Monday, January 14, 2019

Wikiversity Page on Intellectual Property Education

Wikiversity logo
At the end of the fall 2018 semester, graduate students in "Copyright for Information Professionals" worked on creating a page with resources for learning more about intellectual property and copyright. This assignment, hosted through Wiki Education (WikiEdu), has now become a page in Wikiversity.

According to Wikiversity's homepage:
Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university, including professional training and informal learning. 
Wikiversity has over 26,000 learning resources across a wide spectrum of topics.  Seeing the breadth of topics has made me realize that if you are learning a topic, you might want to check this site to see what resources it has.

And now among the Wikiversity resources in a page on intellectual property.  The lengthy page is divided into five sections:

  1. Governing Laws of Copyright
  2. Popular Topics
  3. Using What You Want to Learn as a Guide
  4. Training available on intellectual property laws in the United States
  5. Training available on intellectual property laws in other countries (non-U.S.)
This page will connect you to resources to learn more about intellectual property and specifically copyright.  It is not meant to be a comprehensive list.  However, since it is a wiki page, anyone can add resources and topics to it, and I hope people will.  Those could include books, webinars, classes, etc. on patents, trademarks, and trade secrets as well as copyrights.

Finally, thanks to the students would worked on this page, as well as staff and volunteers at WikiEdu, Wikipedia, and Wikiversity.  What a joy to have people who are passionate about creating shared resources under a Creative Commons license.

Friday, January 11, 2019

ALA eCourse: US Copyright Law in the Library: A Beginner's Guide eCourse

In March, I'm offering an asynchronous eCourse on copyright through ALA ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions.  After giving copyright webinars last year through ALA, I'm please to have been asked to deliver a four-week course entitled "US Copyright Law in the Library: A Beginner's Guide eCourse."  The description is below.  Registration information is on the ALA website.  The four weeks of course material, including materials to extend your learning, will provide approximately 28 hours of learning activity.

ALA ecourse logo

Description: 

The library is a hub of content, all of it subject to copyright law. The legal reality of copyright is dynamic—changes in technology have created a landscape that is constantly adapting and can be difficult to predict. If you don't have any formal training in copyright law, it can be intimidating to know how to answer your patrons' copyright questions and to know what you can and cannot do with your library’s content and resources. It can be tough to understand the line between providing information and answering a legal question.

In this new eCourse, consultant, speaker, writer, and educator Jill Hurst-Wahl guides you through the basics of copyright law and provides you with the foundation to become your library's copyright expert.

Each week, you'll learn how copyright law informs what libraries, library staff, and patrons can do with their materials and how you can stay up-to-date as this area evolves. You'll be able to check and affirm your knowledge through focused self-assessments.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

January 1, 2019: Public Domain Day

Yesterday published works from 1923 entered the public domain.  Yes, it is was Public Domain Day for real!  This article from  the Duke School of Law Center for the Study of the Public Domain gives a wonderful overview of what is now available. The works include:
As the Center's article states about the information they provide:
In an abundance of caution, our list above only includes works where we were actually able to track down the notice and renewal data suggesting that they are indeed still in-copyright until 2019. We’ve also compiled—to the best of our research capabilities—a fuller spreadsheet showing other renewed works from 1923. You can find it here. But we want to emphasize that this is only a partial collection; many more works are entering the public domain as well, but we could not find the legal minutia to confirm their copyright status. 
Yes, knowing when a work was indeed published is important, as well as if it complied with the copyright rules of that era.  Some works had already entered the public domain from 1923.  Some works aren't yet in the public domain.  It's complicated, but that's okay because the public domain really did get bigger!

Tattoos and Copyright - Again

At the end of 2018, the New York Times published "Athletes Don’t Own Their Tattoos. That’s a Problem for Video Game Developers." This is a story that is told periodically because of the popularity of tattoos and the ongoing lawsuits about them being displayed in video games.  Many athletes get tattoos before they are famous and before they in a players' union, which can give them advice.
Players’ unions, many of which license the players’ likenesses to video game publishers, and sports agents have advised athletes to secure licensing agreements before they get tattooed.
The need to acquire a licensing agreement before getting tattooed is important for anyone who is famous.  For some, that might mean going back and getting an agreement for an older tattoo.

For those who have no plans on being famous, you still might want to think about who owns your tattoo, especially those that are not from flash sheets or stencils.  For example, will the artist be agreeable if you decide to alter the tattoo in the future? I know that could be an awkward conversation to have, but you might approach it in terms of what the tattoo artist's expectations are of their work and that work's future.