Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Licensing Content & Creative Commons

Track A, Content Management
Lesley Ellen Harris, Michael Sauers

Licensing Issues & Strategies: "Keeping It Simple"
Lesley Ellen Harris

LICENSE mnemonic for remembering the key to digital content licensing

Legal Document - it's a legal contract, use official corporate/legal names, only authorized signers should sign (this includes click-wrap licenses online), enters your library into obligations such as policing unauthorized so be sure you can live up to those obligations

Interpretation - it's a summary of the things you've agreed upon, something that you will refer to again and again to figure out permitted uses, make sure they're always in writing but it's not necessary to use technical or legal language if that makes it harder to interpret

Consistent - use consistent wording within an agreement, and across various licenses if possible; have a checklist of clauses; develop a licensing policy so that everyone works from same written policy

Essential Points - for most content there are about 10 points that you need to negotiate

Negotiate - despite what the other side says, most licenses are negotiable! Be honest and direct, learn to negotiate like a professional.

Standard Agreements Do NOT Exist - there's no ideal agreement for all situations

Exchange Information - talk to everyone, start at home with your users, educate users on terms and conditions allowed; talk to senior management about time, training, money to let them know that it's not as simple as buying a print book; talk to the other side before negotiation, during, and after for questions of interpretation

Creative Commons
Michael Sauers
  • Copyright is a restriction-based policy.
  • The Culture of the Copy by Hillel Schwartz has a copyright statement that makes fun of copyright excesses.
  • Section 113c of copyright law allows for 'useful articles' which includes things like putting the cover of a book in a bookseller's catalog.
    Disney's entire 
  • Clearance Culture - you have to get permission for everything, because the first guy got permission everyone else has to as well, everyone's afraid of being sued
  • Fair use is a defense, someone has to sue you first. 
  • "Copyright treats all creators the same" Cory Doctorow
Creative Commons says you get to decide in advance what rights to retain or give away.
  • CC is an allowance-based method.
  • You choose from options for your license: attribution, non-commercial purposes, without derivative works, share alike resulting works
Problems with Creative Commons
  • Licenses are irrevocable, though you can change things it creates confusion
  • Negative market effect - professional photographers' argument
  • What is 'non-commercial'? Scribd example
  • Unintended use
  • Right of publicity for pictures of people
CC in Libraries
  • Teach your patrons to use CC works
  • License your own work
  • Catalog CC works (this one I find problematic based on my prior research)
Questions Raised
  • Competition with 'publishers'
  • Collection development policy
  • Cataloging issues - who is the publisher? what is the publication location?

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