Survey of US Higher Education Faculty 2023, Need for & Use of Information About Copyright

“This report looks closely at the extent and kind of information about copyright practices needed by faculty at US colleges and universities.  The report helps its readers to answer questions such as:  how much do faculty need information about copyright? How much have they used and benefited from information about copyright provided by academic libraries?  What policies in this area do faculty want libraries to follow?  How satisfied are they with current policies? What are the demographic characteristics of faculty who have consulted attorneys about copyright issues? Which faculty go to librarians and which rely on peers for copyright advice?  Which copyright issues most concern faculty? Are they more inclined to query about copyright issues related to open access? Or to issues related to making material available in their classes? The study presents specific data for faculty interest in a broad range of copyright issues, including but not limited to open access, copyright for data, issues with commercial article sharing platforms, negotiation of author contracts, use of audio-visual materials, copyright issues in citation and much more.

This study is based on data from a survey of 806 higher education faculty randomly chosen from nearly 500 colleges and universities in the USA. Data is broken out by personal variables such as work title, gender, personal income level, academic discipline, age and other variables, as well as institutional indicators such as college or university type or Carnegie class, enrollment size, public or private status and others. Readers can compare the copyright needs and practices of faculty in medicine to those in the social sciences, for example, or to business faculty. Also, copyright information consumption of associate professors can be compared to that  for full professors, or copyright consultation practices of men to that for women, etc. etc.

Just a few of this 118-page report’s many findings are that:

Broken out by work title, associate professors had the strongest need for information about copyright.
26.4% of full professors sampled had ever consulted a lawyer over a copyright issue.
Broken out by type of college, dissatisfaction with the services to advise or inform about copyright practices was highest at specialized colleges, such as seminaries, theater schools and other similar institutions.
34.12% of survey participants felt that they had a need for copyright advice about making their research available in repositories or other open access venues.”

AI, Instructional Design, and OER – improving learning

“In other words, as far as the US Copyright Office is concerned, output from programs like ChatGPT or Stable Diffusion are not eligible for copyright protection. Now, that could change if Congress gets involved (are they actually capable of doing anything?), or if the Supreme Court turned its collective back on decades of precedent (which, admittedly, has been happening recently). But unless something rather dramatic happens along these lines, the outputs of generative AI programs will continue to pass immediately into the public domain. Consequently, they will be open educational resources under the common definition….

Generative AI tools could have an incredible impact on the breadth and diversity of OER that exist, since they will dramatically decrease the cost and time necessary to create the informational resources that underlie these learning materials. Current funding for the creation of OER (when it’s available at all) typically focuses on the courses enrolling the largest number of students. This makes sense when your theory of philanthropy is that the money you spend should benefit the most people possible. But that theory of philanthropy also means that the “long tail” of courses that each enroll relatively few students are unlikely to ever receive funding. LLMs will radically alter the economics of creating OER, and should make it possible for OER to come to these courses as well. (And while LLMs will have a significant impact on the economics of creating OER, they may not have as dramatic an impact on the sustainability, maintenance, and upkeep of OER over time.)…”

Blow Away the January Blues! 10 Takeaways from four European Commission Studies on Research and Copyright – Knowledge Rights 21

“A first step in the delivery of this part of the Commission’s work is a series of four expert reports, published at the beginning of August of last year. They collectively provide an excellent overview of how things stand now, not just as concerns the laws on the statute book, but also the way that laws are made.

In particular, they address EU copyright and access to data (by Martin Senftleben), and access to and reuse of scientific publications (Christina Angelopoulos), as well as the impacts of the Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act on research (Björn Lundqvist) and on the Open Data Directive, Data Governance Directive and Data Act (Mireille van Eechoud).

While summer may seem a long way away (at least in Europe), we encourage you to add them to your reading list for the new year. In this blog, we highlight some of the key points they raise: …”

N8 Research Partnership – Statement on Rights Retention

“The N8 Research Partnership represents the research-intensive universities of the North of England. 12% of all UK academics work at N8 universities as well as almost 200,000 students. The N8 is one of the strongest regional academic consortia in the UK and believes the time is now right to make a coordinated statement on the rights held by our academics over their research….

. In order to achieve this third route to open access researchers need to be able to apply a CC BY licence and place their accepted manuscript in an institutional or other preferred repository. This must now be done without embargo granted to any publisher….”

N8 Research Partnership stands up for researchers with new Rights Retention statement – N8 Research Partnership

“The N8 – which represents 12% of all UK academics and 200,000 students – has released a statement outlining its new stance on the importance of researchers being able to obtain their original rights when their work is published in a journal. The statement was launched at an event held at the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library, with speakers including the N8’s new chair Professor Charlie Jeffrey and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester. 

In April 2022, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) made it mandatory for all research published in journals to be made immediately available via Open Access or transformative Gold journals’ APC charges or through journals released on a transitional Read & Publish deal without APC charges. Open access can also be achieved via depositing the author accepted manuscript and making it available without embargo. 

However, in order to achieve this third route to open access researchers need to be able to apply a CC BY license – which allows anyone to make commercial use of the work under the condition of attributing the research in the manner specified by the author or licensor – and place their accepted manuscript in an institutional or other preferred repository. This must now be done without embargo granted to any publisher. 

However, some publishers are no longer compliant with several not accepting that a researcher’s original rights should be retained by them, meaning that publishers may not accept manuscripts where an application has been made for a CC BY license and the researcher has clearly stated that they own their research.  

The N8’s statement – which has been coordinated through the eight universities’ PVCs for Research, Research Offices, Legal Departments and Libraries – reflects the shared conviction of the importance of researchers retaining their rights.  

