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Catherine Michael's picture

Midwinter 2012: Minutes

Media Resources Discussion Group  (ACRL – Association of College& Research Libraries)  Midwinter 2012  Minutes

Reported by the Convener: Catherine Michael, Ithaca College

The group met in Adobe Connect on January 17th, 2012 from 2-3:30 EST to discuss “Media Resources and the Law.” Cathy Michael, the convener for the discussion, encouraged everyone to participate in order to gather a communal understanding of key issues facing our libraries with digital media: first sale, preservation of VHS tapes, e-reserves, developing policies, and working in collaboration with legal council and information technologists.

These meeting minutes are a broad overview of the discussion that can be heard in part at the following link: http://connect.ala.org/node/166260 ; The meeting began with a presentation of books, articles, blogs, primary source law, research studies, information sheets and organizations that might frame and inform the discussion; this was not recorded but the list can be found here: http://connect.ala.org/node/165583   The TEACH Act, the streaming of video for distance education, the section 1201 (DMCA) exemption comments, and the recent AIME v. UCLA case were considered; current law allows for all faculty to use clips of video necessary for teaching, however, the issue of streaming entire films is still being hotly debated.  Questions were asked about who owns the intellectual property of content (ex. ePortfolio, TurnItIn), how it is accessed (SWANK or direct licenses with vendors), who purchases it (the library or information technology), and where it is stored (with the vendor, locally or in a cloud).  Awareness of details in e-content licenses and local policies by colleges and universities was emphasized. Libraries are beginning to purchase collections from vendors such as Films for the Humanities and Alexander Street Press but are considering the licenses carefully for price and relevance to user needs.  Issues with VHS preservation came up and the “Video at Risk” (N.Y.U.) study was mentioned. Preservation of older media for future access has become a continuing problem as formats change.  Some libraries are exploring consortial arrangements with video such as NJ Vid and Kaltura. Some libraries have Digital Media Labs where students are able creating video content on site.  While supporting transformative uses of media, librarians educate against piracy and the illegal accessing of films especially via torrents.

An overarching challenge appears to be the campus relationship between the library, information technology, and campus users.  Often librarians are burdened with being copyright experts and need a keen awareness of copyright law and licensing when negotiating access for users. A collaborative approach is needed. One library receives an annual educational presentation on copyright provided by their legal council; this may provide librarians with a sense of the level of risk their institution is willing to take when applying the law.   As new bills are introduced and administrative rulemakings reviewed, librarians will continue to be challenged by digital media law questions.

Compilation of websites submitted to or discussed include: