The Copyright Law For Libraries

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Armenian students group presentation during Tbilisi Summer School in a range of EU funded Tempus NMPLIS project

Text of The Copyright Law For Libraries

  • 1.The Copyright Law For Libraries 2011-2012 Armenian Group Participants Tatevik Zargaryan Hasmik Arnaudyan Marine Karapetyan Arusyak Harutyunyan Lilit Kharatyan Narine Vardanyan Armen Sargsyan Vahagn Aghabekyan

2. Outline

  • Definition of Copyright
  • The Objective of the Course
  • The Learning Outcomes
  • The Outline of the Modules
    • Module 1
    • Module 2
    • Module 3
    • Module 4
    • Module 5
    • Module 6
    • Module 7
    • Module 8
    • Module 9
    • Module 10
  • Assignments
  • Recommended Readings
  • Final Group Project

3. Definition of Copyright

  • The idea of copyright springs from the idea that anything we create is an extension of self and should be protected from general use by anyone else. The person creating something has exclusive rights over the thing created, partly for economic reasons but also because of this extension of self idea.
  • Copyright is therefore important to ensure the continued growth of writing, performing and creating. If there were no copyright protection there would be little stimulus for people to create anything, as other people would be able to take the work and use it in any way they wanted.
  • Copyright law aims to protect this growth but, at the same time, tries to ensure that some access to copyright works is allowed as well.

4. The Learning Outcomes

  • On completion of this module, the student is expected
  • to be able to:
  • Define the concept, essence and peculiarities of copyright law.
  • Differentiate works and non-works covered by copyright.
  • Classify different rights towards works covered by copyright.
  • Compare harmonization of domestic laws with EU and international ones
  • Analyze differences and similarities between domestic laws and international founding documents.

5. The Objective of the Course

  • This course explores the basic concepts of copyright law as they pertain to digital library collections and services. It provides a general introduction to the elements of copyright important to librarians, how international copyright law works, what are the international legal instruments for copyright in libraries ,discusses the kinds of creations and the kinds of activities that copyright law does and does not cover
  • This module will provide a general overview of what it means to infringe anothers copyright and explain the various ways in which infringement may occur. Finally, it will consider the appropriate roles of librarians with regard to copyright and copyright enforcement. This course will also touch upon the legal issues arising with digitization. An individual unit will be dedicated to works with unknown copyright holders (orphan works).

6. The Outline of the Modules

  • Week 1 Module 1Introduction to Copyright Law-This module discusses the introduction to copyright law, four theories of copyright law such as fairness, welfare, personhood and culture.
  • Week 2 Module 2 Copyright and thePublic Domain- This module introduces the legal concept of copyright, definition of public domain, differences in copyright in countries with different legal systems such as common-law and civil-law countries, works protected by copyright law, their types, who is entitled to acquire a copyright, rights created by copyright law and their classification, exceptions and limitations to copyright.
  • Week 3 4 - Module 3 Part I International Legal Documents-This module covers major multilateral agreements, organizations responsible for negotiating them and process describing their entry into force by member countries. This module presents three major and founding conventions such as the Berne Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention and the Rome Convention.


  • Week 5-6 Module 3 Part II -International Legal Documents-This module touches upon other mayor legal instruments such as the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT), the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), as well as some notions about regional agreements, directives adopted by EU. The concept of the three-step test will be introduced and discussed.
  • Week 7 -Module 4 -Armenian Law on Copyright and Related Rights- This module presents main provisions of the Armenian Law On Copyright and Related Rights, similarities and differences will international founding legal documents will be discussed.
  • Week 8-9 Module 5 -The Scope of the Copyright Law- This module discussesthe notion of a literary or artistic module, originality concept, the issue of fixation in member countries, difference between idea and expression of a particular idea, copy and copyright, definition of an author, what are the rules for identifying an original writer, how to treat multiple authors and rules for joint authorship and collaborations, concept of an derivative work, standards for compilations and collective works, disputes arising with copyright at work. A part of this module is dedicated to copyright infringements such as plagiarism, piracy and counterfeiting. Peculiarities with audiovisual/cinematographic works, computer programs are also discussed.


  • Week 10 Module 6 -Economic Rights-Copyright holders rights relating to reproduction, right of adaptation, right to distribution, the right of public performance and public display are introduced and discussed. Peculiarities of moral rights in different countries with different legal systems, its classification, neighboring and Sui Generis rights, standards for making digital copies for preservation and replacement, exceptions for inter-library loans.
  • Week 11- Module 7-Licenses and Assignments-Concepts of licenses and assignments are introduced, the essentials of a typical license agreement are given, electronic license classification for the digital environment, defining terms to be used in a typical license agreement.
  • Week 12- Module 8-Orphan works- This module introduces the concept and classification of orphan works (works with unknown copyright holders), EU countries practices are presented.
  • Week 13- Module 9-Copyright Infringements-Classification of copyright infringements, legal procedures and remedies, as well as this module describes some issues commonly arising when a copyright holder decides to bring a copyright infringement lawsuit.
  • Week 14- Module 10 -Digital preservation- This module discusses legal issues in the preservation of digital works and copyright.


  • Assignment 1 Group Discussion: what copyright law seeks to protect, as well as what freedoms are reserved for or available to the public.
  • Assignment 2Essay writing/presentation: what major founding international documents regulating copyright has Armenia acceded to, signed, ratified and implemented?
  • Assignment 3 Debate: Similarities and differences of the Armenian Law on copyright and other related rights as compared with other international founding documents.
  • Assignment 4- Group presentation with further discussion: Orphan works and obstacles to identifying and locating copyright owners.
  • Assignment 5 Debate of Groups: Legal issues arising with digitization

10. FinalGroup Project

  • Law Moot Court Competition at Domestic Level
  • Students will be assigned one or several legal claims on a particular issue of copyright which are controversial and many lawyers-theoreticians have debated around these issues and share different opinions. This claim has passed all the domestic court levels and different court instances reached different decisions on that particular claim, for example, the Court of First Instance has satisfied that particular legal claim, while the Appeal Court has quashed it. As court proceeding parties, students should state all the pros and cons of this claim(s), discuss its compliance with domestic and international legislation where they will display both their theoretical and practical knowledge.

11. Recommended Readings

  • William Fisher, Theories of Intellectual Property in Stephen Munzer, ed., New Essays in the Legal and Political Theory of Property (Cambridge University Press, 2001).Kenneth Crews Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions, 2006Carol C. Henderson, Libraries as Creatures of Copyright: Why Librarians Care about Intellectual Property Law and Policy, 1998.

12. Assessment

  • Attendance and Class Participation- 25%
  • Assignments 25%
  • Final Group Project 25%
  • Final Examination 25%


  • Rome Convention (1961). Available from:
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Text 1971). Available from:
  • Universal Copyright Convention. Available from:http://