Benson and Stitzlein (2019)
|Benson and Stitzlein (2019)|
|Title:||Copyright and Digital Collections: A Data Driven Roadmap for Rights Statement Success|
|Author(s):||Sara R Benson, Hannah Stitzlein|
|Citation:||Benson, S.R. and Stitzlein, H. (2019) Copyright and Digital Collections: A Data Driven Roadmap for Rights Statement Success. ACRL 2019 Proceedings.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||The study consists of 19 semi-structured interviews with participants from libraries, consortiums and non-profit institutions, together holding a mix of cultural heritage collections and scholarly materials. The interviewees were tailored to better understand the current implementation of Standardised Rights Statements (as introduced by the Digital Public Library of America in 2016).|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:|
“The two questions that ultimately guided this research were: What are the challenges that metadata practitioners face when implementing standardized rights statements? And, for institutions that have implemented standardized rights statements, what made them successful? The authors began the investigation to fill in the practical gaps of the previous studies, and to determine if barriers to implementing standardized rights statements was due to a lack of copyright knowledge and/or access to a copyright professional, or if there were resource barriers limiting the ability to begin implementation.”
Main Results of the Study
The study finds that librarians are likely to experience a high incidence of uncertainty regarding both baseline copyright principles, and specific issues impacting digitisation efforts by libraries and cultural heritage institutions. This includes: orphan works; deed of gift legacy issues; over legal issues (incl. privacy); layers of copyright (e.g. multiple subject-matters in a single work); publication status of a work, and; international copyright.
In risk assessing making work available to the public librarians primarily view this through the lens of copyright (with nearly half of interviewees stating that copyright determinations are the biggest challenge for materials to be made available online). Librarians may mitigate potential risks by identifying low-risk collections for digitisation (e.g. public domain materials), employing takedown practices, and other due diligence measures (including fair use checklists, attempts to contact copyright holders etc.).
Cultural heritage institutions lack access to professional copyright advice, with only 2 institutions in the study having access to such services. Compounded with other factors, such as staffing and time issues, this results in boilerplate rights statements, as opposed to tailoring provisions.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Whilst the study does not make any explicit policy recommendations, the authors note that strong copyright education is required in the cultural heritage sector due to lack of access to professional copyright services. In the interim, many institutions may benefit from tailoring approaches to copyright determinations by requiring specific information about digitising permissions in intakes. Elsewhere, many tools may assist, with participants frequently citing RightsStatements.org and Peter Hirtle’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain chart.