This week’s introduction to the topic of Copyright has been kindly contributed by Ellen Broad, the facilitator for NLS6 workshop ‘From pinning to scanning to scraping: understanding copyright in collections online’. She promises a spirited and entertaining workshop that all should attend. The Experience Team agrees copyright is an important challenge to tackle and this workshop will aim to remove the ‘fear of the unknown’. So take it away Ellen!….
“Ignorance is bliss”, one librarian commented after one workshop learning about the relationship between copyright law and the services and activities undertaken by her library. Copyright law can definitely be one of those areas in which the more you learn, the more you wish you’d never found out.
It’s true the Copyright Act can be long and complex. There’s probably a number of librarians out there who rue the day they had to wade through section 49 of the CopyrightAct, which in 1600 words sets out the precise terms under which libraries and archives can provide documents to users. Format shifting provisions can leave you cross-eyed, and inter library loan, preservation copying and the enigmatic section 200AB have also been known to cause a few headaches.
In some areas, it’s clear the Copyright Act hasn’t kept pace with digital library and archive practices at all: for most libraries, it’s illegal to make more than one preservation copy of a work (despite digital preservation requiring multiple copies); the Act doesn’t have great scope for digitisation of collections; and it’s silent altogether on backing up collection data, text and data mining, indexing and caching in library catalogues and social media use of copyright works. What seems to be missing from the Copyright Act can pose as many questions for librarians as the extensively detailed provisions recognising certain legitimate library activities.
‘From pinning to scanning to scraping: understanding copyright in collections online’ aims to demystify copyright law for librarians looking to promote collections online, and help staff develop risk management guidelines for using copyright works. We’ll be looking at copyright law and digitisation of library material, using social media platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter, new digital history tools that enable new ways of experiencing collections and managing copyright permissions on acquisition or deposit of works into a library. We’ll talk cloud computing, mash ups, Library Hack, open data, creative commons and “Web 3.0”. We’re not spending much time on the basics. We’re starting with the projects you want to do, the online activities you’re interested in, and working back through the copyright do’s and don’ts from there.
If you’ve encountered some particularly thorny copyright issues already trying to undertake a particular digital project, put them in an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org and they might be worked into a workshop scenario. In the mean time, follow @ellenbroad on twitter or sign up to the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee mailing list to keep up to date with the latest copyright news and developments. See you in February!
Early bird registrations for NLS6 close at the end of this month! Grab your spot now!