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Rights Management

This section includes resources for the legal issues governing the use, access and production of digital objects. Issues covered include ownership, copyright and other important policies regarding digital objects.

Legal, Copyright, Intellectual Property: Copyright

Copyright is an exclusive right that regulates the way in which an idea or information is expressed. Copyright is granted by the federal government for a limited period of time. A work is said to be in the public domain or free of copyright, once the term of copyright has expired. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright

This material is designed to assist and inform organizations about the legal issues to consider when digitizing their collections. Information on this website is not intended as legal advice and does not include all the information necessary for an institution to evaluate a business transaction or legal dispute. Specific legal issues should be address to an attorney who has expertise in the area of rights management. That said, there are a lot of rights management resources that have been developed over the years to give cultural heritage practitioners working knowledge of the field.

Copyright and Cultural Heritage

Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, Association of Research Libraries, January 2012.
This pamphlet establishes best practices for exercising fair use in the context of an Academic Research Library. Fair use is defined very broadly in the law, so this pamphlet provides information specific to applying it at an academic library to help librarians determine whether fair use applies to their situation.

Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Peter B. Hirtle, Emily Hudson, and Andrew T. Kenyon.
This book, available as a free PDF, offers in-depth information about copyright, library and archives exemptions, fair use, licenses, and other aspects of intellectual property law relevant to cultural organizations. The case studies on oral histories and dissertations are especially useful for institutions digitizing that type of content.

Copyright Basics, United States Copyright Office
Leaflets defining basic concepts of copyright, including information specific to libraries such as “Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians.”

Copyright Basics: Fair Use Checklist​ 
This checklist was based on a document created by Kenneth Crewes and the staff of the Copyright Management Center at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. It helps educators, librarians, archivists, and others evaluate the use of content to determine if it falls under fair use. It considers the four factors of fair use: purpose, nature, amount, and effect.

Copyright Guidelines from Video At Risk: Strategies for Preserving Commercial Video Collections in Libraries.

Copyright Issues Relevant to the Creation of a Digital Archive: A Preliminary Assessment, June M. Besek, January 2003.
This paper describes general copyright rights and exceptions relevant to the creation of a nonprofit digital archive. The paper aims to help institutions identify ways that copyright could be infringed, and plan projects accordingly.

Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States, Peter Hirtle.
This chart can help determine the copyright status of items held in collections. It includes information about works published both in and outside the U.S.

Legal, Copyright and Intellectual Property Issue for an Audio Digitizing Project, with Sample Release Form
This resource, an Appendix from the CDP Digital Audio Working Group publication Digital Audio Best Practices covers intellectual property concerns specific to audio digitization.

Legal Issues to Consider when Digitizing Collections, Jean Helig, September 1999.
This resource outlines basic questions to ask yourself when starting a digitization project.

NAGPRA databases
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) databases provide access to NAGPRA-related topics. Databases include the Native American Consultation Database, with official contacts for Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations; the Notices of Intent to Repatriate Database; the Culturally Unidentifiable (CUI) Native American Inventories Database, and more.

Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights. United States Copyright Office, June 2015.
Orphan works are copyright protected works for which rights holders are undetermined or unreachable despite diligent efforts. This report provides information on dealing with orphan works in mass digitization projects, defined as projects that involve “making reproductions as many works, as well as possible efforts to make the works publicly accessible.”

Society of American Archivists, Selected Copyright Resources
This page from the Society of American Archivists links out to many useful resources on copyright, section 108, copyright and digitization, fair use, and more.

Stanford University Copyright Renewal Database
This database allows users to search the copyright renewal records received by the US Copyright Office between 1950 and 1992 for books published in the US between 1923 and 1963. This information can help with decision making for digitization and access.
Stanford University built this database because, “The period from 1923-1963 is of special interest for US copyrights, as works published after January 1, 1964 had their copyrights automatically renewed by statute, and works published before 1923 have generally fallen into the public domain. Between those dates, a renewal registration was required to prevent the expiration of copyright, however determining whether a work's registration has been renewed is a challenge. Renewals received by the Copyright Office after 1977 are searchable in an online database, but renewals received between 1950 and 1977 were announced and distributed only in a semi-annual print publication. The Copyright Office does not have a machine-searchable source for this renewal information, and the only public access is through the card catalog in their DC offices.” 

