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Harvard’s Berkman Center and Launch “Copyright for Librarians”

March 26th, 2010

(via Berkman Center)

The Berkman Center is pleased to announce that “Copyright for Librarians” is now live. “Copyright for Librarians” is an online, open access curriculum on copyright law, developed in conjunction with (Electronic Information for Libraries). The following press release has more information about the goals of the curriculum, the areas it addresses, and where to find it online.

Congratulations to Berkman Center faculty director William Fisher, his team, and his collaborators at on their creation of this valuable new resource. As always, we welcome your feedback.

Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Launch “Copyright for Librarians,” an Online Open Curriculum on Copyright Law

March 24, 2010 – Cambridge, Mass., and Rome, Italy – The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today announced the launch of a new online, open access curriculum, “Copyright for Librarians” (, developed in conjunction with “Copyright for Librarians” aims to inform librarians about copyright law in general, as well as the aspects of copyright law that most affect libraries, especially those in developing and transition countries.

“Copyright law directly affects library services providing access to learning resources, scientific and research information,” said Rima Kupryte, Director “Everyday librarians are managing information and responding to requests from students, academics, and members of the public. They are well placed to provide practical advice on topical copyright-related issues. This curriculum, which includes modules on the scope of copyright law, exceptions and limitations and managing rights, provides librarians from around the world with an opportunity to understand this important area of law.”

“Librarians and their professional organisations play key roles in shaping national and international copyright policy and in protecting and promoting access to knowledge,” said William Fisher, faculty director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, “ has created a crucial network of librarians in developing and transition countries. It is essential that the members of that network have the fullest possible understanding, not just of the current copyright laws, but also of the ways in which those laws could and should be interpreted and modified in the future. We hope that this curriculum will help to advance that understanding.”

“Maximising access to educational and learning materials is critical for development in Africa,” said Benson Njobvu, University of Zambia. “Teaching students about legal information issues enhances the role of the librarian, preparing the next generation for a professional career in the digital age. We aim to produce librarians who will become well-informed advocates for access to knowledge. “Copyright for Librarians” is a valuable new resource that will help us to achieve our goal.”

The course materials of “Copyright for Librarians” — nine modules organised into five different levels — can be used as the basis for a self-taught course, a traditional classroom-based course, or as a distance-learning course.

For more information and access to the course materials, visit: is grateful to the Ford Foundation for their support of the development of “Copyright for Librarians.”

Further information:

Rima Kupryte, Director
Piazza Mastai 9
00153 Rome, Italy
Tel: 39 06 5807216 17

Seth Young
Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Harvard University
Tel: +1.617.384.9135

Notes for Editors is an independent non-profit organization with a global network spanning 46 developing ad transition countries and thousands of libraries. brings access to knowledge to library users in developing and transition countries by building capacity, supporting advocacy and helping to introduce new services for the user, as well as affordable access to e-resources.

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society. More information can be found at

Road-testing ahead: new copyright course scrutinised by librarians from eleven countries

September 16th, 2008

Associates at the Mortensen Center for International Library Programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will road-test the first modules of a new copyright course for librarians during September and October 2008. The Associates come from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Colombia, Palestine, Iraq, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan.

As part of an intensive two month training program, their role is to evaluate the ergonomics and the practical implementation of the course. This will provide valuable feedback to the project team at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society who are jointly developing the course with Electronic Information for Libraries (eIFL). The aim is that librarians from eIFL and other communities may start a self-learning distance program from January 2009.

“I am particularly looking forward to learning about how the Associates will absorb the intellectual content, and how comfortable they will feel with the information”, said Janice Pilch, Associate Professor of Library Administration at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“The Mortenson Associates want to gain more knowledge in this area, and we will suggest that the group complete the course online when they return home”, added Susan Schnuer, Associate Director of the Mortenson Center.

“After working on the development of the content for almost a year, I am looking forward to getting feedback and a practical evaluation of the interactive part of the course so that we can refine it according to needs”, said Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Fellow at the Berkman Center and Project Director.

