Copyright Law for Archivists: A Risk Assessment Approach

Certificate Eligibility: 
10 ARC, 1.5 CEU
2 days
Max Attendees: 

When is it safe to take a risk? When it comes to copyright, that is a hard question to answer. There is no doubt that copyright rules can sometimes be onerous for archivists. What does one do when even a moderate adherence to the provisions of copyright law seems to inhibit such basic archival work as preservation, reference service, and digitization for external access? Is it worth taking the risk that your decision might land your repository in court? Will your institution back you up if that happens?


This two-day workshop combines a detailed look at copyright basics with a risk-management approach for archivists to use in assessing their own collections and institutional circumstances. He will show where there can be room to maneuver by explaining the law’s sometimes complex facets, and he will help archivists learn how to determine whether there are existing exceptions and limitations they can use. The ultimate goal is to enable archivists to fulfill their fundamental purpose—achieving as wide a use as possible of their collections.

Learning Outcomes: 
Recognize the complex issues relating to authors’, owners’, and users’ rights in intellectual property
Obtain grounding in the historical rationale for copyright law, including major legislative and judicial developments
Discover the relevance of U.S. federal law to archives and manuscript collections
Examine the current law
Determine the sequence of decision-making steps needed to manage copyright issues
Who Should Attend: 

Archivists and other professionals who have copyright concerns; participants are invited to submit specific questions related to copyright up to two weeks prior to the workshop start date

What You Should Already Know: 

Solid command of the English language, especially the ability to read and understand complex text, reference service methodology, and acquisition practices

"I learned so many things in this workshop! All my questions were answered very well. I feel I am returning to work with so much more knowledge." — Miranda Burton
"Excellent workshop! He does a wonderful job of clarifying a complex topic and making it a pleasant learning experience. Very positive approach and excellent presentation style. I feel much more able to address copyright issues as a result of this workshop." — Lisa Thompson
"This sounds like a late night infomercial but really—I never thought copyright law could be interesting! Complex, frustrating, scary, yes, but so well presented and explained in this class. I've sat through numerous workshops and webinars on the topic, but this is the first time I've felt like I understand well enough to make a difference in my work."
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