Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Fair Use Week 2022: Blog posts from Copyright at Harvard Library

Four factors of fair it use coasters. Copyright

This year, Fair Use Week has sneaked up on me! Thankfully, it did not sneak up on my colleague Kyle K. Courtney, who is hosting relevant blog posts this week on the Copyright at Harvard Library blog. The first two posts are available and their will be more.  Bookmark the blog and check it every day this week.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Free Webinar for ALA Members: Digitization and Copyright: Lending Digitized Content in a Controlled Manner

Head full of gears

I'm pleased to be part of this webinar on Feb. 28, 2:30 p.m. ET, which is for current ALA members only, as a benefit their ALA membership.  If you're an ALA member and want to know more about Controlled Digital Lending, register for this webinar!


Digitization and Copyright: Lending Digitized Content in a Controlled Manner


Since the start of the pandemic, the library profession has seen an increased emphasis on digitizing collections to lend to patrons in a controlled manner. But libraries have been digitizing content for years as a way to expand access, increase equity of use, support teachers and learners, and maximize a library’s investment in its collection. Some libraries have worked with larger institutions or consortia, while others have quietly engaged in digitization on their own.


This has raised many questions about copyright, including fair use, the first sale doctrine, and digital rights management. During this webinar, the panelists will discuss what it means to lend digitized content in a controlled manner (a.k.a., controlled digital lending), the copyright foundations for this work, what “controlled manners” need to be put in place, and other choices which must be considered when working towards a digitize-and-lend model.


As a benefit of your ALA membership, you have access to this complimentary 60-minute webinar as part of the ALA Special Access Series


February 28th starting at 2:30 ET, 1:30 CT


Kyle K. Courtney, MSLIS, J.D. is currently the Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, working out of the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication. He works closely with Harvard Library to establish a culture of shared understanding of copyright issues among Harvard staff, faculty, and students. He founded the “Copyright First Responders” and Fair Use Week, which has become an international celebration. He recently won a Knight Foundation Grant to develop technology for crowdsourcing copyright and fair use decisions. He is a founding board member of Library Futures.


Jill Hurst-Wahl, MLS is a consultant, speaker, writer, researcher, and educator. She is a president of Hurst Associates, Ltd. and professor emerita in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, where she taught graduate M.S. Library and Information Science (MSLIS) courses, including “Copyright for Information Professionals.” Prior to joining SU, Jill worked as an IT professional, corporate librarian, and information consultant. She is a founding board member of Library Futures. She blogs at Digitization101.com.


Tom Blake, MSLIS is a library digitization consultant and former digital projects manager of the Boston Public Library’s (BPL) Digital Services department. At BPL, he worked to digitize, catalog, preserve, and provide online access to BPL’s extensive collection of rare, nonlending materials. In addition, Tom partnered with the Internet Archive (IA) to provide library books and BPL’s vast genealogical collection to IA’s Open Library, giving the public access. He is a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

Webinar on April 13: Understanding Fair Use During the Pandemic and Other Emergencies

fuzzy copyright

Registration is open for this webinar I'm giving on April 13, 2:30-4:00 p.m. ET.  It is focused on U.S. Copyright Law and staff from all types of libraries  - especially public libraries - are encouraged to attend.

April 13, 2:30-4:00 p.m. ET  - Understanding Fair Use During the Pandemic and Other Emergencies for ALA eLearning.  If you have questions about the work your library is engaged in - especially in the wake of changes during the pandemic - then this is the webinar for you.  While the scenarios are important, your questions are even more important because they get at what you really need to know.


No one would have predicted that when the pandemic struck copyright would become a hot topic. However, when libraries and school closed their physical doors in spring 2020 and moved online, questions emerged about the use of materials in the online environment. For example, could a book be read in an online storytime? Confusing the matter were publishers who “gave” permission, while those knowledgeable in copyright said that permission was not needed.

This webinar will use four common scenarios to discuss the application of Fair Use during a pandemic and other emergencies, as well as in normal times. Each scenario will focus on a common library activity. Basic copyright information with be provided, so that everyone enters the scenarios with similar knowledge. There will be time for participant questions throughout.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Copyright Libguides

I like to keep track of copyright-related libguides and many end up in my Diigo bookmark account. All of them are worthwhile - including those I don't bookmark - even if they have their pluses and minuses. This week, I added this one: U.S. Copyright Office Guide on Common Copyright Issues for Librarians. Please feel free to look through my bookmarks and see if you want to save some of them for yourself.

Are there any you would recommend? If yes, please leave a comment and I'll add it to my Diigo list. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Copyright Office Launches Digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection

News from the U.S. Copyright Office. The Collection's website does have a disclaimer (below), however, being able to view these pages online could be helpful to researchers.

The display of this collection preview on LOC.gov does not replace or supersede the physical record books available for inspection in Copyright Public Records Reading Room, or existing search practices established by the Copyright Office. Any results obtained during the course of your search on LOC.gov are not reliable for legal matters.

Copyright Office Launches Digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection

NewsNet 947
February 7, 2022

The Copyright Office today launched the first release of the digitized Copyright Historical Record Books Collection. “The Copyright Office holds the world’s most comprehensive collection of records of copyright ownership,” said Register of Copyrights Shira Perlmutter. “Today’s release of the first batch of our digitized historical record books will ensure that these records are preserved for future research and that anyone can access them from anywhere.”

This collection is a preview of digitized versions of historical record books that the Office plans to incorporate into its Copyright Public Record System (CPRS), currently in public pilot. The collection will eventually include images of copyright applications and other records bound in books dating from 1870 to 1977. This first release includes 500 record books containing registration applications for books from 1969 to 1977, with a majority of the record books being the most recent volumes from 1975 to 1977. The collection is being digitized using the Copyright Office’s internal administrative classification system in reverse chronological order. There will be periodic updates as record books are digitized and added to the collection.

Article: Finding Parents for Orphan Works: Using Genealogical Methods to Locate Heirs for Obtaining Copyright Permissions

Sometimes I post things here that I want to remember and this is one of those things. Unfortunately, the article is not publicly available through Elsevier, but you may have access through your academic library.

Drew Smith. Finding Parents for Orphan Works: Using Genealogical Methods to Locate Heirs for Obtaining Copyright Permissions. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 41, Issue 3,
2015, Pages 280-284.


Abstract: Faculty and students frequently want to use copyrighted material in their books, articles, presentations, and instructional materials, but because such usage often falls outside Creative Commons and Fair Use guidelines, they will need to obtain permissions for the use of the material in those cases. Because current copyright law has resulted in long durations for copyright, the copyright owner may be very difficult to identify and locate, resulting in a large number of “orphan works.” When the original copyright owner is deceased, it will be necessary to locate an appropriate heir to contact in order to obtain the needed permissions. Genealogical methods can be used to identify and locate these heirs, but because these methods are usually unfamiliar to academic librarians, the librarian may feel unable to assist the faculty member or student with this type of search. This article demonstrates how these methods are easy to learn and apply, using case studies in which an academic librarian, within a brief period of time, was able to access readily available online genealogical sources and to apply basic genealogical techniques in order to identify and locate heirs to a deceased copyright owner.