Intellectual Property Working Group

The Working Group on Intellectual Property was created as a working group of the Council in May 2001. Intellectual property issues are complex and require a special expertise. They often require a very quick response, such as when SAA is asked to join litigation or respond to draft legislation. The Working Group's purpose is to make sure that timely expertise is readily available to the Council. The Working Group responds to requests for assistance from the Council, tracks intellectual property issues of concern to archivists, and drafts for Council approval responses or position papers as needed.

Working Group Size, Selection and Length of Term:

There is no fixed size to the Working Group. In response to requests from the Working Group, the Council adjusts membership according to the availability of expertise and the anticipated workload of the group. The Vice President, on behalf of the Council and with the recommendation of the Working Group, makes new appointments. There is no prohibition against a member of the Council serving on the Working Group.

In recognition that the type of expertise needed on the Working Group is in short supply in the Society, there is no set length of term for participation; members serve at the pleasure of the Council.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Working Group has the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Respond in a timely fashion to requests from the Council for background information and recommendations on matters relating to intellectual property.
  • In order to be able to respond in a knowledgeable manner, track intellectual property issues that could be of concern to archivists.
  • Prepare drafts for Council approval of possible position papers, statements, and other documents relating to intellectual property.
  • Contribute to the further education of SAA members and staff in intellectual property matters.
  • Bring to the attention of the Council possible areas of fruitful collaboration with other organizations that are interested in intellectual property and, under Council direction or with its approval, cooperate with such organizations in furthering SAA's interests.


The Working Group works closely with its Council Liaison and the Executive Director in order to ensure that it is responsive to the needs of the Council. In certain cases, when time is of the essence, the Working Group communicates directly with the Executive Committee.

Adopted by the SAA Executive Committee: September 29, 2006