"Removing All Restrictions: Cornell's New Policy on Use of Public Domain Reproductions"

Peter Hirtle, Cornell University Library's Senior Policy Advisor, is interviewed in "Removing All Restrictions: Cornell's New Policy on Use of Public Domain Reproductions," which has been published in the latest issue of Research Library Issues.

Here's an excerpt:

Restrictions on the use of public domain work, sometimes labeled "copyfraud," are generating increasing criticism from the scholarly community. With significant collections of public domain materials in their collections, research libraries are faced with the question of what restrictions, if any, to place on those who seek to scan or otherwise reproduce these resources with the intention of publication.

Cornell University Library has responded by adopting new permissions guidelines that open access by no longer requiring users to seek permission to publish public domain items duplicated from its collections. Users planning to scan and publish public domain material are still expected to determine that works are in the public domain where they live (since public domain determinations can vary internationally). Users must also respect noncopyright rights, such as the rights of privacy, publicity, and trademark. The Library will continue to charge service fees associated with the reproduction of analog material or the provision of versions of files different than what is freely available on the Web. The new guidelines are found at http://cdl.library.cornell.edu/guidelines.html.

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