Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Internet Archive and the National Emergency Library

The announcement from the Internet Archive got lost in the other news I'm receiving, but perhaps you had seen it.  The Internet Archive said:
To address our unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, as of today, March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.
Although this archive uses the word "national," it is available to everyone around the world.

Okay...so I missed that announcement, but then articles like these caught my attention:
The Internet Archive responded with "Internet Archive responds: Why we released the National Emergency Library." This has an FAQ and includes information on controlled digital lending (CDL), which they use.  The FAQ is an informative read, including information on the age of the books, the quality of the images, and more. And, yes, the National Emergency Library will sunset, once the emergency is over or on June 30, 2020, whichever is later.

While controlled digital lending is not new, this is likely the first time so many news outlets and people have taken note of it or been impacted by it! (Congratulations!)

I'm glad to see many people - not just the Internet Archive - release content during this period, when people are being asked to stay home. The music, the films, the books, etc. are helping us all survive social distancing and stay at home orders.  Some of the content releases have been bold, like the Internet Archive, while others have been low risk, like unlocking subscription content.  With all of content, I think the "couch potatoes" will get through the pandemic and be a little smarter when it's all over.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Article: Fair-Dealing and Emergency Remote Teaching in Canada

Samuel Trosow and Lisa Macklem have written "Fair-Dealing and Emergency Remote Teaching in Canada." Published on March 21, 2020, this is information that may help Canadian educators.  Part of the introduction states:
This article explains how copyright law applies to online course materials. We hope it will assist instructors, librarians, teaching assistants, students and administrators working in Canadian colleges and universities.

We agree with the conclusions reached by a group of U.S. copyright experts in the
Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching and Research. They found that copyright law is “well equipped to provide the flexibility necessary for the vast majority of remote learning needed at this time.” We believe their primary conclusion about the applicability of fair-use also applies to its Canadian counterpart, fair-dealing.

First, we will outline the differences and similarities between Canadian fair-dealing and U.S. fair-use. We will then apply the fair-dealing requirements to the current circumstances. In closing, we make suggestions for minimizing risk and offer some ideas that should be considered in the longer-term.
In these extraordinary times, I'm glad to see people providing useful advice so quickly.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Are you now doing videoconferencing?

Videoconference with Vinnie VrotneyMany people are trying to share helpful resources through their social networks, as we all move into social distancing, which is even restrictive for those who do normal work from home.  Many people are now doing video conference calls, perhaps for the first time.  I found this article, "8 Tips for Better Video Conference Calls," and originally posted it and some other helpful hints to Facebook. However, Facebook's algorithm removed it, because Facebook is trying to remove erroneous posts about COVID-19. So...I'm posting this here.

Now that video conference call will abound, besides the general tips in the article, I will also add:

  • Test all technology (including microphone, camera/video, and Wi-Fi) before the meeting. This means, that during the meeting, you will not have to ask "Can you hear me?"
  • Use a headset.  I know that your laptop or mobile device has a built in microphone, but the sound through a headset (or earbuds) will be better.
  • Log-in early to the meeting (generally 10-15 minutes), in case you need to work through any connection issues. This also gives you time to exchange pleasantries before the meeting begins.
  • Have an agenda. Read the agenda.  Use the agenda.
  • Mute your microphone if you are not talking on the call. Yes, do it.  Get used to muting and unmuting your microphone.
  • Mute your video, if you are eating or multitasking. Everyone else does not need to watch you. You can always turn your video back on, when you are talking/presenting.
  • Look into the camera, when you speak.  This will seem odd, since looking into the camera may mean not looking at the screen.  However, you want people to feel as if you are speaking to them.
  • Use the chat feature. Sometimes we want to chime in with a quick thought or maybe something that is (slightly) off-topic. Remember that there is a chat feature available. Most platforms will allow you to chat with a specific person, so you can have a sidebar conversation, if necessary.
  • Task someone to monitor the chat, so that anything that needs broader discussion is noted.
  • Decide on how you want people to "raise their hands" or jump into the conversation. Provide space - silence - so people can do so.
  • If some people are using audio only, introduce yourself when you speak. 
  • Be aware of your surrounding and remember that video or audio conferencing from some environments is a no-no.  Or as a friend said, "Don't do video conferences in a restroom. I've heard more flushings than I care to remember." (added 03/19/2020)

What else do we want people to do/know?  Leave a comment with your tips.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Social Distancing, Day 3

COVID-19 by Alissa Eckert and  Dan Higgins at the CDC
As COVID-19 impacts daily life around the world, in New York State we have been asked to engage is social distancing.  This is more than just avoiding large crowds.  The best practice "requires maintaining at least a six-foot distance between yourself and others." (Vox)

For me, this is day three of social distancing.  Saturday I went to the farmer's market and the grocery store.  The grocery store had the empty shelves that everyone is talking about, while the farmer's market had fewer vendors.  I didn't go out again until Sunday evening for a walk at a very large shopping mall. There it was easy to maintain social distancing, because most stores were closed for the day. Which brings me to today, where I only went outdoors to do some yard work.  There are weeks more of this ahead. Weeks.

