2017 World Library and Information Conference in Wroclaw, Poland. It was held in the Dolnośląska Szkoła Wyższa (University of Lower Silesia). I was helping with registration (I had time to take a photo of the lemons for tea), so missed the inital session giving an international perspective on copyright issues. The next session was: Copyright Literacy and Professional Education for Librarians and Information Specialists, moderated by Tomas Lipinski, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. I will say a few senetences about each of the 5 presentations. Thanks to Ewa Rozkosz for the photos of the room.
Neelam Thapa (speaker) and Dr. Harisingh Gour talked about Integrating Copyright in the Curriculum: A Study of LIS Courses of Central Universities of India. She started by talking about India's Vision 2020 (which has digital goals, and higher education is a prerequisite). Skilled librarians are also necessary. 40% of the central universities offer library courses. The authors queried whether the curricula of these courses could meet digital library challenges. Whilst a survey showed all the courses addressed IT, not all of them address copyright, although where it is included it is part of the core curriculum. Looking at the topics included: apart from basic introductions, "e-documents and copyright" are only covered in the 2 year Masters courses. The presenter noted that there ia no agency for course accreditation in LIS, and this is required for more consistency. She felt that if LIS was offered more at undergraduate level, the subject would have better takeup at Masters level. Additionally, Information Literacy is a core class in few courses, and this should be incorporated for all courses. The speaker felt that there should also be a core copyright class, incotporating a practical workshop element.
Joanna Potęga (speaker), Main Library, Maria Grzegorzewska University and Agnieszka Wróbel, University of Warsaw Library (Poland) talked on Are We Information Literacy Advocates? Really? An Analysis of Copyright Identification on the Websites of Polish Academic and Research Libraries. She noted that, although there was copyright awareness/education for librarians, still a few years ago there were cases of libraries being accused of copyright infringement. A particular issue was works (notably pictures) where it was not immediately obvious who the author was and where/when it was published. The speaker mentioned the POL-on system, which records various data about Polish higher education institutions, including about 400 libraries (which I think she said did not represent all university libraries). They examined this set of library websites. The authors found to their surprise that some libraris didn't have any web presence. However, looking at the remainder some had a separate website (49% had a section on copyright) or were part of their institution's website (13% had a copyright section). About 2 thirds of the sites had a copyright mark, but only 3 libraries declared a creative commons license. Thus the question is: why do not more libraries set a good example on their own websites (of open access and copyright awareness)?
Jessica Coates, Australian Libraries Copyright Committee and Australian Library and Information Association (Australia) talked on Letting Go of Certainty: Getting Librarians and Archivists To Take Risks. She started by talking about what her organisation does: into includes advocacy, and training librarians. Their training focuses on what you CAN do. It includes the basics, and exceptions/limitations, and licensing. Practical skills on creative commons etc. are included.
The speaker said a little about Australian copyright law, which is in line with international law, but a "wildcard" is a flexible dealing exception for libraries, archives and educational institutions (so this is like fair dealing). The way this has been brought into law causes confusion and anxiety (around interpretation of what is a "special case").
This issue has led to some specific training on "risk minimisation" as regards the law, asking questions such as "is there a reasonable argument" (e.g. for digitising older material), "what is the risk of being challenged", "what risk minimisation strategies can you put in place?". This has led to more use of materials in exhibitions, collaborative projects, digitisation etc.
The message is that librarians should be "good actors" but risk for libraries is generally low, and so one shouln't be too risk averse. A question was raised afterwards about the parent institution being liable legally and more risk averse than the library (so there may need to be work at the institutional level).