(24 Aug 2022) The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) launched KnowYourCopyrights.org, a revamped resource to support library leaders, practitioners, and advocates in proactively asserting library rights in the digital era. Libraries, as well as the research, teaching, and learning activities that they support, enjoy special rights in US law, starting with the constitutional purpose of copyright: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. Core to these rights is fair use, a flexible doctrine that allows the use of copyrighted works without permission from the rightsholder under certain circumstances. In the current era of digital teaching, lending, and loaning, research libraries may rely on fair use to continue to exercise these fundamental rights.
In a previous iteration, ARL created KnowYourCopyrights.org as an author-facing resource to educate scholars about the importance of retaining rights to their works in order to better enable them, along with research institutions and libraries, to provide equitable access to increasingly expensive and paywalled research. In its current refresh, the website invites a broader audience to consider how the rights afforded to libraries under the US Copyright Act can be asserted to advance equitable digital access to information.
The new website also hosts a series of new papers taking an in-depth look at questions of digital rights that have not been settled by courts:
- Copyrights and Contracts: Issues and Strategies is a discussion draft delineating problems that research libraries face when contract terms prohibit or limit these rights, and proposing a series of advocacy strategies.
- Controlled Digital Lending describes how research libraries’ may rely on the fair use analysis laid out in the controlled digital lending white paper.
- Copyright and Streaming Media in the US Context is a forthcoming issue brief authored jointly with Ithaka S+R on policy considerations and advocacy opportunities around using streaming content in teaching, learning, and research.
Read more about the site here.