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New SU program provides copyright guidance, education
New SU program provides copyright guidance, educationNovember 30, 2007SU News ServicesSUnews@syr.edu
As relevant technology and federal law governing the use of copyrighted materials continue to evolve, Syracuse University is launching a comprehensive program to address matters of copyright compliance and intellectual property protection.
The new program, announced by Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina, includes creation of the University Committee on Copyright, the introduction of copyright best practices for digital course content and the incorporation of library reserve materials within the Blackboard course management system so that only students enrolled in a course have access to its copyrighted reserve materials.
“It is the right time for our University community to build a copyright program that is a model for others, including our students, who will move into the broader world with a better understanding of the complexities of fair use and copyright protection,” Spina says.
The University Committee on Copyright is tasked with overseeing that the use of copyrighted works on campus is consistent with federal law, University policy and the University’s academic mission. The committee’s specific charges are to:
- develop a copyright education program for faculty, students and staff to build awareness and practical knowledge of how to comply with copyright law, policies and guidelines;
- identify areas in which copyright policy development is needed and recommend new or revised institutional policies;
- promulgate practical guides to assist University faculty, staff and students in making fair use determinations;
- assess the implications of new copyright legislation for University policy and practice;
- monitor trends in the copyright environment and make recommendations on how to align University copyright policy with the academic mission; and
- make recommendations about University participation in national copyright discussions and initiatives.
In undertaking its initial charge, the committee will introduce the newly developed copyright best practices for digital course content, address copyright rights and responsibilities, and provide tools to help faculty, students and staff understand current copyright issues and make fair use determinations.
Committee chair is Lisa Dolak, Board of Advisors Professor of Law and associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Law. Members are Mark A. Brown, associate professor of philosophy in The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S); Horace Campbell, professor of African American studies in A&S; Kevin Dames, doctoral fellow and adjunct professor in the School of Information Studies (iSchool); Roger Hallas, assistant professor of English in A&S; Pamela McLaughlin, director of communications and external relations for the SU Library; Alexandra Mittler, assistant professor of languages, literatures and linguistics in A&S; Milton Mueller, professor of information studies in the iSchool; and David Tiedemann, director of information technology and services). Ex officio members are Thomas S. Evans, University counsel, and David Pajak, director of risk management.
University Librarian and Dean of Libraries Suzanne Thorin believes development of the new best practices for digital course content and reserve procedures is an important step for the University. “Placing faculty reserves within Blackboard restricts access to those students in a particular class,” she says. “Our librarians will assist faculty members as they seek to determine fair use, contact the Copyright Clearance Center (http://www.copyright.com) as needed, and provide information about course packs. The faculty also has access to an online program developed by the University of Minnesota that helps to analyze a specific reading using the four factors in fair use.”
The library continues to support a reserve reading room for faculty members who prefer to use printed books and similar materials, Thorin says.
The University acknowledges advice provided by the American Association of Publishers (AAP) and the Association of Research Libraries in developing the new program. In particular, the AAP stressed that with the high volume of content so easily available in digital form, it is important that an understanding of copyright responsibilities accompany use of that content. The University’s new program has also been developed within the context of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (512(e) (c): Limitation on Liability of NonProfit Educational Institutions), which requires nonprofit educational institutions to provide their users with informational materials describing and promoting compliance with copyright law.
As an institution of higher learning, SU is devoted to the creation, discovery and dissemination of knowledge that contributes to a vibrant democracy and a diverse society. The core of the University is the faculty, who educate students and conduct research that result in visible changes in the country’s public policies, educational practices, technological infrastructure and historical views. The faculty are creators of intellectual property, and, in turn, they use the intellectual property of others in their research and teaching. It is within this dual context that the University is committed to supporting the full exercise of the rights accorded to users of copyrighted works and their responsibility to uphold U.S. copyright laws.