Each N8 university will have its own position which may supersede the publisher’s requirements, but ultimately if a researcher is able to publish via an APC to a Gold journal or in a journal covered by a Read & Publish deal then researchers do not need to assert their rights.  

However, the N8 statement strongly recommends that researchers do not by default transfer intellectual property rights to publishers and do use a Rights Retention statement as standard practice….”

Open access deal ‘weakens publishers’ position’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Several leading UK universities will ask their academics to deposit their accepted manuscripts in free-to-read domains as part of a new pledge to support open access publication.

Under a new commitment agreed by members of the N8 Research Partnership, whose institutions include the universities of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, researchers will be urged to retain their intellectual property (IP) rights, rather than sign them over to publishers.

By doing so, scholars would be free to post final versions of research articles on institutional repositories, after obtaining a CC BY licence – a move that some publishers will not permit, or only allow after an embargo period, a route to publication known as green open access.

That has led to a stand-off between academics and publishers – with some journals refusing to publish manuscripts where an application for a CC BY licence has been made, whereby the researcher states they own the research….”

For Would-Be Censors and the Thin-Skinned, Copyright Law Offers Powerful Tools

“Yesterday, we wrote about the importance of fair use as a safeguard for free expression. But all too often, fair use and other legal limits on copyright are not enough to stop copyright enforcement from serving as cover for silencing critics.

 Time and again, we see copyright claims getting textbook fair uses erased from the internet, taking particular advantage of the Digital Millenium Copyright’s (DMCA) takedown regime. One culprit, the ironically named No Evil Foods, went after journalists and podcasters who reported on accusations of union-busting, claiming copyright in a union organizer’s recordings of anti-union presentations by management….”

Fair Use Creep Is A Feature, Not a Bug

“Fair use is essential to internet for at least two reasons. First, the vast majority of what we do online, from email to texting to viewing images and making TikToks, involves creating, replicating, and/or repurposing copyrighted works. Since copyright is a limited but lengthy monopoly over those works, in theory, using or even viewing them might require a license; now, and for many decades in the future.

Second, technological innovation rarely means starting from scratch. Instead, developers build on existing technologies, hopefully improving them. But if the technology in question involves code, it is likely copyrightable. If so, that add-on innovation might require a license from the rightsholder, giving them a veto right on technological development.

As digital technologies dramatically (and sometime controversially) expand the reach of copyright, fair use helps ensure that the rights of the public expand as well….

In Hachette v. Internet Archive, four of the biggest publishers in the world, are trying to shut down Controlled Digital Lending, which allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less and only permits patrons to check out as many copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. That means that if the Archive and its partner libraries have only one copy of a book, then only one patron can borrow it at a time….

Fortunately for the public, fair use has likewise grown to protect the original purpose of copyright: to encourage forward progress. And no matter what Hollywood or John Deere tells you, that’s a feature, not a bug.”

As the US Public Domain Expands, 20-Year Pause for the Canadian Public Domain Begins – SPARC

“Festivities are planned on January 19 to recognize Public Domain Day and embrace the possibilities of new works freely available from 1927.

In the United States, the recent declaration of the federal year of Open Science and the White House memo unlocking publicly funded research outputs has buoyed the open community and its outlook on knowledge sharing.

However, the celebration will be muted in Canada where librarians and educators are assessing the impact of a vast expansion of the copyright term. 

Canada’s copyright protection for artistic works was extended as 2022 came to a close from life of the author plus 50 years—to life of the author plus 70 years. The change was the result of international trade negotiations in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), requiring Canada to bring its terms closer to that of the U.S….”

News from Canada on CDL — Readers First

“While Canadian copyright laws differ from those in the United States somewhat, but the description of the uses of CDL and its legal support are similar across borders and welcome to see. ReadersFirst salutes the growing international advocacy for a practice that is fair, based on standard library practice, and valuable for preservation and content sharing, especially of out-of-print materials.”

Research Publications and Copyright Policy | Library | The University of Sheffield

“This guidance is designed to ensure that University of Sheffield staff and PGRs can comply with the Research Publications and Copyright policy. The policy enables authors to control copyright, as set out in the University’s new IP policy, to their own journal articles and conference proceedings papers, apply a CC BY licence to them and make them available via the institutional repository, White Rose Research Online (WRRO) without embargo.

This will help you to comply with external funding requirements for open access as well as supporting our commitment to enabling and promoting research excellence across our community as set out in the University’s Statement of Open Research…”

Harm is caused by extension to copyright term in Canada | The Star

“Call it an interminable pause, the extension to the copyright term. The government owes it to the Canadian public to address the harm caused by this.

What seems like a small change to the Copyright Act will have a disastrous impact on Canadian culture over the next 20 years.

The change, which became law on Dec. 30, 2022, extends the standard length of copyright protection in Canada from 50 years to 70 years after the death of the creator of a work.

 

 

This means that nothing new will enter the public domain, the vast body of materials in which copyright has expired, until 2043….”

It’s Copyright Week 2023: Join Us in the Fight for Better Copyright Law and Policy

“Last year there were a bevy of bad copyright and copyright-related proposals in the U.S. Because thousands of you spoke up, none of them made it into the year-end, must-pass bills in Congress.

But this week isn’t just about stopping bad proposals. It’s about celebrating positive changes for all of us. It’s about right to repair, fair use, and the public domain….”

Aaron Swartz and His Legacy of Internet Activism

“To build this future for our society, we need to adopt the Guerilla Open Access Manifesto to inverse the information asymmetry between citizens and Big Tech-Big Government. This can only happen if we build alternative networks of information infrastructures that support these ideas. These information networks can’t be built overnight, but we need to strive towards them. Sci-Hub and LibGen are some examples of these information infrastructures and not only do we need to support them, we need to build more of them.”