Teresa Hackett, Programme Manager at eIFL said, “We are very grateful to the Mortenson Center for road-testing the course which will help us to deliver a better product. We hope that the course, the first of its kind, will benefit librarians all over the world, but especially those in developing and transition countries”.

As new technologies impact on the work of libraries and copyright law increasingly challenges library practices and access to knowledge, the aim of the course is to provide a sound understanding of the fundamentals of copyright and to raise awareness amongst librarians for balanced copyright laws and practices.

About the Mortenson Center
The Mortenson Center for International Library Programs is located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Center provides professional development opportunities for librarians around the world and seeks to strengthen international ties among libraries and librarians, regardless of geographic location or access to technology. Over 800 librarians from 89 countries have already taken advantage of programming through the Mortenson Center – the only one of its kind in the world. on Open Access, Open Education, and Creative Commons

May 8th, 2008

Ahrash Bissell from ccLearn, Creative Commons initiative for education, discussed with Rima Kupryte, Director of, and Iryna Kuchma, Program Manager of eIFL-OA (Open Access): here the follow-up interview

Harvard Law School goes Open Access too!

May 8th, 2008

Harvard Law School voted unanimously a motion for Open Access, similar to the one voted in February at the Faculty for Arts and Sciences: congratulations to Terry Fisher and John Palfrey!

Workshop in Cambridge on April 17-18

April 27th, 2008

Over 30 experts discussed the course project during a two days workshop in Cambridge, raising many great points to advise on the course structure, and how to combine policy advocacy and practical questions, on its content, which should be flexible and on the project sustainability, which has an impact on the learning environment we are developing.
Thanks for their help! The workshop agenda is below:

Preliminary session
Introductions of the participants
William Fisher, Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Teresa Hackett

Objectives of the project, of the course and of the workshop: review and advise on the course methodology, material and development

Session 1: Distance learning
Moderator: Manon Ress

Open discussion on distance learning and on the project teaching methodology and pedagogy
Presentation by Moustapha Diack on course management systems and tools for distance education
Short presentation by Georgia Harper on the Copyright Crash Course

Session 2: Integration of the course in developing and transition countries

Theme 1: Implementation of the course in a curriculum
Moderator: Moustapha Diack

Presentation by Elisam Magara on the integration of copyright and intellectual property rights content in a university curriculum: a strategy for EASLIS, Makerere University
Short presentation by Susan Schnuer on lessons learned from professional development activities in developing and transition countries

Theme 2: Copyright and developing countries
Moderator: William McGeveran

Open discussion on developing and transition countries issues related to copyright
Short presentation by Ayo Kusamotu on Nigerian legal practice and context
Short presentation by Gwen Hinze on international negotiations
Short presentation by Samuel Klein on open content collections
Short presentation by Eddan Katz on Access to Knowledge

Session 3: Copyright
Moderator: William Fisher

Open discussion on librarians rights and copyright issues related to exceptions and limitations to exclusive rights, with an international interpretation perspective
Short presentation by Peter Jaszi on the need for progressive interpretations of the three-step test
Short presentation by William McGeveran on the Section 108 Study Group Report
Short presentation by Kenneth Crews on libraries exemptions world diversity

Session 4: Libraries
Moderator: John Palfrey

Open discussion on librarians missions and tasks, and on case studies to implement copyright knowledge
Case study n°2: The digital library, Providing open access to digitized books, articles and audiovisual material
Evaluation of the case study scope adequation, development proposals, validation, best ways to present issues, frame questions and provide some answers.
Short presentation by Ignasi Labatisda on Open Education Resources repositories, an experience with libraries in Catalonia
Comments by participant librarians

Session 5: Open Access
Moderator: Michael Carroll

Open discussion on Open Access and librarians goals, issues and policy options
Presentation by Leslie Chan of OASIS project (Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook), sharing of resources between the course sub-module on Open Access and OASIS section on Copyright
Case study n°1: Open collections policy, building an institutional repository
How to find Open Access resources: Short presentation by Moustapha Diack of the GOAL Community project (Global Open Access Community)
Comments by librarians participants

