by Kevin Smith, M.L.S., J.D., Lisa A. Macklin, J.D.,M.L.S., Anne Gilliland, JD, MLS
thread Wk 1 – T2: Copyright: Shortened or Lengthened? – PART 1
Follow the money” was mentioned as a way to understand the concept of copyright and copyright law
Copyright lengths should be shortened. Term lengths like these rarely benefit actual people. They benefit corporations, be it publishers or things like Disney.
Karen Lightner: I can see the usefulness of bringing the US into line with the Berne Convention, so that we are in line with other nations’ laws. But the additional 20 years we have added for individuals and the incredibly long period for corporations goes against, I believe, what the founding fathers intended when they specified for a limited time.
Edwin A Quist: There are collections of so-called production music issued with licenses to be used for educational videos. We have at least two sets of these in our music library (in various styles: rock ,classical, world, electronic, etc.) — but don’t expect great art! Also WikiMedia Commons has some CC licensed music.
Brad Whitehead: I have no quarrel with protecting corporate trademarks — Disney characters or Nike swooshes, etc. — but maintaining monopolies on creative works for such extended periods primarily enriches publishers with no benefit to the creators.
Nicholas Theo: There are definitely works created where it can be next to impossible to find the owner, or their descendant 20 years after the creation of the work. I have also witnessed when you do track these people down that they want an exorbitant sum of money for permission to use their creation even when there has been absolutely no interest in it. In the end no deal is made. On the other hand I work with two small non profit organizations whose body of work is of value. The material is actively used, and the body of work is a core asset for the organization. What happens to each organization once the copyrights expire? One organization faces this reality in 2015. The Internet permits an environment where decades of work may be used, and in some instances in ways the original material was never intended to be used. For instance, written passages can be misquoted and there will no longer be a legal mechanism to halt this practice.
Karen Case: I would be curious to know if the Youtube video with Mozart would have been removed if the link was made private.
Susan Martel: I think about The Hobbit which was published in 1937. The author, Tolkien, died in 1973, and I remember his books being popular in the seventies and the eighties. It was fairly recently that movies were made based on his books. It seems fair (and I hope that it is the case) that he left a great legacy behind to his family so that they could continue to receive income from his work. If Tolkien’s works were in the public domain by the time the movies were made, it is just an easy way for those working in the movie industry to become even wealthier without having to pay anything to the author or his beneficiaries. Not all works have the kind of potential that Tolkien’s did, but without a crystal ball to predict the future it may be difficult to predict accurately what works will have continued success for generations and which will just be a flash in the pan.
Charles N. Norton: There is something called “Good Faith” effort that many archives hold to that tends to be the “standard” when trying to use copyrighted material for educational use, but it really only applies when you know who the copyright holder is and for whatever reason they simply do not respond to your requests. It does not remove the authors rights and, in fact, many times one does end up having to remove shared material after the fact because the copyright holders finally does get around to denying permission.
Lesli Moore: I’m glad to see some discussion about Open Access to works. Perhaps instead of shortening the term, creators can circumvent the terms by offering open access using Creative Commons.
Jef Gielen: There are pros and cons. Do we find it reasonable that heirs take benefit from a work they did not contribute to at all ? To me, this is not evident. On the other hand, the copyright can be in hand of foundations trying to continue the work of an author – e.g. by means of scholarships. That’s another story ..
Here is a complete list of all the suggested readings for the Copyright for Educations and Librarians Course. Click here for a downloadable PDF version of the Suggested Readings that contains the full URL links.
- The Copyright Law of the United States, Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Please scan the section headings to gain a general idea of the structure of the law.
- United States Copyright Office website, at http://copyright.gov/. Please read circular #1, “ Copyright Basics.”
- James Boyle, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008. PDF book version. Please read Chapter One, “Why Intellectual Property?”
- Peter Hirtle, Emily Hudson & Andrew Kenyon, Copyright & Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization (Cornell University Library, 2009). Please read chapters 1 & 2.
- Kevin Smith & Lisa Macklin, Handout on “A Framework for Analyzing any Copyright Problem.”
- The Copyright Law of the United States, Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Please read sections 101 through 106 and section 109.
- United States Copyright Office website, at http://copyright.gov/. Please read circulars 9 (“Work Made for Hire under the 1976 Copyright Act“) and 21 (“Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarian”).
- Peter Hirtle, “Copyright and the Public Domain in the United States,” online chart.
- Peter Hirtle, Emily Hudson & Andrew Kenyon, Copyright & Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization (Cornell University Library, 2009). Please read chapters 3 & 4.
- “Copyright Law & Public Domain,” a series of short essays from NOLO, Law for All, at.
- The Copyright Law of the United States, Title 17 of the U.S. Code. Available at http://www.copyright.gov/title17/. Please read sections 108 and 110.
- Peter Hirtle, Emily Hudson & Andrew Kenyon, Copyright & Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization (Cornell University Library, 2009). Please read chapter 6.
- Peggy Hoon, “The Original TEACH Act Toolkit.”
- Creative Commons website at . Please read the “Choose a license” page and “About the Licenses“.
- Copyright and Fair Use, Stanford University Libraries, “The Basics of Getting Permission” athttp://fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/introduction/getting-permission/.
- “Permissions,” Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University Libraries.
- David R. Hansen, Copyright Reform Principles for Libraries, Archives, and Other Memory Institutions, 29 Berkeley Tech. L.J. (forthcoming 2014).
OPTIONAL – Resources on music copyright:
Sources for examples:
For the history behind the controversy over “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” listen to these three YouTube videos: