Friday, March 12, 2010

Copyright for Librarians

Robert Bremer, Head of User Services at the Louisiana Tech Library spoke about copyright in libraries with a very strong focus on copyright in an academic library setting.

[Handouts gone, he will email me, I will add links.]

Fair use is the key.

Authorizes teachers to make some use of works for educational use with out the author's permission

Don't use mechanically, requires judicious use

Institutions need to give guidelines. Most institutions give bare outlines.

Three approaches: Georgia State U: all fair since it is ed use
Risk avoidance: nothing is fair
Logic: apply on a work by work basis.

Georgia State U: "All nonprofit educational use, no matter how much and no mttaer how long it is used, is fair." In Cambridge University Press v. Patton complaint (2008). In GSU administration was not paying attention, Blackboard allowed use to anyone (not just GSU student). Faculty also posted huge amounts of information.

Risk Avoidance: capitulation hidden in veil of legal analysis. "Reliance on fair use always involves some risk & public institutions are prone to be risk averse, so use a licensing clearinghouse & avoid all risk, especially now that publishers are suing univerisites for copyright infringement.

Logic: Sensibly employ the principles of fair use each time you incorporate another's work into an instruction aid. If you are re-purposing the material and use it only for that purpose, you are OK. Federal courts use common sense and "rule of reason." Cases in this area are almost as old as our country.

Look at the specific wording of Section 107 (17 USC 107). Important to review all four factors listed in Section 107. Supreme Court has added to the list "parody." Education is specifically exempted both in the preamble and in the list of factors.

If it is your own work, copyright is not an issue, nor if it is "out-of-copyright." If you are simply copying the whole work, it is a problem. Look for a case involving UCLA.

How much of the work is being used is an important consideration. If you do provide copies, do provide attribution. The courts have been clear that it is not a numbers game. (He used the analogy of the definition of obscenity by Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.")

Materials must be available only to enrolled students, and must be removed, reviewed, revised, and remounted at the end of each marking period.

Non-print formats have exemptions for educational purpose which include face to face instruction (17 USC 110(1)). The TEACH Act covers only "accredited" non-profit institutions and covers online instruction.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act does not address fair use, but it does prohibit the circumvention of copy protection.

It is important to pay attention to "best practices" set up by media communities to define fair use for the group.

There are best practices on fair use as well as guidelines. The Conference for Fair Use (CONFU) put together a report that they could not agree. There is a report on fair use guidelines here.

ALA has a copyright slider to figure out if a work is out of copyright.

You can pay for permissions to get rights to avoid all risk. You can buy many rights for articles from the Copyright Clearance Center. For performance rights, you can get them from Swank Motion Pictures who will either sell them or tell you where you can get them.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is covered under Section 108 (17 USC 108), with Section 108(g)(2) specifically for ILL. Rule of 5, means that five articles per year per title are permitted, and 5 copies of a copyrighted book. CONTU set standards in 1978, and has become the standard.

Wrap this up in kernel: Fair use lets you use copyrighted items for educational use if you are re-purposing (criticism, analysis, compare and contrast), and only using as much as you need.

Rob answered questions from the floor, including an interesting question about re-print. He did narrow his area of expertise to copyright for instructional aids.

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