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What's Up: Copyright Advance

eNews Edition: Spring 2014

Contributed by Elizabeth Altman

Copyright concerns and fair use best practices will be front and center at the upcoming workshop, Copyright Advance: Evolving Perspectives for Empowered Scholars coordinated by the Oviatt Library Copyright Team and CSUN Faculty Development.   The workshop is bringing noted pioneers in the field of copyright and fair use to campus, and is geared toward faculty at CSUN.

Copyright will protect you from pirates.  Copyright pamphlet.

“We want faculty to come away from this workshop with a practical approach to copyright in academia, especially as it impacts scholarly communication,” says Digital Services Librarian Andrew Weiss, a member of the Copyright Team.  Scholarly communication is “the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use“ (ACRL, n.d.).   One of the chief goals of this event is to make faculty authors aware of their intellectual property rights in the context of current and evolving scholarly communication practices.  A prominent focus of the workshop will be Open Access publishing, a movement fostered by institutional initiatives such as CSUN ScholarWorks and open access journals published in the CSU and elsewhere, such as the California Geographer, the Honors Undergraduate Research Journal and Interactions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies

The workshop also will look at best practices for faculty exercising “fair use” – that is, use without express permission of the copyright holder -- of copyrighted materials for both research and instruction. A variety of experts will discuss the nuances and possibilities of fair use interpreted in different institutional environments and academic fields.  “Fair use is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of thing,” states Weiss. “We want to present a model for approaching every use case methodically.” 

Fair use of published material in research and instruction has become a critical issue in an era of shrinking university budgets, especially when a single institutional journal subscription can cost up to $30,000 per year. “Universities subsidize faculty research, and then they have to pay for the privatized product of that research,” remarks Weiss. “The peer-review process is essentially free, but it has been co-opted by publishers.  It could be reclaimed in the service of Open Access publishing just as easily.”

Gold copyright symbol

Speakers participating in the lively day-long program will include Tracey Mayfield, Associate Dean of the CSU Long Beach University Library, and Martin Brennan, Copyright and Licensing Librarian at  UCLA Young Research Library.  They will be joined by Kevin Smith, a noted scholarly communication advocate at Duke University (which boasts a strong open journals program) and Peter Jaszi and David Hansen, who are co-authoring a Best Practices guide for the use of orphan works.  Oviatt Library Copyright Team members Ross Kendall and Dean Arnold are collaborating with Weiss and Daisy Lemus of CSUN Faculty Development to host the workshop.

This workshop, co-sponsored by the Oviatt Library and Faculty Development, will be held on Thursday, April 24, from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., in the Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room on the garden level of the Oviatt Library. Reservations are required. Please RSVP by April 14.  For more information about the event, please visit the event page for Copyright Advance, as well as the Schedule of Events (PDF). For information about what’s up at the Oviatt, please visit the Library’s Exhibitions and Events page.

Reference: ACRL Focus Area: Scholarly Communication (

Image by Flickr user Ioan Sameli / Creative Commons licensed