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Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain

Laura N. Gasaway
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    Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals
    Book Description:

    Copyright law is a critical issue for authors, librarians, publishers, and information vendors. It is also a complex area, with many shades of gray. Librarians continually need to seek answers to questions ranging from the reproduction of copyrighted works for library users, through the performance of audiovisual works, to the digitization and display of protected works on library websites. This book presents updated versions of the author’s copyright columns published in Against the Grain, the leading journal in acquisitions librarianship since the late 1990s. It is the first volume in the series Charleston Insights in Library, Archival, and Information Sciences. The aim of the Charleston Insights series is to focus on important topics in library and information science, presenting the issues in a relatively jargon-free way that is accessible to all types of information professionals, including librarians, publishers, and vendors, and this goal shapes the pragmatic and accessible tone of the book. The volume is presented in question-and-answer format. The questions are real, submitted by librarians, educators, and other information professionals who have attended the author’s copyright law workshops and presentations or submitted them to her by e-mail or telephone. The author has selected the questions and answers that have general applicability. She has then arranged them into logical chapters, each prefaced by a short introduction to the topic. Because it is written in an accessible and clear style, readers may want to review the entire work or they can just access particular chapters or even specific questions as they need them. The volume includes an index to facilitate reference use.

    eISBN: 978-1-61249-253-7
    Subjects: Library Science, Language & Literature, Law

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
    (pp. ix-x)
    Katina Strauch

    Laura N. “Lolly” Gasaway is the Paul B. Eaton Distinguished Professor of Law at UNC-Chapel Hill. Copyright is her métier, and she is nationally known. From 2005 to 2008 she was co-chair of an elite nineteen-person task force appointed by the U.S. Copyright Office and the Library of Congress to study section 108 of the Copyright Act and suggest needed changes.

    I first encountered this amazing woman when I attended one of her famous “copyright for librarians” seminars. I came home with a spiral-bound book full of information about copyright and all kinds of books and articles to read. I...

  2. CHAPTER 1 Copyright Basics
    (pp. 1-22)

    Librarians and others have asked a large number of fundamental copyright questions over the years that deal with basic copyright issues rather than with library copying, Internet use of copyrighted works, and so forth—questions such as, what does it take to create a copyrighted work? who owns the copyright in a specific work? and, what happens to the copyright in a work when the author is an employee or is now deceased?

    Section 102(a) of the Copyright Act of 1976 states that copyright attaches when an author creates an original work that is fixed in a tan gible medium...

  3. CHAPTER 2 Copies for Users
    (pp. 23-44)

    The Copyright Act contains a series of exceptions to the section 106 exclusive rights of the copyright holder. One of these exceptions, section 108, applies specifically to libraries and archives. This section permits libraries that satisfy certain criteria to make copies for the library itself (covered in chapter 11, “Preservation and Archiving”), and for users. Libraries also have general fair use rights,¹ as do users themselves. Fair use requires courts to analyze the copying, evaluate it on the basis of the four fair use factors, and weigh these factors to determine whether a particular use is a fair use. The...

  4. CHAPTER 3 Library Reserves
    (pp. 45-60)

    Libraries have utilized and managed reserve collections for many years. Originally these collections housed original volumes that were removed from the circulating collection so that they could serve more patrons by using a short restricted borrowing period. Over time, faculty members began to request that books and periodical volumes be placed on course reserves.¹ These activities raised no copyright concerns because the library was not reproducing the works. With the advent of the photocopier, libraries had the ability to substitute photocopies of book chapters and articles for the original book or journal volume in the reserve collection. This raised copyright...

  5. CHAPTER 4 Permissions and Licensing
    (pp. 61-82)

    Despite fair use and the Copyright Act section 108 exceptions, libraries and archives sometimes must ask permission to reproduce a work. Increasingly, libraries are dealing with permissions and are operating under license agreements that are required when a library acquires access to a particular work.

    Locating copyright holders in order to seek permission to reproduce and/or distribute copyrighted works continues to be problematic for librarians, publishers, authors, and faculty members. Related questions in this chapter focus on requesting permission in good faith and pay royalties, including permission to reuse works prepared by student authors in their course work, and obtaining...

  6. CHAPTER 5 Performance and Display: Libraries and Other Organizations
    (pp. 83-100)

    Two of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder are public performance and public display. To “perform” is defined in section 101 of the Copyright Act and means “to recite, render, play, dance or act it, either directly or by the means of any device or process, or in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence to make the sounds accompanying it audible.” The same section defines display as “to show a copy of it, either directly or by means of a film, slide, television image, or any other device...

