Collaborative Copyright – or copyright is not just a library issue

Jennifer Duncan, Utah State University
Susanne Clement, Utah State University
Betty Rozum, Utah State University



Copyright law does not change often; the technology that allows us to use copyrighted works changes all the time. Faculty often assume fair use covers all use of copyrighted material in their classes (both face to face and online) and they become confused and frustrated when they learn of limitations in the electronic environment. Students rarely think about copyright; they are generally unaware of how their actions might infringe the rights of copyright holders or that they themselves might hold these rights in their own works. Librarians have traditionally had some copyright knowledge – after all copyright notices have been part of library signage for a long time, especially in copy services, interlibrary loan, and reserves.Questions about how to responsibly manage and promote use of our electronic collections, particularly in the wake of growing online course offerings, requires increasing understanding of the changing copyright landscape. Though the library may have become the go-to place for copyright information, it is becoming clear that copyright is not just a library issue for our campuses. At Utah State University a committee came together to provide support, training and service to the campus on issues related to copyright. Committee 68membership spans campus communities – from library and IT to the teaching support center and distance education office, from the trademark and patent office to the university bookstore and the university press. Bringing these diverse groups together encourages collaboration and provides a broader perspective on copyright issues to everyone involved.