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ARCHIVES Home

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ARCHIVES  April 2006, Week 1

ARCHIVES April 2006, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Intellectual Property Run Amok-end of the public domain?

From:

Dean DeBolt <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Dean DeBolt <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 3 Apr 2006 11:22:52 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (71 lines)

In reading these postings and Joel's comments, I believe there are two
issues involved here.   One is access and one is right to publish/copy.
If an item is
still under copyright or if an institution is simply unsure of its
status, then the
institution bears liability for publishing or allowing copies to be made
by others.
That is usually the case for historical organizations.    They feel it
better to err
on the side of either not permitting copying or demanding that the use
secure permission from copyright owners.    I suspect this is an
outgrowth of the famous
Kinko's photocopying-from-copyrighted-works.    Our campus scanning
department
instituted a form that the requestor must sign holding the University
not liable for
copyright infringement.   I've even had to provide memoranda that 100+
year old
engravings or maps could be scanned and were not subject to copyright.

On the other hand, I have had people insist that I provide them with
photocopies
or scans of photographs simply because they are in public domain.   And
here we
begin to fall into the issue of what is our purpose as an archives or
archivists.
I am permitted to turn down requests for laborious amounts of
photocopying due to
a small staff.   Often these demands are simply because the person does
not want
to sit down and do research here!    Being in a library organization has
brought a
great deal of self-evaluation, especially as librarians consider how
they should
provide services -- and they look at archives the same way.    We've
decided it is
not the function of a library to do entire-book-photocopying simply
because a
user wants it (especially the many long-distance users who could be
several hundred
miles away).    Students have complained to the administration that "we"
wouldn't
look up the populations to fifteen world countries over the telephone
that they need
for a class.   Administrators then say 'what is the library for.'
Sorry, that's another
issue.

Dean


Dean DeBolt
University Librarian, Special Collections
John C. Pace Library, University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL  32514-5750
850-474-2213
[log in to unmask]

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