Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Copyright Utopia, Day 1 - Preconference

The 7th annual Center for Intellectual Property (CIP), University of Maryland University College, symposium - Copyright Utopia: Alternative Visions, Methods, and Policies - got off to a great start yesterday (Monday) afternoon with a 4-hour preconference: "Copyright 101." Being relatively new to copyright, I found this introduction helpful, particularly as the presenter, Kenneth Crews, welcomed audience members' questions and real life circumstances, providing us with a practical introduction. Since my notes from this session are lengthy and likely not of exhilarating interest to most (although *very* important to understand), I'll simply recap the highlights...
  • fun of copyright is figuring out rules as they apply to our situation
  • copyright and fair use are two different worlds (albeit overlapping); before you can address fair use, you first must determine existence of copyright
  • copyright automatically applies to original, tangible fixed medium works, therefore in essence we are all copyright holders
  • it doesn't take much to be deemed "creative" with regard to copyright
  • stay away from joint copyright ownership if possible
  • many types of uses desired not possible under exceptions (sections 107-122 of copyright law), so there are several options: alter use to meet exception; get permission; examine if use falls under "fair use" doctrine
  • fair use "protections" such as word counts, 10%, 30 seconds, spontaneity not codified in law, only hammered out in guidelines established between libraries, higher ed institutions, publishers; *get rid of this line of thinking, especially with regard to institutional copyright policies*
  • keep institutional copyright policies simple and general
  • if you can avoid copyright questions altogether, do so!

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