Newsletter of the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona

JM2010 Round Table: Copyright

Posted on February 1, 2010 by kcarlson | No Comments


Posted by Megan Curran, Norris Medical Library, University of Southern California.

Round Table: Copyright Issues.

This round table’s discussion ran the gamut among copyright and licensing issues. There was a general consensus that the more librarians delve into the realm of copyright law, the fuzzier it can get; it is difficult to feel confident giving definitive answers to faculty and staff about copyright and fair use. Some members mentioned that their institutions have copyright legal counsel on staff, but those lawyers are usually busy with non-library copyright issues, like illegal filesharing over university networks. Although an institution’s general counsel might be available for consult on a particularly important copyright issue, it would be impossible to consult them on all copyright questions, as they tend to have bigger fish to fry.

Peggy Tahir from UC San Francisco talked about her institution’s efforts to discourage faculty against illegally posting licensed PDFs on course management systems. Tahir also said she’d like to explore using Collaborative Learning Environments like Moodle for an e-reserve system where her staff would make links to licensed content that would expire, in keeping with current copyright law. The roundtable also touched on intellectual property issues concerning researchers, the legal ramifications of accidentally breaking vague copyright statutes, and university-wide efforts to identify which affiliates should have access to which resources. The question came up of whether it’s best to be more or less conservative when interpreting copyright elements of vendor licenses, and Andrea Lynch of City of Hope pointed to the California Digital Library Licensing Toolkit as a guide. Blogger, the balloon animal dog created by invited speaker David Rothman during this morning’s plenary session, listened intently to the roundtable’s conversation but had little to offer in terms of discussion.

Posted 2/2/10


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