Saying Yes to Copyright Permissions

Copyright Training

Be the Copyright Know Person; Not the No Person

Are you responsible for spreading the word about copyright in your library or organization? Do people come to you looking for answers about copyright law and licensing issues? Do people see you as a barrier to using content or as a gateway to obtaining access to that content? Change the copyright perception in your organization from no to know! Below are some ideas to try.

1.   Actively engage your colleagues in a copyright conversation. Find out their ultimate goal in using copyright-protected content . This can lead to a variety of options not previously thought of – such as linking to a website rather than copying an image, or summarizing an article rather than reproducing it.

2.   Offer to help a colleague who seems overwhelmed about how copyright law applies to their situation. For example, how is fair use interpreted? Explain the factors set out in the Copyright Act. Sometimes understanding how the law works or the policy behind it, makes it clearer and less frustrating to a person. Let them know that fair use is frustrating to many people and that they are not alone.

3.   Develop a copyright website that includes information on how to legally use copyright-protected materials, FAQs on fair use/dealing, how digital licenses work, and a click-through link to contact your in-house copyright guru (you?!) with a form to ask their specific questions about copyright law.

Make Copyright Law Personal!

4.   Don’t be faceless – make it personal! Get out there and meet with people. Putting a face to the copyright concept is a great way to inform people about it. The more they see that you are trying to help them, the faster the change of perception can occur. If you have a blog or Facebook page on copyright, put your photo on the blog and Facebook page. If you are tweeting copyright tips, post your photo on your Twitter homepage.

5.   Share positive news about copyright. Have some new materials entered the public domain? Has there been a recent court case that allows you greater use of content? Is there is an exciting new website or really great article or post on copyright that you can share?

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