Managing Copyright in Your Library
16 January 2014 — From guest blogger Lesley Ellen Harris, copyright lawyer and the instructor for SLA’s Certificate in Copyright Management program:
When seeking answers on copyright law, many people are frustrated by the all-too-familiar answer of “it depends on the circumstances.” Copyright law, however, is a complicated area of the law, with many nuances and interpretations. I believe that copyright compliance is more about managing copyright law than knowing everything you can about domestic and international copyright laws.
In a series of courses I’ve now taught with SLA for seven years, the emphasis is on managing copyright. The purpose of the courses is to help non-lawyers (although lawyers occasionally participate in the courses) learn to apply the copyright law to their everyday situations – situations like sharing a PDF article, using images found online, and negotiating digital licenses. Some of the key things we examine in the courses include:
- Centralizing copyright issues within a single person’s or a committee’s role rather than copyright being an issue inconsistently dealt with throughout an organization
- Learning the basics about domestic and global copyright law
- Understanding the role of risk management and dealing with answers that do depend on the circumstances
- Developing practical management tools like a written permissions procedure and copyright compliance guidelines.
The courses are updated each year and customized to meet the needs of the students who participate in them. Readings and lectures are a component of the courses, as is participating in discussions.
The program consists of 9 courses, 8 of which are required for you to receive a program diploma. Courses may also be taken à la carte. Most courses take place online, and two are offered at the SLA Annual Conference each year. Discounts are available for SLA members.
CCM100 Introduction to Copyright Management: Principles and Issues, an online course with three sessions, begins Thursday, January 23. We hope you can join us! CCM200 U.S. Copyright Law Principles begins Thursday, February 13.