Social distancing does not mean stepping away from doing work.  It does mean perhaps doing work in different ways.  It doesn't mean having no contact with people.  It does mean having contact with others in ways that keeps everyone safe from COVID-19.  It doesn't mean being selfish.  It does mean taking care of the community in a very different way than normal.

Days 1 and 2 felt normal, but today does not. And knowing that this will continue on for weeks means that somehow I - and others - need to become comfortable with this new normal. Tips welcome.

So how are you doing? What do you need help with? Leave a comment and let's get through this together.

A Mixed Bag of Resources

A Few Resources to Stay Engaged and Entertained

Empty shelves where toilet paper and other paper products should be Empty meat case So few potatoes

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Public Statement: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research

The introduction to this document states:
This Statement is meant to provide clarity for U.S. colleges and universities about how copyright law applies to the many facets of remote teaching and research in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. We write this as copyright specialists at colleges, universities, and other organizations supporting higher education in the U.S. and Canada who work every day with faculty, staff, and librarians to enable them to make ethical and legal choices about copyright issues in online teaching.  
The United States is in a time of crisis. As of this writing, more than 200 universities and colleges have moved to remote teaching. These moves aim to promote public health by slowing the spread of the disease, while maintaining at least some of the important functions higher education plays in teaching, learning, and research. We have heard concerns that copyright may pose impediments to a rapid shift to remote instruction, or conversely, that copyright is not relevant. While legal obligations do not automatically dissolve in the face of a public health crisis, U.S. copyright law is, thankfully, well equipped to provide the flexibility necessary for the vast majority of remote learning needed at this time.
Please go to the document and read it in its entirety, then share it.  If you want to endorse it, there is a way (on the page) to do so.

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

Notice: Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights

This just came across in my email and worth us paying attention to. Do you have a comment on this? Then submit it!

Librarian of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights

Press Contact: William Ryan (202) 707-0020

The public will have the opportunity to provide input to the Library of Congress on expertise needed by the next Register of Copyrights, the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, announced today.

Beginning today, March 2, a form to solicit this feedback is online and open to the public. The form will be posted through Friday, March 20.

The Library of Congress will review all input and use it to help develop the knowledge, skills and abilities requirements for our announcement to fill the Register of Copyrights position.
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services, and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register and record creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 20-017
ISSN 0731-3527

Sunday, March 01, 2020

It's out! Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators (Fourth Edition)

Kenneth Crews
The fourth edition of Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions by Kenneth Crews is now available from ALA.  This has been several years in the making, with the delay allowing Crews to include information on the two changes to copyright law which occurred in 2018. (Sometimes a delay is a good thing!) Crews reported that he made updates throughout the book.  The geek in me is looking to reading it! 

Note that the ALA website does have a sample of the book which can be downloaded.

The table of contents is:

Part I: The Reach of Copyright
Chapter 1: The Copyright Map: Changing Needs and Copyright Solutions
Chapter 2: Sources of Copyright Law: Constitution, Statutes, and Courts
Chapter 3: Sources of Copyright Law: International Treaties, Trade, and Harmonization
Chapter 4: The Scope of Protectable Works
Chapter 5: Works without Copyright Protection

Part II: Rights of Ownership
Chapter 6: Duration and Formalities: How Long Do Copyrights Last?
Chapter 7: Who Owns the Copyright?
Chapter 8: The Rights of Copyright Owners
Chapter 9: Exceptions to the Rights of Owners

Part III: Fair Use
Chapter 10: Fair Use: Getting Started
Chapter 11: Fair Use: Understanding the Four Factors
Chapter 12: Getting Comfortable with Fair Use: Applying the Four Factors
Chapter 13: The Meaning of Fair Use Guidelines
Chapter 14: Education, Fair Use, and the Georgia State Case

Part IV: Focus on Education and Libraries
Chapter 15: Distance Education and the Principles of Copyright
Chapter 16: Distance Education and the TEACH Act
Chapter 17: Libraries, Archives, and the Special Provisions of Section 108
Chapter 18: Responsibility, Liability, and Doing the Right Thing

Part V: Special Features
Chapter 19: Music and Copyright
Chapter 20: The Peculiar Law of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings
Chapter 21: Copyright, Archives, and Unpublished Materials
Chapter 22: Anticircumvention and Digital Rights Management
Chapter 23: Copyright and the World: Foreign Law and Foreign Works
Chapter 24: Permission, Licensing, and Open Access

  • Appendix A    Selected Provisions from the U.S. Copyright Act
  • Appendix B    Copyright Checklist: Fair Use
  • Appendix C     Copyright Checklist: The TEACH Act and Distance Education
  • Appendix D    Copyright Checklist for Libraries: Copies for Preservation or Replacement
  • Appendix E    Copyright Checklist for Libraries: Copies for Private Study
  • Appendix F    Model Letter for Permission Requests
This edition is not yet available through Amazon, but I expect that it will be.