Moderator: Janine Henri
Sponsor: Collection Development Committee
Georgia Harper, the author of the UT System copyright policy discussed three important elements of copyright management. She emphasized a basic understanding of copyright law, ownership of copyrights, and using others works. First she outlined the basic scheme of copyright law and then discussed Fair Use and Ownership. She emphasized educating the user so that they can make better decisions regarding copyright. The audience had many specific questions regarding copyright including the intellectual property of dissertations which are published works and do fall under laws protecting other types of published works and published works in electronic format which is a topic just now being addressed by copyright laws. A point was made regarding public domain, a work that is in the public domain will always be in the public domain but compilations of works can be copyrighted as a separate work. All of these questions and more can be answered by looking at the highly recommended, extremely useful web page of the UT System General Counsel Intellectual Property Office (http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/Intellectual%20Property/develop.htm) and the U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress (http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/).
Carol Cable who represents General Libraries development and works with copyright on a bureaucratic level, has created detailed guidelines to confront the issues of copyright in the General Libraries at UT Austin. Carole has worked closely with Georgia Harper, Beth Dodd, Cathy Henderson and other members of the Copyright Task Force which was formed to address these issues. The committee spent almost two years developing forms, including the Deed of Gift form, the explanation of the Deed of Gift form, and the Indemnification form. She emphasized that these forms reflect regional rules and regulations and should be used as guidelines and are not directly transferable to other institutions. These forms give guidance to the institution and reassure donors when contributing gifts to the institution.
Beth Dodd is an experienced curator who works with users to track down copyright owners. Her goal is to preserve, protect, and provide access to her collection's materials and hopes copyright does not have to be a stumbling block. She uses the indemnification form when her users have thoroughly searched and cannot find the copyright owner, this form releases the university from copyright infringement. A question from the audience regarding the loading of library owned photographs for which copyright owners cannot be found onto a CD-rom emphasizes the need for indemnification forms. Beth stressed the importance of establishing a good faith effort with users. She explains how important it is to get permission, and empathizes with the difficulties in identifying owners. She also discussed what is protected by copyright and the amendments made to the copyright laws in 1990 specifically regarding architectural works. The U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress circular 41 focuses on Copyright Claims in Architectural Works. Beth emphasized the importance of thorough and detailed research. Just as personal property can change hands, so can intellectual property. Often times, copyright may have been transferred or there may be contractual agreements with the collections where they are housed. Individuals, firms, heirs and successor firms are also places to seek ownership. There may be joint copyright owners whereby, copyright permission is only needed from one owner (unless stated otherwise). Beth's last bit of advice is to confer with other archives who may have already gone down the same path you have just begun. Examples of good faith effort guidelines and other information related to copyright and architectural drawings collections may soon be found on the UT System Intellectual Property web page (http://www.utsystem.edu/OGC/Intellectual%20Property/).
David Sutton is The WATCH File (Writers and Their Copyright Holders) director in the United Kingdom. The WATCH File is a database containing primarily, but not exclusively, the names and addresses of copyright holders or contact persons for English-language authors whose papers are housed in whole or in part, in libraries and archives in North America and the United Kingdom. The objective in making the database available is to provide information to scholars on whom to contact for permission to quote from or publish previously unpublished manuscripts. In his discussion, David pointed out that copyright laws may differ from country to country. David is responsible for compiling the U.K. file entries. The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRHRC) and University of Reading have been working on putting this database together. The information compiled from the many resources is not verified by the HRHRC or the University of Reading. Methods of compiling copyright holder information include the following: checking the informal files of libraries and archives (HRHRC included), contacting publishers and other institutions, checking reference materials, and participating in informal discussions.
Cathy Henderson is The WATCH File director in the United States and is responsible for compiling the U.S. entries of the file. The file is actively looking for new names to include in the database. Cathy mentioned that the emphasis of this database is primarily literary authors but they have considered expanding the file to include visual and/or performing artists, the file could then be renamed, "Writers, Artists and Their Copyright Holders." The web page of the WATCH file is http://www.lib.utexas.edu/Libs/HRC/%20WATCH.
University of Texas at Austin