AAP Reaches Agreement with Three Universities about E-Reserves Guidelines

The Association of American Publishers has announced it has reached agreement with Hofstra University, Marquette University, and Syracuse University about copyright guidelines for e-reserves.

The guidelines are below:

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The guidelines, which were developed separately by the three universities, govern how librarians and faculty members distribute copyrighted content through library electronic course reserves systems, course management systems, faculty and departmental web pages and other digital formats.

AAP worked with each of the three universities in cooperative efforts to establish easily understood and common-sense standards that help faculty and staff understand and interpret their rights and responsibilities when using copyrighted content in educational settings. Each of the guidelines reflects the specific needs of the particular university and is consistent with the principles of fair use while providing helpful guidance as to when permission from the copyright holder is required to copy or post materials in digital formats. AAP believes the guidelines, which are similar to those adopted by Cornell University last year, will serve as models for others colleges and universities. . . .

In the last two years AAP has initiated discussions with a number of universities after observing that unlicensed digital copies of course materials were gradually replacing the licensed physical copying of articles, book chapters and other copyrighted works. While it is well established that physical copying of materials for distribution to multiple students, often in compilations known as coursepacks, generally requires permission from the copyright holder, faculty and staff seem less aware that permission is similarly required for distribution of electronic copies of such copyrighted materials.

Read more about it at "AAP Pressures Universities to Limit Fair Use" and "Despite Skeptics, Publishers Tout New 'Fair Use' Agreements With Universities" (Chronicle of Higher Education subscribers only).

The Amazon MP3 Music Service: No DRM; but Read the Terms of Use Agreement

MP3 files in the Amazon MP3 Music Service are free from DRM restrictions; however, the Amazon MP3 Music Service: Terms of Use agreement imposes legal restrictions that customers should be aware of and compare to their rights under the first sale doctrine with a CD purchase.

In section 2.1, it states:

Upon your payment of our fees for Digital Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Digital Content for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use, subject to and in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. You may copy, store, transfer and burn the Digital Content only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use.

In section 2.2, it states (excerpt; italics added):

Except as set forth in Section 2.1 above, you agree that you will not redistribute, transmit, assign, sell, broadcast, rent, share, lend, modify, adapt, edit, sub-license or otherwise transfer or use the Digital Content. You are not granted any synchronization, public performance, promotional use, commercial sale, resale, reproduction or distribution rights for the Digital Content.

Source: Dudley, Brier. "Unlocked Music Isn't Unlimited." The Seattle Times, 8 October 2007.

ALA Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses

The American Library Association and its divisions have launched a number of Weblogs in the last few years. What copyright provisions are these digital publications under? Do they use Creative Commons licenses?

As the list below shows, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs have no explicit copyright statement on their homepage. The absence of such a statement does not mean that under U.S. law the Weblogs are not under standard copyright provisions. They are copyrighted, but by who? Unless ALA has a copyright transfer or work-for-hire agreement with Weblog authors, it appears that the author of each posting holds the copyright to that posting, and copyright permissions for uses of postings that exceed fair use would need to be obtained from their authors. (Some Weblogs have a single author.)

One ALA Weblog uses the standard ALA copyright statement (ALA Techsource), one is copyrighted under the name of the Weblog (ACRLog), one is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States license (YALSA), and three others are under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 licenses (District Dispatch, LITA Blog, and Office for Intellectual Freedom).

Thus, the vast majority of ALA Weblogs are under standard copyright provisions, one is under ALA’s more liberal copyright provisions, and a few are under Creative Commons Licenses that permit noncommercial use without further permission as long as it does not include the creation of derivative works.

New Electronic Resources Management Mailing List

The LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group has established a mailing list (lita-erm@ala.org).

Here is a description of the IG from its home page:

Established in 2005. The purpose of the LITA/ALCTS Electronic Resources Management Interest Group is to promote and enable the exchange of information and discussion among librarians, publishers, electronic resource management system vendors and related service organizations concerning issues related to the management of electronic resources. The group will assist in developing appropriate and responsive systems and standards by fostering open and collaborative discussions and implementation issues.

Is It Time to Stop Printing Journals?

There has been lively discussion about whether it is time to stop printing journals on Liblicense-l of late (March archive and April archive).

Here’s my take.

There are two aspects to this question: (1) Is the print journal format still required for reading purposes?; and (2) Is the print journal format still required to insure full access to journals given that many e-journals are under licenses (and are not owned by libraries) and digital preservation is still in its infancy?

