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Tackling Copyright in the Digital Age: An Initiative ofthe University of Connecticut LibrariesBarbara Oakley a , Betsy Pittman b & Tracey Rudnick ca University of Connecticut Libraries , 369 Fairfield Way, Unit 2005C, Storrs, CT, 06269-2005E-mail:b Thomas J. Dodd Research Center , 405 Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT, 06269-1205 E-mail:c Music & Dramatic Arts Library , 1295 Storrs Road, UNIT 1153, Storrs, CT, 06269-1153 E-mail:Published online: 12 Oct 2008.
To cite this article: Barbara Oakley , Betsy Pittman & Tracey Rudnick (2008) Tackling Copyright in the DigitalAge: An Initiative of the University of Connecticut Libraries, Journal of Access Services, 5:1-2, 265-283, DOI:10.1080/15367960802198978
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15367960802198978
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Tackling Copyright in the Digital Age:An Initiative of the University
of Connecticut Libraries
Barbara OakleyBetsy Pittman
SUMMARY. From 2005 to 2007, the University of Connecticut Librar-ies Copyright Project Team engaged in a wide range of activities to ful-fill its charge and to raise awareness of copyright issues in the library andacross the university. This article highlights some of the primary activi-ties and tools used by the team to involve stakeholders, to provide educa-tional opportunities, and to stay current on copyright issues in highereducation. Among other activities, the team developed a new copyrightweb site for use by library staff and the broader university community.
KEYWORDS. Copyright, fair use, intellectual property, task teams,policy development, website development, institutional repository,scholarly communications, author agreements, higher education
Barbara Oakley is Director of Library Access Services, University of ConnecticutLibraries, 369 Fairfield Way, Unit 2005C, Storrs, CT 06269-2005 (E-mail: email@example.com).
Betsy Pittman is University Archivist, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, 405Babbidge Road, Storrs, CT 06269-1205 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tracey Rudnick is Music Librarian, Music & Dramatic Arts Library, 1295 StorrsRoad, UNIT 1153, Storrs, CT 06269-1153 (E-mail: tracey.Rudnick@uconn.edu).
[Haworth co-indexing entry note]: Tackling Copyright in the Digital Age: An Initiative of the Universityof Connecticut Libraries. Oakley, Barbara, Betsy Pittman, and Tracey Rudnick. Co-published simulta-neously in Journal of Access Services (The Haworth Information Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press)Vol. 5, No. 3, 2007, pp. 265-283; and: Best Practices in Access Services (ed: Lori L. Driscoll, and W. BedeMitchell) The Haworth Information Press, an imprint of The Haworth Press, 2007, pp. 265-283. Single ormultiple copies of this article are available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service[1-800-HAWORTH, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST). E-mail address: email@example.com].
Available online at http://jas.haworthpress.com 2007 by The Haworth Press. All rights reserved.
Has your university been visited by the RIAA recently? Are you re-considering your e-reserves because of what you hear in the news? Arepatrons asking library staff for advice about copyright issues related totheir teaching, research, and learning? The University of ConnecticutLibraries faced exactly these concerns in the spring of 2005. Inspired byan influx of questionsmany associated with new electronic services atthe universityand the rapidly changing legal landscape, the library de-cided to tackle the issue of copyright head on.
The inevitable questions arose right away. Does the university nothave a policy? Why should the library get involved?
Before 2005, the issue of copyright within the university community,including the libraries, was handled on an ad hoc basis, addressed by in-dividual areas and divisions as issues arose, independent of other areasand services. A few university policies did address some overarching is-sues: ownership of works created at the university; the illegal distribu-tion of software or other material via university computing andnetworking systems; and procedures for handling DMCA-infringementcomplaints. However, these documents were general in nature andvague in approach; readers would not find specifics to answer day-to-day questions, nor would they find policies related to the use of copy-righted information in the course of teaching, learning, research, andpublishing. The university does have a Center for Science and Technol-ogy Commercialization to handle trademark and patent concerns for theuniversity, but similarly it is not in their purview to deal with general in-tellectual property or copyright issues.
US copyright law, especially section 110(2) (the TEACH Act), nowrequires universities to establish institution-wide policies and identifycontact persons in order to take advantage of privileges afforded to aca-demic uses, especially in the context of distance education. The univer-sity had identified a person assigned to handle reported abuses.University staff could also consult the Office of the Attorney General oncopyright issues that arose within the context of their public employ-ment. Neither of these offices was equipped to handle the potential vol-ume of questions that might result if everyday issues were directed tothem, and the university did not have any other clearly identified office
266 BEST PRACTICES IN ACCESS SERVICES
or individual to handle routine copyright questions from the universitycommunity.
Members of the university community often turned to library staff fortheir copyright questions, and library staff frequently faced similar ques-tions in their own day-to-day work. Due to the nature of their responsibil-ities, librarians were in a position to know and keep up with fundamentalcopyright principles, though no one on the library staff was qualified orclaimed to offer legal advice. In addition, the number and variability ofquestions increased as electronic access to copyrighted material grew.This ultimately led to a wide range of understandings among staff and us-ers about the law as expertise and context varied.
Thus, the minimal direction at the university level, the changing na-ture of copyright enforcement, and increasing questions and complexi-ties faced by the library staff prompted the libraries to launch acopyright initiative as a strategic priority for two consecutive fiscalyears, 2005-2007. This objective was just one component of the librar-ies strategic plan, in which the library was called to provide leadershipand expertise for the university community as scholarly communicationsystems are transformed. Among other activities, the library set a goalfor itself to articulate evolving library copyright issues for the univer-sity community.1
In July 2005, the Copyright Project Team, made up of three librarians,was charged to develop policies and guidelines on copyright and relatedlegal issues for the libraries to follow; to develop guidelines for staff, pa-trons and researchers, as appropriate; to recommend further actions to in-troduce these issues to the larger university community; and to maintaincurrent and evolving knowledge of this area within the libraries. The pro-ject team was not responsible for enforcing copyright compliance at theuniversity or providing legal advice to staff or users. Nevertheless, the ac-tivities of the project team have permitted the libraries to serve as a leaderfor the university and region