Friday, July 09, 2010

40% Increase in Copyright Risk Management Concerns over Last Year

This press release was sent to me from a Copyright Clearance Center marketing person.  Feel free to to skip everything and go to the bold text toward the bottom. Here we see that employees need more education and guidance when it comes to copyright.  I believe that part of that guidance could be clearer copyright information on documents, web sites, etc.  Yes, even our digitization programs.  People should not have to guess or assume.  And there should be links to additional information, when necessary or even the ability to contact a real person for help.

FreePint® Survey Finds 40% Increase in
Copyright Risk Management Concerns over Last Year

Copyright Clearance Center-sponsored survey queries information managers and content end users on their information consumption and copyright concerns

Danvers, MA., – Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), a not-for-profit organization that is the world’s leading provider of copyright licensing solutions, has announced the results of a just-released, two-phase FreePint® survey of information managers and end-users from companies and countries around the world on copyright needs, behaviors, and attitudes in the enterprise.

Forty percent of information managers in Phase 1 of the survey reported that copyright risk management is more important than a year ago in their organizations while none of the respondents felt that copyright is less important than a year ago.  Responses as to why included:

·         New staff coming on board requiring training on the company’s risk management policies
·         Proliferation of new types of content, particularly digital content
·         Increase of contracting work out to third-parties, necessitating the creation of copyright policies both for the company’s own works and for use of others
·         Growing cost of content itself, requiring more attention to managing the risks associated with acquiring and using that content
·         Some countries’ introduction of new laws and regulations applicable to copyright
·         Information managers also identified one-time and ongoing training and restrictions on use as the most effective ways to manage copyright risk at their organizations.

The Phase 2 response group of content end users reported similar levels of concern regarding copyright, with 36% deeming copyright more important than a year ago, 63% as important as a year ago and less than 1% less important than a year ago.   Reasons for the shift included:

·         Library team in charge of copyright compliance has less time and resource to ensure staff awareness of copyright obligations
·         More interest by senior management
·         More actions to create awareness about copyright as well as measures to proactively mitigate copyright risks at the time of information usage or ordering
·         More education of new hires well as existing staff
·         Following training courses, staff are more aware of copyright issues

More than half of content end users noted that they share information from paid databases on a daily basis and approximately 71% reported sharing web content daily. 

“With copyright issues making front page news, information professionals and end users are becoming increasingly concerned about using information in a copyright compliant manner,” said Robin Neidorf, General Manager, FreePint. “To this end, information managers are working hard to help their organizations and colleagues develop better practices that reflect today’s environment and business needs.”

Phase 1 of the Copyright Policies and Practices project featured 196 completed survey responses from information managers at corporate libraries, law firms, government agencies and other corporate institutions in the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. These managers report that they are being proactive about identifying and managing copyright risks by relying on a range of resources that help reduce the risks of misuse; the managers also admit to uncertainty and a desire for more predictable industry standards, improved training, and technology to support their efforts.

Phase 2of the project had 392 completed survey responses from content end users. Their input provides valuable insight into how knowledge workers are interacting with content, what questions they are asking themselves about appropriate use of materials, and where their attitudes and needs may diverge from those of information managers and policies overall.

            The urgent business need underlying this project is for organizations to manage more effectively the risks of copyright as well as the costs of information.  Through a comparison of Phase 1 and Phase 2 responses, the study identifies a number of critical gaps between the policies that organizations have set and the actions on the desktop that may not be aligned with those policies.  Every gap is increased risk or potentially increased cost.  These gaps include: {bolding added}
·         End users who are more confident that they understand their role than information managers give them credit for.
·         Increased use of free resources from the Web, without clear understanding of the underlying copyright restrictions of that content.
·         Lack of clarity among end users around the scope of use of premium resources their organizations subscribe to.
·         Confusion about where to turn for clarification on copyright policy and/or additional training or resources.
Companies can use the report to benchmark their own policies and tools against those survey respondents who describe and begin to identify where their own gaps may exist so that they can better manage those risks and costs.

About Copyright Clearance Center
Representing copyright holders from nearly every country in the world, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a global rights broker for millions of the world’s most sought after materials, including in- and out-of-print books, journals, newspapers, magazines, images, blogs and ebooks.  Founded in 1978 as a not-for-profit organization, today CCC promotes the seamless sharing of knowledge by creating innovative licensing solutions that let academic institutions, businesses, and individuals quickly get permission to use copyright-protected materials while compensating authors, publishers, and other content creators for the use of their works.  For more information, visit

About FreePint®
FreePint ( conducts research on global issues in information practice.  Projects are developed in conjunction with buyers and users of information products and services as well as vendors of information products and services.  These projects tap FreePint’s global network of over 100,000 information practitioners to learn about and report on the changing face of the industry.

The FreePint Report:  Copyright Policies and Practices and be purchased at, or request a free summary of high-level results by completing the form at

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