Sharing Rights Determinations

Copyright determinations resulting from the CRMS project are made available through several mechanisms:

  • a bibliographic API
  • a data API
  • a continuous metadata feed containing rights information, standard identifiers, and some bibliographic information for all items in HathiTrust


The Bibliographic API returns the rights determination of a volume or volumes (as well as bibliographic and other volume-specific information) when given a standard identifier such as ISBN, LCCN, OCLC, or HathiTrust id. The API specification and scenarios for use are available at http://www.hathitrust.org/bib_api.

The Data API returns both the rights determination of a volume and the reason the determination was made when given the volume's HathiTrust id. The specification for the Data API is available at http://www.hathitrust.org/data_api, and the particular section relating to rights information can be found at http://www.hathitrust.org/data_api#Volume_and_Rights_Metadata.

The continuous metadata feed contains both rights determinations and the reasons those determinations were made for all volumes in HathiTrust (including those reviewed as part of the CRMS project)*. The feed comprises a series of tab-delimited files that are available at http://www.hathitrust.org/hathifiles and described at http://www.hathitrust.org/hathifiles_metadata. An aggregate file containing metadata for all volumes is released on the first of every month. Incremental files reflecting the volumes added to HathiTrust on a daily basis are released every subsequent day until the next aggregate file is released.

*HathiTrust conducts copyright review of all volumes at the time of ingest using an automatic process based on criteria such as publication date, publisher, and place of publication. Reviews conducted as part of the CRMS project typically, though not always, occur subsequent to this process. The results of all reviews are stored in a single rights database. Details about this database, including the specific codes used for rights determinations and reasons, can be found at http://www.hathitrust.org/rights_database.

Page maintained by Melissa Levine
Last modified: 03/17/2013