Thursday, October 06, 2022

Campus Collaborations: Partners Behind Every Corner : 2022 Miami University Libraries Copyright Conference

Copyright symbol made from puzzle pieces

It has definitely taken me longer to write up these sessions than I anticipated! This session occurred on Sept. 14.  A recording of the session is available.


There are many opportunities for partnership at our institutions to help address copyright questions and issues encountered on the job as well as educate others about the law. In this session we’ll explore real world examples of such partnerships and discuss tips and best practices for  building and sustaining them!


My Summary: 

  • For me, this sessions connected well with "It Takes a Village" in that we should not be copyright folks operating individually. Rather we need to see ourselves as part of a network that can provide information, knowledge, and support.
  • If you are on a campus, you should know who the general counsel is and create a relationship with that person. Create that relationship - even it isn't a tight relationship - before you need to call on that person for help (or that person needs to call on you). 
  • Look around your institution for others whose work touches upon copyright and fair use. Get to know them and build a network with them. This may take time and effort because people may not immediate see the benefit.


What do you mean by collaboration?

  • Working with students and faculty
  • Helping folks with their project, where they need help on copyright
  • Working with people inside the institution on institution projects
  • Helping people who come to the "copyright officer" for help, who might be external to the institution
  • Collective action
  • Sharing ideas
  • Learning from each other
  • Sometimes need to work to pool objectives together
  • Collaborations need to a clear goals, which may mean redefining goals as the collaboration continues
  • No one can be the master of everything 
  • "Collaboration means working with others outside my team" (from chat)
  • Collaboration with copyright-focused people at other institutions
  • The librarian may collaborate with general counsel. Could also collaborate with collection donors.

What do we want to accomplish (outside of completing a specific project)?

  • Broaden the reach of the service on campus (i.e., copyright, scholarly communications)
  • Further the institution
  • Promote the service 
  •  Correcting copyright mis-education
  • Teaching others about copyright, even if the lesson is only a few minutes in length

Copyright myths?

  • The 10% rule will not die!
  • Reminder - we don't need to go down every rabbit hole we're presented with.
  • It's on the Internet and so "fair"
  • "I said I didn't own it, so I can use it."
  • If you own the physical object, you own the rights to the object.

Why libraries in taking the lead on this?

  • Libraries understand how to plan in order to use an item within the bounds of the law. 

Do you find that the mental link between physical possession and intellectual rights is more prevalent with special collections and archives? As though the rare the item, the more concentrated the rights within the object?

  • Users need to understand that when they pay for a scan of an item from an archive, they have not paid to use the item.
  • When the requestor know the rights holder, that relationship with the rights holder may impact how the requestor thinks about fair use.  Can be a positive or negative.
  •  The name of a collection conveys wrongly that the library has obtained rights for everything in the collection. The XYZ collection may contain items from XYZ, who has transferred rights to the library, as well as other items to with XYZ had no rights.
  • Publishers want users to seek permission for everything.
  • Orphan works

Collaborative partners or players when dealing with publishers, faculty research, etc.?

  • Institutional repository and data services with the library
  • Office of research compliance
  • The bigger the problem, the higher in administration you want to go, e.g., dean, chancellor
  • Promotion and tenure committees
  • Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence (from chat)
  • Office of technology transfer
  • Office of government relations
  • Learning Technologies (from chat) 
  • Office of Graduate Studies (from chat)
  • Disability services for students /student accessibility services (from chat)
  • Alumni office (from chat)
  • IT compliance

How does the unpublished status of archival materials come into play with the physical versus intellectual property issue?

  • Unpublished can feel personal and private.
  • Circumstances can matter
  • There is no blanket rule for unpublished materials. Fair use applies!
  • For unpublished works, they receive fundamentally the same legal protection under today's law as a published work.
  • There may be an agreement with the donor.
  • There may be a privacy aspect.
  •  Public domain rules may be different if a work is unpublished.
  • Tracking down rights for unpublished works can be difficult.
  • Unpublished works are more likely to become orphan works.

What are some things we can do inside our organizations to build a collaborate atmosphere?

  • Conferences, events, programs
  • Relationship building with faculty and others
  • Articulate how you can help people & articulate it quickly
  • Spontaneous relationships often lead to the best collaborations
  • Align a project to a strategic vision or framework in your institution. Then the project will encounter less friction.
  • Reduce the silos in your institution. 
  • Encourage people to collaborate across units.
  • Help people understand when to bring you into a project. 
  • Remember that copyright is a series of choices. Help people see the choices then can make.

Does the specificity of the subject matter involved in something like a special library make it easier or more difficult to collaborate in general? Have you  found specific fields that tend to be more or less willing to collaborate between departments/institutions?

  • Education departments are very open (from chat)

Hoe do you work in your institution to create a better (more appropriate) copyright guidelines for the institution? How do you work to get ride of a policy that is stuck in the past? 

  • The reason to have a policy is to have a policy
  • Talk to colleagues at other institutions and ask about their policies. "Hey, we're the only ones who still have this type of policy." 
  • Does enforcing the policy create a conversation, rather than a "no"? 
  • How do you implement the policy? Do you flag things that raise a question? 
  • Policies are often created to address a specific issue. Ask colleagues what the issue was. What is the history?
  • Who do you partner with? 
  • The unit that will be most affected by the policy (e.g., ILL department). Talk to the people who are doing the work.
  • Are you protecting the institution's legal liability or how much work staff does?
  • Think critically about whether this is a library policy or that it will have ripple effects across the institution. Do you need to make small local changes or larger changes that impact the entire institution?

When do you work with general counsel? 

  • Depends on the relationship you have with general counsel and the lines of communications. Start locally and find someone who can push the conversation higher to the office or person who can make the change.
  • Just calling general counsel - as library staff - is likely not going to get you a meeting.
  • General counsel is not there do adopt a policy. They are there to contribute towards the creation of the policy. In an academic library, the dean/director may be the person to adopt the policy.
  • Work towards having an good relationship with the general counsel, if you're the copyright person. That can be helpful long-term. You will be able to support each other, as well as refer questions to each other.

No comments: