“The Society of Authors has demanded the Internet Archive’s Open Library stops lending books “unlawfully” online in the UK, arguing the US practice of Controlled Digital Lending is a breach of copyright.
In an open letter, the trade body urged the San Francisco-based Internet Archive to immediately discontinue the practice of lending scanned copies of physical books on its site. “There is no legal basis for the practice of scanning books without permission or lending them in the UK,” said the SOA. “Despite this, users in the UK are currently able to borrow scanned copies of physical books from Open Library. That is a direct and actionable infringement of copyright.””
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain. It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S.
“That deluge of works includes not just “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” which appeared first in the New Republic in 1923, but hundreds of thousands of books, musical compositions, paintings, poems, photographs and films. After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit “Yes! We Have No Bananas,” any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt’s stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill’s The World Crisis with her own extensive annotations. Any artist can create and sell a feminist response to Marcel Duchamp’s seminal Dadaist piece, The Large Glass (The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even) and any filmmaker can remake Cecil B. DeMille’s original The Ten Commandments and post it on YouTube.”
By Alexandra Kohn and Jessica Lange via the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication:
“INTRODUCTION Academic authors’ confusion about copyright and publisher policy is often cited as a challenge to their effective sharing of their own published research, from having a chilling effect on selfarchiving in institutional and subject repositories, to leading to the posting of versions of articles on social networking sites in contravention of publisher policy and beyond. This study seeks to determine the extent to which authors understand the terms of these policies as expressed in publishers’ copyright transfer agreements (CTAs), taking into account such factors as the authors’ disciplines and publishing experience, as well as the wording and structure of these agreements. METHODS We distributed an online survey experiment to corresponding authors of academic research articles indexed in the Scopus database. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of two copyright transfer agreements and were subsequently asked to answer a series of questions about these agreements to determine their level of comprehension. The survey was sent to 3,154 participants, with 122 responding, representing a 4% response rate. Basic demographic information as well as information about participants’ previous publishing experience was also collected. We analyzed the survey data using Ordinary Least Squared (OLS) regressions and probit regressions. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Participants demonstrated a low rate of understanding of the terms of the CTAs they were asked to read. Participants averaged a score of 33% on the survey, indicating a low comprehension level of author rights. This figure did not vary significantly, regardless of the respondents’ discipline, time in academia, level of experience with publishing, or whether or not they had published previously with the publisher whose CTA they were administered. Results also indicated that participants did equally poorly on the survey regardless of which of the two CTAs they received. However, academic authors do appear to have a greater chance of understanding a CTA when a specific activity is explicitly outlined in the text of the agreement.”
“When three publishers sued Georgia State University for sharing excerpts of textbooks with students at no charge 10 years ago, librarians and faculty members took notice. The lawsuit was a big deal for universities offering “e-reserves” to students — free downloadable course materials that often included scanned pages from print textbooks.”
Copyright law and contract language are complex, even for attorneys and experts. Authors may be tempted to sign the first version of a publication contract that they receive, especially if negotiating seems complicated, intimidating, or risky. But there is a lot at stake for authors in a book deal, and it is well worth the effort to read the contract, understand its contents, and negotiate for favorable terms.”
Abstract:The results of this study illustrate that one-shot training sessions are effective in aiding librarians in academic libraries to engage with fair use. This study used testing both before and after an expert-led three-hour training session on fair use for academic librarians to measure their confidence and comprehension. The results, though limited in scope, provide encouraging evidence that appropriate training, even for a limited time, can help library professionals improve their knowledge of fair use.1 The level of confidence and comprehension rose after the academic librarian participants were provided with the three-hour fair use training. The survey results collected two weeks after the training demonstrated that some librarians had an opportunity to use the skills learned in the training in their daily work. Because fair use is frequent in the everyday experience of academic librarians, additional training for librarians through their employment is recommended. Although it would be ideal to have an expert lead such training, a ready-made curriculum would also be a useful tool for academic libraries wishing to engage in educational practices with copyright.
“ResearchGate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates…
The publishers accuse ResearchGate of “massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles.” They say that the networking site is illegally obtaining and distributing research papers protected by copyright law. They also suggest that the site is deliberately tricking researchers into uploading protected content. A spokesperson for ResearchGate declined to comment on the accusations.”
OCLC presents this seminar from Melissa Levine, Lead Copyright Officer at the University of Michigan Library. You many join virtually or in-person at 11:00 am Eastern on Tuesday, May 22.
As we think intentionally about issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, we recognize how free, open online collections make it possible for everyone to study primary evidence regarding race, religion, gender, national origin, indigenous peoples and more. But copyright touches almost all aspects of the work of libraries, museums, and archives. It affects what gets produced and how, what gets collected and preserved, who gets to see or use collections, and how they can be used. Copyright shapes what we are able to share online, whether they are in accessible formats, and raises questions about how to meaningfully support use and reuse.
From Jennifer Yao Weinraub writing for College & Research Libraries:
New image citation standards need to be developed for college and graduate students to meet visual literacy standards. The MLA Handbook, 8th edition, and Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, do not adequately clarify how to caption, attribute, and cite images. Other image captioning and citing resources are available, but they refer to the MLA and Chicago manuals. Image captions from scholarly journals vary widely and cannot be used as examples for students to follow. Recommendations are also provided for future editions of the MLA Handbook and Chicago Manual of Style.
The Great American Novel enters the public domain on January 1, 2019—quite literally. Not the concept, but the book by William Carlos Williams. It will be joined by hundreds of thousands of other books, musical scores, and films first published in the United States during 1923. It’s the first time since 1998 for a mass shift to the public domain of material protected under copyright. It’s also the beginning of a new annual tradition: For several decades from 2019 onward, each New Year’s Day will unleash a full year’s worth of works published 95 years earlier.