It appears that the answer to (1) may finally be “no, for many users.” However, this may be contingent to some degree on the fact that many commercial e-journals are composed of article PDF files that allow users to print copies that replicate printed articles.

The answer to (2) is less clear, since continued access is contingent on periodic license negotiations and the changing business practices of publishers. Embargoes, ILL restrictions, incomplete back runs, and similar issues may give libraries pause. Very promising digital preservation efforts, such as LOCKSS and Portico still need to pass the test of time. Few libraries believe that publishers by themselves can be relied on to preserve e-journals (for one thing, publishers go out of business).

However, the reality for many libraries is that they have no choice but to dump print whenever possible for strictly economic reasons: print plus electronic is increasingly unaffordable for a variety of reasons.

SERU Working Group Draft Best Practices Document

The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group has released a draft best practices document (The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions: Framework for Development and Use of SERU).

According to the press release, this document "presents a shared set of understandings to which publishers and libraries can point when negotiating the sale of electronic content. The framework offers publishers and libraries a solution to the often-burdensome process of bilateral negotiation of a formal license agreement by allowing the sale of e-resources without licenses if both parties feel their perception of risk has been adequately addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior."

(Prior posting on SERU.)

Report on Sharing and Re-Use of Geospatial Data in Repositories

The GRADE project has released a report titled Designing a Licensing Strategy for Sharing and Re-Use of Geospatial Data in the Academic Sector.

The JISC-REPOSITORIES announcement indicates that the report presents "a licensing strategy for the sharing and re-use of geospatial data within the UK research and education sector," and that it "puts forward a conceptual framework for resolving those described rights management issues raised in relation to repositories."

Here is an excerpt from the report that describes it further:

Geospatial material created in the education sector can be highly complex, incorporating data created elsewhere either as found, or customised to fit the particular need of the academic or lecturer. The downstream rights can become very complex, as it is necessary to ensure that permissions have been gained to reuse or repurpose the data, and it is usually essential that correct attribution is made. There are currently concerns and confusion over the assertion of IPR and copyright of created geospatial data particularly where third party data are included.

This report considers a licensing strategy for the sharing and re-use of geospatial data within the UK research and education sector.

NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding Working Group

If you are tired of negotiating a license for every commercial information product that you purchase, there may be hope on the horizon.

The NISO Shared E-Resource Understanding Working Group (SERU), co-chaired by Karla Hahn, Association of Research Libraries, and Judy Luther, Informed Strategies, is addressing this issue.

Here is the group’s charge:

The working group is charged with developing Recommended Practices to be used to support a new mechanism for publishers to sell e-resources without licenses if they feel their perception of risk has been adequately addressed by current law and developing norms of behavior.

The document will be an expression of a set of shared understandings of publisher and library expectations regarding the sale of an electronic resource subscription. Negotiation between publisher perspectives and library perspectives will be needed to develop a useful set of practices.

The working group will build on considerable work to identify key elements of a best practices document already begun during a one-day meeting sponsored by ARL, ALPSP, SSP, and SPARC. All of the participants in that scoping meeting expressed a strong desire to continue to work on this project and form the proposed working group to develop best practices.

A recent article provides more details about SERU as does its FAQ.

There is also a mailing list. Send a message to SERUinfo-subscribe@list.niso.org to subscribe.

Draft White Paper on Acquisitions and Electronic Resource Management Systems Interoperability

The Digital Library Federation’s Electronic Resource Management Initiative Phase II Steering Committee has released a draft white paper on the interoperability of ILS acquisition modules and electronic resource management systems.

Here is the introduction:

Electronic resource management systems are becoming an important tool in many libraries. Commercial ERMS development has been driven in part by the lack of accommodation within integrated library systems for elements specific to electronic resources. Financial aspects of acquiring e-resources, in particular, necessitate recording an array of data not suited to ILS acquisitions modules. Unlike other data recorded in an ERMS such as licensing and administrative terms, a moderate percentage of acquisitions data is redundant, being populated in ILS during the acquisitions process, while also being accommodated within ERMS in accordance with the data structure detailed in Electronic Resource Management: Report of the DLF Electronic Resource Management Initiative (Digital Library Federation, 2004). ERMS implementers are eager to automate the process by which acquisitions data move from their ILS into their ERMS. This interest has grown substantially over the past few months as the prospect of connecting financial data to usage statistics has been facilitated through the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI), a NISO draft standard.

