Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Event: Deciding to Digitize: Legal, Ethical, and Copyright Considerations

The Center for Intellectual Property at the University of Maryland University College offers many educational programs for its members.  Below is information on a course that would be of particular interest to you.  If you are not a member of CIP, you may want to consider becoming a member so you can participant in their training events.

Deciding to Digitize: Legal, Ethical, and Copyright Considerations
Dates: February 14-March 11, 2011 (Register by February 4)
Instructor: Peggy Hoon, J.D.

Description: The advent of digitization, combined with the widespread access to the Internet, has forever changed how we access and interact with information. Every one of us, in varying degrees, relies upon digital technology and digitized materials at work, home, and play.

Our computers, cell phones, and other devices deliver digital content to us daily: e-mail, text messages, documents, e-books, journals, databases, and web sites with images, graphs, photos, and animations. We also use fax machines, scanners, digital recorders, cameras, memory cards, DVDs, CDs, HDTV, and game consoles. Almost invisible to us, too, are the digital elements embedded in our cars, appliances, security systems, and air conditioning.

Our belief in the advantages and inevitability of a digitally dominated world, including digital versions of our cultural past, places us at a fascinating point in history where “born digital” and “digitized” works exist side-by-side. This raises numerous critical and important questions, particularly for copyright holders and for those who face the decisions of what, when, and how to digitize.
  • How does digitization affect the traditional balance of competing interests in intellectual property?
  • What should copyright holders do to protect their works? What role does digital rights management play?
  • Is what we can digitize (technologically) synonymous with what we may (lawfully) or should (ethically)?
  • What can be done with the digitized object, and who will maintain it?
  • What are the legal and ethical principles and guidelines to help in these decisions?
  • How do we best move forward in developing best practices and reasonable guidelines?
  • What risk management strategies have been deployed successfully?
  • What is the role of and enforceability of web site terms and conditions?
This course, which assumes a working knowledge of copyright basics, will address the legal and ethical issues and copyright considerations underpinning the formation of a responsible and balanced digitization practice, policy, procedure or workflow.

Course goals include:
  1. Gain a broader understanding of the effect of digitization on both copyright holders and intellectual property users;
  2. Be able to articulate how digitization has altered the traditional balance of interests in copyright law;
  3. Acquire exposure to current digitization practices in various industries with emphasis on libraries and higher education; Analyze available best practices documents;
  4. Evaluate and critique institutional policies, procedures, and practices, including your own;
  5. Assess various large scale digitization projects, such as Google Books  (pros and cons);
  6. Gain an overview of the current litigation environment, including P2P file sharing activity;
  7. Present the positions and practices of libraries, special collections, museums, archives, and distance education faculty;
  8. Identify issues surrounding the use of licenses for digitized materials;
  9. Choose potential risk management strategies for your own institution.
Participants encouraged to attend include:
  • Members of cultural institutions, such as librarians, archivists and museum curators;
  • Members of the higher education community, including distance education units and faculty, IT support, faculty development personnel, and university counsel;
  • Individuals in such businesses as presses and publishers and others who interact with these stakeholders.

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