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» posted to secret agent Fister and lsw

To be or not to be a campus copyright oracle? I gave a preso to mostly faculty about copyright. We learned some jerks are routinely telling admin assistants to violate copyright egregiously. I don't want the library to become the copyright law enforcement agency, but I do want to put a firebreak in between faculty and staff/student employees. Any good models?

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My thought at the moment is to systematize some kind of confidential copyright consultation. The faculty will be on notice that staff can request one. Trying to figure out the exact process, though. When to bring faculty into the loop to avoid crap landing on the staff person.

 ‎· secret agent Fister 1
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Actual thing I heard: "But it's okay to copy entire ILL books for personal use, right?" Not okay. Even more not okay to ask a subordinate to do it for you!!

 ‎· secret agent Fister
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I may kick this to the group of admin assistants to learn their preferred shit-avoidance procedure.

 ‎· secret agent Fister 3
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liking because i want to keep following this. otherwise i've got no ideas. last time i pursued this it went to legal counsel who wasn't much help. i suggested following iris's school of having a copyright group so that different people from across campus could answer questions and what not....i think it was iris's school.

 ‎· Danielle Otter
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When it comes to dealing with faculty, one of my first go-to's is "would it be acceptable for one of your students to turn this in as their own work in your class?"

 ‎· Mr. Noodle 2
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I would want backup on this one. Go to college legal counsel and ask their advice. It's really their hill to fight and/or die on... and you (I suspect) aren't in a great position to back up an admin-assistant who's bucking faculty. I agree that going to the admin-assistant group and asking them what they'd want would be good -- but I have a feeling at least some of what they'll say won't be practical ("I want faculty members who do this fired!" yeah, so do I, but ain't gonna happen).

 ‎· LibSkrat 1
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At my institution, this was one of the reasons that we pushed to have the copyright committee housed out of the dean of the college office rather than out of the library. That way official copyright emails can come from the Dean and carry actual college authority. Early on, we ran info sessions for the admin assistant group meetings, and I've been thinking we need to do that again. And all our contact information on the website says to contact us or the Dean for questions, so an admin assistant has explicit permission to kick this up to actual authority.

 ‎· lris 4
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Countering all of this, another thing we have done very explicitly (and it's not easy!) is to NOT have the copyright committee become the copyright police. We keep a strictly educational mission. Basically, anything beyond education will have to be fed through the Dean.

 ‎· lris 3
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Wise lris is wise. Finding or making a safe reporting chain for the admin assistants is the goal here.

 ‎· LibSkrat 5
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Other projects I've done, I found asking the people dealing with the thing really helpful ("Do you know of anyone else I should be talking to who deals with this" was a key question.) Our copyright issues are particularly weird - we're a source of last resort for a lot of items - and we have clear guidelines about what we will provide, but we also don't police what individuals do with stuff we own and their preferred copier. I bring up issues when we see them with appropriate supervisors (in general, a "I'd be glad to do more training about this..." thing) which seems to be slowly helping.

 ‎· Jen Arnott 2
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Thanks, all. I don't want to involve campus counsel because their job is to avoid risk. (Also, they're expensive and slow.) I actually want to encourage appropriate risk while recognizing powerless parties should not be asked to do that risk-taking. Apparently the admin assistants want a policy that's clear and absolute they can point to with lots of "that's forbidden" on it, but I'm trying to give them a route for deflecting an unclear situation to someone with... uh, tenure, in my case and a more equal footing with their supervisor. And a grasp of the four factors that is well beyond their pay grade. Two of our librarians are on the faculty senate, so we can also bring up the problem there as well - basically, let's not ask staff or students to break the law if you're pretty sure what you're asking them to do is breaking the law. DUH.

 ‎· secret agent Fister
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The print shop supervisor also gets asked to do this stuff (or her student employees do) and this kind of blows my mind. The deliberateness of it and the willful ignorance ... though heaven knows I should not be surprised given how scholars treat their copyrights!

 ‎· secret agent Fister
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At least here, the root cause is more often a misunderstanding of "for educational use." Probably the biggest misunderstanding I hear is that if it's "for educational use" you can do anything you want, including duplicating and publishing to your website so that everyone on the internet can then be educated. Educational use is definitely *part* of the equation, but it's not a get out of jail free card for any and all copying.

 ‎· lris 3
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^ yep. such a common misconception my undergrad exams regularly have this question on 'em, never MIND the grad students.

 ‎· LibSkrat 1

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