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Exploring the Feasibility of Seeking Copyright Permissions ALA Annual Conference June 16, 2001 Carole A. George, Ed. D. Carnegie Mellon University Libraries


The Copyright Permissions Project was initiated by the University Libraries in July, 1999. The Libraries’ goal was to “become a recognized leader and migrate to a predominantly digital library”. Another issue affecting the Libraries was a serious concern about the lack of space for physical collections. Providing more digital full-text resources addresses both issues, though how best to provide these resources is still uncertain. Many questions are still unanswered. This project examined the feasibility of acquiring copyright permission. Project Description


The goals of the project were to Obtain a realistic estimation of the time it takes Develop an understanding of the complexity of the process Determine the issues related to Acquiring permission for Full-text digitization of copyrighted materials Enabling full-text searching Providing free-to-read access to Internet users Project Goals


Random Sample A random sample was selected from the Libraries’ collection. The eligible materials totaled 337. A record for each title was stored in an electronic database. Each record included: Bibliographic information Copyright holder’s address, phone and fax Dates for request letter and follow-up letter Response details


Random Sample The eligible materials totaled 337 and varied with respect to publication type and publisher type. Copyright Protected – 316 or 94% of the eligible material (337).


Process Overview Create the database Examine the records Distribute the letters Update records. Send Follow-up Send to Scanner No Yes “Yes/No” Reply “Yes/No” Reply No Yes


Copyright Permissions Request Forms A letter with response form in duplicate was sent by postal mail to the holder or holder’s agent to request permission. Original Duplicate


Copyright Permissions Response Form Permission to digitize, OCR, enable full-text searching, provide “free-to-read” Web access to all Internet users, and forward requests for purchase to__________________________________________ Permission to digitize, OCR, enable full text-searching, and provide free Web access ONLY to Carnegie Mellon users. Permission to contact other rights holders to negotiate. Contact name and phone number____________________________ No permission given. In addition to requesting the signature of the holder, the response form offered four possible options.


Contributing Factors Many addresses of holders or holders’ agents were difficult to find. Some were never found. Many were too complicated to pursue. Multiple copyright holders Numerous tables, charts, photos Address Unknown Records that were complicated or had unknown addresses were eliminated. The initial permission request letters were sent to 278 holders or holders’ agents.


Initial Request Letters and Follow-up Letters Initial request letters were sent to 278 holders or holders’ agents. Over 60% (168) required at least one follow-up letter. Responded (Yes or No) to the initial letter. Required a follow-up letter. 40% 60% 278 initial letters 168 follow-up letters


Summary of Responses Initial request letters were sent to 278 holders or holders’ agents. The results were varied and are summarized below. * Percent of initial letters (278) Requests - Summary of Responses


Summary of “Yes/No” Replies Of the 278 holders that were contacted, over 50% responded with a “Yes” or “No” reply. This is a summary of those responses. * Percent of initial letters (278) Permission Requests - Summary of “Yes/No” Replies Initial Request Letters Sent - 278


Response Time Over 60% of initial letters required a follow-up letter. The time between follow-up letters was often six to ten weeks. The average for response time was over three months from the time the initial letter was sent and the time an answer (“Yes/No”) was received. Initial Letter Follow-up Letter The time between the initial letter and the follow-up letter often exceeded four weeks.


“Yes/No” Replies by Publishers Responses to requests varied by type of publisher. This is a summary of the responses of the major categories.


Conclusion Obtaining an answer wasn’t easy, however, receiving permission was even more difficult. Commercial publishers were the most reluctant to share their rights. Though the process might be fairly straight-forward, it can be time-consuming. The process has been defined, the database of publishers has been developed, and procedures have been established. Approximately 22% have resulted in permission to digitize the material. Future projects - tracking the amount of time for each step in the process might provide helpful information related to staffing decisions.


Digital Library Initiatives Exploring the Feasibility of Seeking Copyright Permissions ALA Annual Conference June 16, 2001 In July 1999 the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries began a study to determine the feasibility of acquiring permission to digitize copyrighted material and make it available via the Internet. The goal of the study was to determine a realistic estimation of time, develop an understanding of the complexity of the process, and determine the issues related to acquiring copyright permission. This presentation summarized the preliminary results of the project. Thank you for attending this presentation. If you have any questions, comments, or would like a copy of this PowerPoint presentation please feel free to contact me. Carole George - cgeorge@andrew.cmu.edu Carole A. George, Ed. D. Carnegie Mellon University Libraries cgeorge@andrew.cmu.edu (412) 268-6969

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