  7. CHAPTER 6 Performance and Display: Nonprofit Educational Institutions
    (pp. 101-116)

    Some of the best exceptions in the Copyright Act are for performances and displays in nonprofit educational institutions. For face-to-face teaching in a nonprofit educational institution—in a classroom, with simultaneous presence of students and teachers in the same physical space—any copyrighted work may be performed or displayed as long as the purpose is for instruction. This section 110(1) exception is referred to as the “classroom exemption.”¹ Under this exception, students and teachers may act out a copyrighted play, sing a copyrighted song, listen to copyrighted sound recordings, or view a motion picture in its entirety if the conditions...

  8. CHAPTER 7 Audiovisual Works, Sound Recordings, and Software
    (pp. 117-134)

    Audiovisual works are defined in section 101 of the Copyright Act as “works that consist of a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of machines or devices such as projectors, viewers, or electronic equipment, together with accompanying sounds, if any, regardless of the nature of the mate rial objects, such as films or tapes, in which the work is embodied.”¹ Sound recordings consist of recorded sounds of music, spoken words, and the like, regardless of whether they are stored on phonorecords, CDs, or tapes.

    Libraries have long collected audiovisual works and made...

  9. CHAPTER 8 Photographs and Graphics
    (pp. 135-152)

    Photographs and graphics are included in the category of pictorial, sculptural, and graphic works in the U.S. Copyright Act.¹ The term “photograph” is not defined in the Copyright Act, but a com mon definition is “an image, especially a positive print, recorded by a camera and reproduced on a photosensitive surface.”² Images may be embodied in actual photographs, glass plates, or negatives, or as digital copies. The format of an image is irrelevant; it is the underlying photograph that is the copyrighted work. Libraries and archives have collected photographs since the earliest days of photography, and have been the recipients...

  10. CHAPTER 9 The Internet and the Web
    (pp. 153-172)

    The digital environment has affected the users of copyrighted works as well as the producers. Not only are librarians and teachers increasingly familiar with locating information on the web, so are library users, who often request digital copies. The wide availability of much free material on the Internet has caused many librarians to question whether the same copyright rules that exist for print and analog works apply when the work is found on the Internet.

    For many schools and libraries, digital works are licensed (see chapter 4, “Permissions and Licensing”), and what a library may do with materials is governed...

  11. CHAPTER 10 Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery
    (pp. 173-192)

    Libraries have long participated in interlibrary loan (ILL) activities. Traditionally, lending activities consisted of a borrowing library receiving a request from a user for a volume (usually a monograph or treatise) that the borrowing library did not have in its collection. Libraries developed systems to facilitate the search of holdings records across libraries that so a borrowing library could request the loan of a title from another library that owned a copy of the work. The lending library would then agree to provide the requested volume and mailed it to the borrowing library on the condition that the borrowing library...

  12. CHAPTER 11 Preservation and Archiving
    (pp. 193-210)

    Libraries and archives have long been involved in preserving materials in their collections. Historically, this involved preserving the artifact, that is, the book volume, the periodical issue, the newspaper, or handwritten letters and manuscripts. Institutions conserved books by treating the bindings and pages of books. They created climate-controlled facilities aimed at stopping deterioration. They also microfilmed back runs of journals and newspapers, both to facilitate use and, primarily, to preserve them. Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, as computer technology was developing, it became clear that many nineteenth century works had been printed on acidic paper and these “brittle books”...

  13. CHAPTER 12 Digitization
    (pp. 211-228)

    As libraries of all types have increasingly adopted computer technology, the potential to make digitized content available to library users has become more attractive. Library users are requesting digital copies of works more than ever before. At the same time, copyright questions about digitization have also increased. Digitizing has become much easier to accomplish, and all types of libraries are interested in the issue for various projects, for specific types of works, and for particular uses of copyrighted works. Some of the library digitization projects are to create whole digital collections, which the libraries intend to make available on the...

  14. CHAPTER 13 Miscellaneous Issues
    (pp. 229-246)

    There are a number of questions about copyright issues important to librarians, faculty members, authors, and publishers that do not fit into any of the other topical chapters. Those questions have been gathered into this final chapter. Because of the wide variety of questions in this chapter, it is not easy to introduce them.

    There are questions about the nature of fair use, whether public libraries qualify for the exceptions that are available to nonprofit educational institutions, whether for-profit schools may take advantage of the nonprofit educational institution exceptions, and the meaning in section 108(a) of the Copyright Act of...

  15. EPILOGUE Emerging Challenges in Copyright
    (pp. 247-260)

    The questions and answers in this book indicate that there are many copyright issues that are still being debated by librarians, archivists, publishers, and authors, as well as legislators, attorneys, and members of the public. For many information professionals, copyright is frustrating because answers to their questions too often begin with “It depends.” That is the nature of a law that so often requires interpreting a statute that is unclear and outdated, examining prior case law and the facts of a particular situation, and then doing one’s best to arrive at the answer. Librarians often follow what they believe to...

  16. APPENDIX When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain
    (pp. 261-264)