From the introduction to the guidelines, “These guidelines seek to clarify exemptions for copying audiovisual works under Section 108(c) of the United States Copyright Act and thereby enhance the ability of librarians to preserve their video collections.” 


BCR hosted the Copyright Online Resource Kit developed as part of the Copyright In A Digital Age Workshops. This series of workshops was funded by an IMLS National Leadership Grant to the CDP and OCLC in 2003-2004.

The Copyright Online Resource Kit icontains presentations and handouts from the Copyright In A Digital Age Workshops held at several times and locations.


Copyright Basics in a Digital World: Copyright Law in Cyberspace
Georgia Harper, Manager, Intellectual Property Section, Office of General Counsel for the University of Texas System

An introduction and overview to copyright issues in the digital environment.

As presented at IMLS Web Wise, February 2003 
Presentation   (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)
Additional Resources (Microsoft Word Document)

As presented at SAA, August 2003 
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)

As presented at AMIA, November 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)

As presented at ALA Midwinter, January 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at Missouri Digitization Pre-Conference, February 10, 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


Institutional and Policy Issues: Getting It Down In Writing
Lolly Gasaway, Professor of Law and Director of the Law Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Outlines the need for and processes for developing an institutional copyright policy. Discusses the issues involved in works for hire, collaborative work, and other important policy decisions.

As presented at IMLS Web Wise, February 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at ALA Midwinter, January 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


Intellectual Property Audits
Maria Pallante-Hyun, Attorney at Law


As presented at SAA, August 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at AMIA, November 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at Missouri Digitization Pre-Conference, February 10, 2004
Presented by David Green


Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


Risk Management: What Can I Do and How Safe Is It?
Rachelle Browne, Assistant General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution


Archives, libraries, museums, historical societies and other cultural heritage organizations generally are organized as non-profits. Further, most of their activities, which range from publishing books to developing exhibitions and public programs, are primarily educational in purpose. Because of their non-profit status and primarily educational purposes, cultural heritage organizations often may and have relied upon the "fair use" standard and certain exemptions or privileges contained in the federal copyright law for using copyrighted materials, without the consent of the copyright owners, in developing many projects.

As presented at IMLS Web Wise, February 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)
Paper (Microsoft Word Document)

As presented at SAA, August 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)

As presented at AMIA, November 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)

As presented at ALA Midwinter, January 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)

As presented at Missouri Digitization Pre-Conference, February 10, 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


The Permissions Process
Linda Tadic, Director of Operations, ARTstor

"This paper focuses on copyright and permissions issues involved in using still images, audio, video, and text on the internet. It has been argued that the internet should be considered a new distribution medium, with unique laws and licensing requirements distinguished from those applied to more traditional means of distribution, such as publishing and broadcasting. Until recently, laws and practices have tried to fit copyright and the internet into these traditional constructs. But the internet is different, in that it provides quality copies of digital works immediately upon transmission. Users can easily make perfect copies of these digital works with one click of the mouse. A new distribution model for the internet is needed."


As presented at IMLS Web Wise, February 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)
Paper
(Microsoft Word Document)

As presented at SAA, August 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at AMIA, November 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at ALA Midwinter, January 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


As presented at Missouri Digitization Pre-Conference, February 10, 2004
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


Creativity, Education and Context: Copyright in a Digital World
Rina Elster Pantalony, Legal Counsel, CHIN

As presented at AMIA, November 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)

As presented at ALA Midwinter, January 2004 
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


Canadian Copyright
Lesley Ellen Harris


As presented at AMIA, November 2003
Presentation (Microsoft Power Point Presentation)


Etablishing an Active Working Relationship with Copyright Law
David Green

Keynote address at Missouri Digitization Pre-Conference, February 10, 2004
Address (.rtf file)