The copyright primer for librarians and educators

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


  • Teresa Malinowski, Column Editor Tools of the Serials Trade


    Teresa Malinowski, Column Editor with contributions from

    Eleanor Cook and Kathleen Thorne

    The Copyright Primer for Librarians and Educators

    Eleanor Cook

    The Copyright Primer for Librarians and Educators, H. Bruwelheide. Chicago and Washington,

    DC: American Library Association and National Edu- cation Association, 1995. 2nd edition. 151 p. $22.00 pbk., ALA member price, $19.80. ISBN 0-8389- 0642-7.

    Malinowski is Serials Coordinator and Chair of the Technical Services Dept., University Library, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634-4150, E-mail:>.

    This second edition of an ALA/NEA classic is a critical addition to the literature on copyright. Bruwelheides update to Mary Hutchins Reeds 1987 work is quite timely. The copyright morass continues to frustrate educators. The fair use doctrine is being battered as Congress and interested parties negotiate rocky terrain. As with any subject that is as dynamic as modem copyright law, some of the information in this volume will be out-of-date before reaching the library shelf. Regardless, this work will serve as an excellent reference source. In fact, this is a necessary publication for all types of libraries and educational institutions.

    The new edition is an excellent expansion of the original. Reed, author of the original, served as an advisor to this volume. Other notable authorities in the


  • copyright field were consulted and are given credit for their guidance. The second edition is weightier, having more than twice the number of pages. Also it includes up-to-date references, a more substantial bibliography and additional appendices.

    In a number of notable areas this publication makes copyright more understandable. The initial chapter on general copyright information provides a thoughtful overview. Included here is a chart explaining which years have certain copyright coverage (from 1790 until 1978 and beyond) that serves as a quick reference to an extremely confusing set of principles. The question and answer format used in the first edition is repeated and should satisfy stock inquiries from educators and ad~nistrators. Also there is a straightfo~~d yet thorough explanation of the implications of the United States joining the Berne Convention in 1989, information not covered in the earlier edition. A welcome addition is the treatment of developments in multimedia, distance learning, computer software and databases, and Internet resources. Sections on music and performances, video and classroom rights are expanded and clarified.

    There is also greater emphasis on the issues surrounding fair use. As Bruwelheide observes, Fair use gives us the convenience of watching Saturday Night Live on Sunday afternoon, the pleasure of parody, and the guidance of a book reviewers excerpts (such as this one). A number of working documents on fair use issues, endorsed by the American Library Association and the Association of Research Libraries among others, appear as appendices.

    The coverage of computer-related issues is comprehensive. In the chapter covering copyright practices for computer software and databases, three questions are posed to give guidance (p. 68):

    1. Would I perform this use with print media in this setting?

    2. Am I doing something to prevent purchase, lease, licensing?

    3. Do I hope I will not get caught?

    These simple questions illustrate the practical tone of the publication.

    One of the many useful appendices is the list of relevant legal cases which updates the thorough treatment found in Laura Gasaway and Sara Wiants publication, Libraries and Copyright: A Guide to Copyright Law in the 1990s (Washington, DC: Special

    Libraries Association, 1994). Its listing of Internet resources is impressively current and includes World Wide Web sites and listserv addresses.

    The volume emphasizes, as does Gasaway and Wiants work, how important it is for librarians and educators to stay abreast of developments in copyright law, p~icularly as they pertain to electronic resources. Differences between contracts and license agreements and basic copyright are covered in a way that is understandable and reassuring.

    There is no doubt that every interlibrary loan and document delivery office, reference and acquisitions department, library directors office and media center should have a copy of The Copyright Primer for Librarians and Edwators close at hand. University academic departments, school districts, and distance learning centers should also include it as a resource if possible.

    Cook is Serials Specialist at the Belk Library, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.

    Proceedings of the 1993 ~nter~at~o~a~ Conference on Refereed Electronic Journals

    Kathleen Thorne

    Proceedings of the 1993 International Conference on Refereed Electronic Journals. Proceedings of the 1993 International Conference on Refereed Electronic Jour- nals. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, October l-2, 1993. Winnipeg, The University of Manitoba Libraries, 1994. $30.00. ISBN o-919932-02-9

    The First International Conference on Refereed Electronic Journals drew participants from three continents to discuss the latest information on the publication and use of refereed electronic journals. At that time in 1993, university libraries-indeed, academia as a whole-were just beginning to discover and explore the possibilities of this new format.

    These proceedings are a formal record of the papers presented at the conference, covering a range of topics from the basic nature of electronic journal publication to very technical issues. Ann Okerson, then Director of the Office of Scientific and Academic Publishers of the Association of Research Libraries, delivered the first paper discussing the past and future of electronic scholarly journals. This paper alone is well worth the