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Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals

From the Columns of Against the Grain

by Laura N. Gasaway

Publication Year: 2013

Copyright law is a critical issue for authors, librarians, publishers, and information vendors. It is also a complex area, with many shades of gray. Librarians continually need to seek answers to questions ranging from the reproduction of copyrighted works for library users, through the performance of audiovisual works, to the digitization and display of protected works on library websites. This book presents updated versions of the author’s copyright columns published in Against the Grain, the leading journal in acquisitions librarianship since the late 1990s. It is the first volume in the series Charleston Insights in Library, Archival, and Information Sciences.

Published by: Purdue University Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-9

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pp. ix-x

Laura N. “Lolly” Gasaway is the Paul B. Eaton Distinguished Pro-fessor of Law at UNC-Chapel Hill. Copyright is her métier, and she is nationally known. From 2005 to 2008 she was co-chair of an elite nineteen-person task force appointed by the U.S. Copyright Of-fice and the Library of Congress to study section 108 of the Copyright her famous “copyright for librarians” seminars. I came home with a ...

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pp. xi-15

For almost 15 years I have authored the “Copyright Questions and Answers” column for Against the Grain (ATG). It has been a labor of love, and I very much enjoy responding to the questions that librarians, publishers, teachers, and authors raise in my copyright law workshops, submit to me over the telephone, and increasingly—today almost exclusively—send to me via e-mail. I was delighted when Ka-...

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Chapter 1: Copyright Basics

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pp. 1-22

Librarians and others have asked a large number of fundamental copyright questions over the years that deal with basic copyright issues rather than with library copying, Internet use of copyrighted works, and so forth—questions such as, what does it take to create a copyrighted work? who owns the copyright in a specific work? and, what happens to the copyright...

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Chapter 2: Copies for Users

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pp. 23-44

The Copyright Act contains a series of exceptions to the section 106 exclusive rights of the copyright holder. One of these exceptions, section 108, applies specifically to libraries and archives. This section permits libraries that satisfy certain criteria to make copies for the library itself (covered in chapter 11, “Preservation and Archiving”), and for users...

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Chapter 3: Library Reserves

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pp. 45-60

Libraries have utilized and managed reserve collections for many years. Originally these collections housed original volumes that were removed from the circulating collection so that they could serve more patrons by using a short restricted borrowing period. Over time, faculty members began to request that books and periodical volumes be placed on course...

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Chapter 4: Permissions and Licensing

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pp. 61-82

Despite fair use and the Copyright Act section 108 exceptions, libraries and archives sometimes must ask permission to reproduce a work. Increasingly, libraries are dealing with permissions and are operating under license agreements that are required when a library acquires access to a particular work. Locating copyright holders...

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Chapter 5: Performance and Display: Libraries and Other Organizations

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pp. 83-100

Two of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder are public performance and public display. To “perform” is defined in section 101 of the Copyright Act and means “to recite, render, play, dance or act it, either directly or by the means of any device or process, or in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to show its images in any sequence to make the sounds...

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Chapter 6: Performance and Display: Nonprofit Educational Institutions

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pp. 101-116

Some of the best exceptions in the Copyright Act are for performances and displays in nonprofit educational institutions. For face-to-face teaching in a nonprofit educational institution—in a classroom, with simultaneous presence of students and teachers in the same physical space—any copyrighted work may be performed or displayed as long as the...

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Chapter 7: Audiovisual Works, Sound Recordings, and Software

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pp. 117-134

Audiovisual works are defined in section 101 of the Copyright Act as “works that consist of a series of related images which are intrinsically intended to be shown by the use of machines or devices such as projectors, viewers, or electronic equipment, together with accompanying sounds, if any, regardless of the nature of the material objects, such as films...

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Chapter 8: Photographs and Graphics

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pp. 135-152

Photographs and graphics are included in the category of pictorial, sculptural, and graphic works in the U.S. Copyright Act.1 The term “photograph” is not defined in the Copyright Act, but a common definition is “an image, especially a positive print, recorded by a camera and reproduced on a photosensitive surface.”2 Images may be embodied in actual photographs, glass plates, or negatives, or as digital copies. The format...

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Chapter 9: The Internet and the Web

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pp. 153-172

The digital environment has affected the users of copyrighted works as well as the producers. Not only are librarians and teachers increasingly familiar with locating information on the web, so are library users, who often request digital copies. The wide availability of much free material on the Internet has caused many librarians to question whether the...

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Chapter 10: Interlibrary Loan and Document Delivery

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pp. 173-192

Libraries have long participated in interlibrary loan (ILL) activities. Traditionally, lending activities consisted of a borrowing library receiving a request from a user for a volume (usually a monograph or treatise) that the borrowing library did not have in its collection. Libraries developed systems to facilitate the search of holdings records across libraries...

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Chapter 11: Preservation and Archiving

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pp. 193-210

Libraries and archives have long been involved in preserving materials in their collections. Historically, this involved preserving the artifact, that is, the book volume, the periodical issue, the newspaper, or handwritten letters and manuscripts. Institutions conserved books by treating the bindings and pages of books. They created climate- controlled facilities...

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Chapter 12: Digitization

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pp. 211-228

As libraries of all types have increasingly adopted computer technology, the potential to make digitized content available to library users has become more attractive. Library users are requesting digital copies of works more than ever before. At the same time, copyright questions about digitization have also increased. Digitizing has become much easier...

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Chapter 13: Miscellaneous Issues

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pp. 229-246

There are a number of questions about copyright issues important to librarians, faculty members, authors, and publishers that do not fit into any of the other topical chapters. Those questions have been gathered into this final chapter. Because of the wide variety of questions in this chapter, it is not easy to introduce them. There are questions...

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Epilogue: Emerging Challenges in Copyright

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pp. 247-260

The questions and answers in this book indicate that there are many copyright issues that are still being debated by librarians, archivists, publishers, and authors, as well as legislators, attorneys, and members of the public. For many information professionals, copyright is frustrating because answers to their questions too often begin with “It depends.” That...

Appendix: When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain

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pp. 261-264


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pp. 265-284

E-ISBN-13: 9781612492537
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557536396

Page Count: 294
Publication Year: 2013

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Subject Headings

  • Fair use (Copyright) -- United States.
  • Copyright -- United States.
  • Photocopying -- Fair use(Copyright) -- United States.
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