basis terms are all maintained in a taxonomy. The terms can be edited or deleted, and new terms can be added by logged-in users with appropriate access privileges. If a new term is added to the Right basis taxonomy, then a new tab will be added to the PREMIS access statements section in gears Admin > Settings > Permissions. An administrator can then add custom Conditional and Disallow access statements for the new PREMIS basis.

You can customize the access statements for each Rights basis, as needed based on local practice. When you have made the edits you want to each Basis tab, remember to scroll down and click “Save” in the button block at the bottom of the page.

Manage Rights holders records

  1. Users with editor and administrator access permissions can navigate to the main menu located in the AtoM header bar and click on the edit Manage menu, then select Rights holders from the drop-down list. AtoM will take you to a browse page for Rights holders.
An image of the Manage menu in the AtoM header bar

Tip

For general information on navigation in AtoM, see: Access content. For general information on browse menus in AtoM, see: Browse. See also our section on the Manage menu

An administrator can also customize the elements that appear in the Main menu via Admin > Menus. For more information, see: Manage Menus.

  1. When you have arrived at the Rights holders records browse page, AtoM provides a dedicated search box for searching existing rights holders in the system. For more information on using the Rights holders dedicated search box, see: Rights holders. The list of rights holders can be browsed by “most recent” or “alphabetic” via the Sort button on the page.
An image of the Rights holders browse page
  1. If you click on the hyper-link name of a rights holder, AtoM takes you to the View rights holder page.
An image of a Rights holder view page
  1. The View rights holder page lets the authorized user edit and delete the existing rights holder record, or add a new rights holder.
  2. If you click on the edit button, AtoM takes you to the Edit rights holder template. There are two areas: the Identity area and the Contact area. In the Identity area there is one data entry field, authorized form of name. In the Contact area there is add new button, which allows you to add a new contact person. If you click on the add new button, AtoM opens a contact information dialogue with three tabs, Main, Physical location and Other details. Add as much information into the Related contact information dialogue and click on the Submit button.
An image of editing a Rights holder record
  1. Remember to click on the Save button at the bottom of the rights holder page to save all the new information you have added to the rights holder record. AtoM will reload the Rights holder record in view mode.
An image of button block when in edit mode
  1. If you click on the Delete button located at the bottom of the Rights holder record when in view mode, AtoM will ask you to confirm that you want to delete the Rights holder record. Click the “Delete” button to delete, or the “Cancel” button to return to Rights holder record view page. If you click “Delete,” the Rights holder record will be permanently deleted.
An image of a deletion confirmation message on a Rights holder record

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