This white paper describes workflows at four libraries; reports on conversations held with product managers and other relevant staff of the leading ERMS; summarizes common themes; and suggests next steps. The paper is a draft for comment; it is hoped that those with interest in this area will provide insight to further this investigation.

It’s Time to Support the Creative Commons

The Creative Commons has launched it’s 2006 fund raising campaign, and I’d urge my readers to support it as generously as they can.

Why? The reason is simple: it’s easier to restore balance in copyright by convincing content creators to embrace Creative Commons licenses than it is to influence copyright legislation that rolls back lengthy copyright protection periods that are in danger of becoming virtually perpetual, that constricts the ever-widening scope of copyright, and that permits realistic fair use of DRM-protected digital materials. Moreover, the Creative Commons fosters what Lawrence Lessig calls a "read-write" digital culture that permits digital material to be freely used and remixed vs. a read-only-maybe digital culture where digital materials are often hidden behind access barriers and cannot be remixed without permission, which may be impossible to obtain. If you doubt that this can work, consider this quote from the Creative Commons: "From January 2006 to July 2006 there was a growth from 40,000,000 to 140,000,000 linkbacks to our licenses!"

So, donate. At the $75 level or above you’ll get a t-shirt as well as the button and sticker that are available at lower donation levels. Or, don’t donate, but help out by buying Creative Commons gear at their store.

"Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?" Postprint

The "Strong Copyright + DRM + Weak Net Neutrality = Digital Dystopia?" postprint is now available.

The abstract is below:

Three critical issues—dramatic expansion of the scope, duration, and punitive nature of copyright laws; the ability of Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems to lock-down digital content in an unprecedented fashion; and the erosion of Net neutrality, which ensures that all Internet traffic is treated equally—are examined in detail and their potential impact on libraries is assessed. How legislatures, the courts, and the commercial marketplace treat these issues will strongly influence the future of digital information for good or ill.

If you would like a more detailed description, see my posting about the preprint.

How Can Scholars Retain Copyright Rights?

Scholars are often exhorted to retain the copyright rights to their journal articles to ensure that they can freely use their own work and to permit others to freely read and use it as well. The question for scholars who are convinced to do so is: "How do I do that?"

The first thing to understand is that copyright is not one right. Rather, it is a bundle of rights that can be individually granted or withheld. The second thing to understand is that rights can either be granted exclusively to one party or nonexclusively to multiple parties.

What are these rights? Here’s what the U.S. Copyright Office says:

  • To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;

  • To prepare derivative works based upon the work;

  • To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;

  • To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;

  • To display the copyrighted work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual
    images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and

  • In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

A legal document, typically called a copyright transfer agreement, governs the copyright arrangements between you and the publisher and determines what rights you retain and what rights you transfer or grant to the publisher. The publisher may offer a single standard agreement or may have more than one agreement.

Whereas the publisher has had its agreement(s) written by copyright lawyers, you are not likely to be a copyright lawyer. This puts you at a disadvantage in terms or understanding, modifying, or replacing the publisher’s agreement. Therefore, it is very helpful to have documents written by copyright lawyers that you can use to modify or replace the publisher’s agreement with, even if the organization providing such documents does so under a disclaimer that it is not providing "legal advice."

Ordered by increasing level of difficulty in getting publisher acceptance, here are the basic strategies for dealing with copyright transfer agreements:

  • If the publisher has multiple agreements, choose the one that has the author assigning and/or granting specific rights to the publisher (e.g., ALA Copyright License Agreement). Don’t choose the agreement where the author assigns, conveys, grants, or transfers all rights, copyright interest, copyright ownership, and/or title exclusively to the publisher (e.g., ALA Copyright Assignment Agreement).
  • If the publisher has a single agreement that assigns, conveys, grants, or transfers all rights, copyright interest, copyright ownership, and/or title exclusively to the publisher:

Of course, other strategies are possible. For example, you could use another type of open content license instead of the Science Commons Publication Agreement and Copyright License. However, you might want to keep it simple to start.

For more information on copyright transfer agreements, see Copyright Resources for Authors and Scholars Have Lost Control of the Process.

For a directory of publisher copyright and self-archiving policies, see Publisher Copyright Policies & Self-Archiving.

By the way, DigitalKoans doesn’t provide legal advice and the author is not a lawyer.

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