This post was written by Barb Ingrassia from the Lamar Soutter Library at UMass Medical School.
To follow up on my article about copyright in the MAHSLIN Network News Winter 2011 issue, I’d like to begin a discussion on the MAHSLIN blog. What would you share about some of the following?
With the advances in digital technology, it is SO easy to search, copy, paste, and send materials without giving a thought to copyright implications and the possible risks of charges of infringement. This area has become so involved and of such importance to our faculty members at the Medical School, that it is now my full-time job to provide information on copyright to our patrons.
I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one at the library, so while I can’t give any legal advice, I CAN point people to reliable, relevant resources that help them in their work. One way I do this is by maintaining a Copyright Resources subject guide on my Library’s website that provides easy access to many of the resources I’ve gathered over time. I also provide one-on-one consultations and offer workshops for faculty, students and staff. And all the while, I’m learning more about the “murky gray field of copyright.”
There are many myths and misunderstandings about copyright in academia. There is the notion that “any educational use is ‘Fair Use’ and that permission isn’t needed” in a (non-profit) educational situation. This isn’t always true and some of what I share with our faculty comes as a great surprise, to say the least!
Are you faced with copyright issues in your work? I’m particularly wondering what sorts of copyright issues come up in a clinical setting? How are they handled? Who handles them? What role do you as a medical librarian play? What role do you think the Library can and should play?
Thanks for your thoughts!