Session 6: The Future of the Course, an Open Education Resource
Moderator: Peter Jaszi

Open discussion on the sustainability of the project and the course possible developments: community-building, advocacy, libraries and public interest, comparative legal knowledge
Contribution by all participants

Session 7: Wrap-up
Concluding thoughts
Next steps: Finalizing the course development, discussing best practices for implementation, and beyond.

eIFL IP conference in Istanbul

March 28th, 2008

The project development and implementation will be presented and discussed with eIFL IP librarians in Istanbul on April 4th. The full program of the first eIFL IP conference available here includes presentations on copyright issues for librarians (exceptions and limitations for libraries, related rights, fair practice, licensing, digitisation, collecting societies), international policy developments and legislative advocacy.

Harvard FAS goes Open Access

February 13th, 2008

Yesterday, Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) unanimously voted a motion on open access policy. FAS Faculty members now grant to the university a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to distribute their scholarly articles, provided it is for non commercial uses. An opt-out mechanism allow Faculty members to waive this mandatory assignment upon request for some articles, for instance in the case of incompatible rights assignment to a publisher.

Faculty members will retain copyright in their articles, and provide an electronic version to the University together with a license to make them available in an open access repository.

Faculty members are writing, reviewing, editing scientific articles and sometimes have to assign all their rights to commercial publishers, making impossible for them for instance to reuse their own work in their course materials, or archive their article in an institutional repository. Libraries are purchasing back access to their faculty members’ scholarly work through journals subscriptions.

This mandated permission to the university contrasts with other approaches to open access, such as:
– self-archiving mandate, or obligation for authors to deposit their articles in open access repositories (research funded by NIH in the US, European Research Council, Wellcome Trust deposit mandate in the UK)
– negotiation by individual authors, without the bargaining power of an institution, to retain some of their rights to reuse and archive pre-print and/or post-print, immediatly or after an embargo period, through copyright addendum to be attached to publisher’s copyright agreement, such as those proposed by Science Commons Scholar’s Copyright Addendum Engine, developed with SPARC and MIT,
– publication in open access journals, where authors’ institutions often have to pay to be published (up to 3000$ per article), instead of the library having to pay a subscription to access to published articles.

It will be interesting to compare the differents policies results. As Michael Carroll explains, “this license empowers the librarians to seed and to manage the institutional repository in a much more robust way. The license applies going forward so that at the moment a faculty member finishes the first draft of an article, the university has a license. Any subsequent transfer of copyright to a publisher is subject to this license unless the faculty member requests that the university waive the license with respect to that particular article.”

For more information on the open access movement, see Peter Suber’s blog. Sherpa Romeo provide a repository of journals copyright transfer agreements and self-archiving policies. More than 50% of pay-journal policies allow their authors to archive their articles in open access repositories. The Budapest Open Access Initiative provided the first definition of open access to scientific literature.

Congratulations to Berkman Faculty Stuart Shieber and all those who were involved in the process! According to Professor Stuart Shieber, “This is a large and very important step for scholars throughout the country. It should be a very powerful message to the academic community that we want and should have more control over how our work is used and disseminated”.

Connexions launches lensing website with IEEE-SPS

February 4th, 2008

ConnexionsIEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) lensing website proposes to IEEE-SPS authors to submit their Connexions modules for lensing, and to IEEE-SPS content reviewers to submit their lensing reports. Lensing features new ways for materials peer-review and endorsement.

Cape Town Open Education Declaration

January 23rd, 2008

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration launched by the Open Society Institute (OSI) and the Shuttleworth Foundation seeks to unlock “the promise of open educational resources” by encouraging educators and learners, authors and publishers, governments and schools to support the movement. The declaration can be read here and signed here.

Questionnaire in Ukrainian

December 20th, 2007

The questionnaire to identify librarians copyright issues has been submitted to librarians participating to a seminar on “Copyright in the digital age: Legal and organizational issues for creating open access resources” organized on December 18th by International Renaissance Foundation and the NGO “Information-Consortium” at the Scientific library of National Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.