[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: Librarians Acting as Copyright Managers

Interesting!  Donna Ferullo, Director of Purdue's Copyright 
Office, and I are completing a final proof of a chapter called 
"Copyright Implications for Electronic Resources" for a book 
entitled "Electronic Resource Management in Libraries:  Research 
and Practice," to be published by Idea Group very shortly.


Aline Soules
Cal State East Bay

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu on behalf of Amritha Fernandes-Bakshi
Sent: Mon 1/14/2008 3:03 PM
To: liblicense-l@pantheon.yale.edu
Subject: Librarians Acting as Copyright Managers

[Cross-posted please excuse duplication]

How many librarians have not dealt with a copyright issue?  I am 
posting an article on the role of librarians vis-a-vis copyright 
law, on behalf of Lesley Ellen Harris (http://copyrightlaws.com). 
The article is published in SLA Information Outlook, January 




*Librarians Without Lawyers
Librarians Acting as Copyright Managers

Copyright Law Affects Us All*

Copyright law is complicated - even for lawyers - and even for
copyright lawyers who deal with copyright issues on a daily
basis.  Yet because of the application of the law in a broad
variety of sectors, individuals with no legal backgrounds must
learn about copyright law to protect their own works, negotiate
permissions for others to use their content, interpret licenses
for the use of online content, work within a regime governed by
copyright law, and generally manage a variety of copyright
issues.  Visual artists, writers, photographers and filmmakers
are all in professions where their income is based on copyright
law.  Educators, librarians, archivists and other information
professionals are involved in daily activities which must be
undertaken within the confines of copyright law.  With the
Internet, often all of these non-lawyers must understand
international copyright treaties and foreign copyright laws as
well as the copyright laws in their own countries - at least on a
practical level.

*Interpreting Fair Use/Dealing*

In fact, certain provisions in copyright statutes like the U.S.
fair use, or fair dealing, are intended for individuals to
interpret.  Therefore, if an artist wants to create an artistic
work incorporating works of others, that artist must determine
whether her use is fair use/dealing as if a judge in a court were
deciding that same issue based on those particular circumstances.
The same is true for a librarian or educator photocopying print
material for use for her patrons or colleagues, or trying to
explain to someone why free content obtained on the Internet is
not necessarily free to forward (as opposed to forwarding a link
to access that same content).

*Non-Lawyers Interpreting the Law*

Of course, some individuals may be able to benefit from in-house
legal advice.  Authors of books may sometimes rely upon the
advice of their publishers' attorneys.  However, many author
agreements put the burden on the individual author to ensure that
an author's work does not infringe upon the rights of others and
that all proper copyright permissions have been obtained.  Those
who work in universities or larger organizations may have access
to their in-house attorneys for advice on copyright issues.  But
even with such access, many individuals complain that the advice
or answers take too long to obtain and that they must analyze the
copyright issues themselves in order to get on with their work.

There are many librarians and content owners who continually are
negotiating permissions and licenses to copyright-protected works
and who have much more practical experience than any attorney.
These are often our colleagues with whom we can gain much

*Copyright Manager*

The reality in copyright-based industries is that individuals
must understand copyright law, contract law, litigation issues,
risk management and be effective negotiators.  Many enterprises
now have positions occupied by non-lawyers that relate to
copyright.  Often, these positions are filled by information
professionals.  For instance, a Copyright Officer may be
responsible for copyright management issues.  A Licensing Officer
may be responsible for negotiating digital licenses, and
explaining the legal uses of digital content within their
enterprise.  Non-lawyers who are put in a "copyright management"
position should take some comfort from the recognition that they
are not alone.