The issues of client confidentiality are twofold. Firstly, who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) of the document in question, and secondly the issue of client confidentiality.
In the case of the ownership of the IP – this should in most cases be the Agency that did the work and produced the document. However in some instances Agencies will have signed contracts with particular Clients, which specified that the Client retained all IP. If you own the IP then you have the right to sign the document over to the Archive. If you believe that the Client owns the IP, then you need the client’s permission. However in many cases the Client may no longer exist, so permission cannot be sought or given. If this is the case but you feel that the document is an important part of MR history, and should be preserved, then you can give the document to the Archive and we will take responsibility for getting permission from the client, or a representative of the client, or, if this does not prove possible, then we will not make the document public until a specified time from the date of authorship has passed. (We suggest 30 years – but you may wish to specify a longer period, if you prefer).
The second issue is that of client confidentiality. Even if you own the IP of the document, you may feel that it is sensitive in some way, or that you are bound to respect client confidentiality for ever. In which case you should seek the client’s permission – or pass it to the Archive with the caveat that we will obtain permission – or embargo the document until a specified amount of time has passed. We feel it is better to preserve all the documents we can, even if they are not made public for many years, rather than lose them forever.
if you have any concerns about whether you should donate some, or all, of the material you would like us to preserve, please contact Phyllis Macfarlane or Phyllis Vangelder.
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