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The AALL Spectrum® Blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.
7/16/2014 4:15:33 PM

AALL Session Review: G2: Emerging Issues in Copyright


D.R. Jones, University of Memphis

Meg Kribble, Harvard University Law

Kevin Miles, Fulbright and Jaworski

This seems to have been an extraordinarily busy year for copyright legislation, news, and court cases.  The goal of this session was to catch attendees up on the most recent development and how these various changes will impact law libraries.

After introductions from D.R., Meg reviewed some noteworthy happenings in the courtroom and in the publisher's office.  First, Aspen attempted to introduce a 'connected casebook' that students could not sell or give away, which challenged the Right of First Sale.  After a good amount of uproar from law faculty, students and librarians, Aspen backed off to an extent, now offering traditional books and the "Connected" ones...though the introduction suggests that libraries may have to be more vigilant when it comes to education and advocacy about open casebooks and the protection of first sale.

Two court cases with decisions that strongly favored Fair Use (and therefore libraries) were the Google Books and Hathi Trust cases.  Both cases leaned on transformative use to help defend the digitization of the content, with the opinion from the Google Books case being especially pro-library.  However, Google controlling patron and information privacy certainly sits uneasily with many librarians.

D.R. then discussed the pretty well-known E-reserves copyright case involving Georgia State. The key to this decision coming down pro-fair use was in part due to written policies that ensure libraries are using proprietary works in an educational and limited way, and limiting access to students, not laying out content freely on the web. 

Fair Use also found some unlikely advocates in the form of Westlaw and Lexis when lawyers sued the databases due to the inclusion of patent filings...but once again there was no commercial impact and transformative use played a large role in the judge's decision to rule in favor of Fair Use. One important distinction was made by the judge in that copying is most certainly not a substitute for subscriptions, something I think librarians with even the most liberal view of Fair Use can agree with.

Finally, Kevin presented a brief rundown of the various legislative efforts involving copyright, as well as roundtables and hearings.  To me, the most interesting proposed legislation involved offering royalties to senior copyright owners, meaning royalties for any works produced before 1972.  This bill is not a law, and is only one of a number of roundtables, hearing and legislation that has come up in the past two years.

Most importantly, the presenters provided plenty of sources for current awareness of copyright.  With many of the court cases up for appeal, the ground can still shift under librarians, perhaps weakening Fair Use and it's currently surprisingly strong position.  These sources can be found on AALL2 go under topic G2.  You can also watch the session (it was live-casted).  With so much change and so much potentially at stake, I hope you check out these great resources.

Posted By Kristopher Turner at 7/16/2014 4:15:33 PM  0 Comments
7/15/2014 3:03:23 PM

AALL Session Review: F3 Making a MOOC: Instruction Beyond Boundaries

Kyle Courtney; Harvard Law Library
Loren Turner; University of Florida College of Law
Jennifer Wondracek; University of Florida College of Law (she was sick and unable to present, but contributed to the presentation)

MOOCs (Massive open online courses) are not a thing of the future or the next big thing, but are in fact happening now. This very interesting and helpful session walked us through MOOCs and the challenges that librarians face when helping create MOOCs.

Kyle spoke first about copyright and IP concerns when it comes to creating a MOOC. These large online classes present new challenges such as the challenges to fair use in a large online class. Fair Use does not quite cover 3rd party materials like it would in a traditional classroom. Syllabus readings may not be available, and ephemeral and aesthetic resources (background art and music, film clips for entertainment) are more likely to be challenged under Copyright Law. Kyle spoke at length about how he and his team of "Copyright First Responders" deal with MOOCs at Harvard. They work to gain permission from publishers to use chapters (permission is often not forthcoming) and look for open access alternatives or another article that would be on-point for the topic. Fair Use continues to play a large role in the use of materials, but this new territory means that more oversight from librarians is required. One thing that Kyle said that I really enjoyed was that "librarians are managers of legal risk when it comes to copyright", which I think is an ideal way to empower libraries and their roles in academia moving forward.

Loren then walked us through the process of actually creating a MOOC. At the beginning of the entire session, we watched two promotional videos for MOOCs that Harvard and Florida had created. The branding of the MOOCs and the obvious inclusion of librarians in their production suggested that MOOCs can be used to generate interest and use for libraries and for law schools in general. Loren had a 9 step process that she very helpfully and thoroughly went through:

1. Check university policy for MOOC creation and select the MOOC provider you want to work with.
2 Assemble committed and interested faculty. Loren emphasized the 'committed' aspect of this step.
3. Agree on course objectives and goals.
4. Create the videos, research assignments and syllabi. This step is the most involved and also provided insight to how Coursera (the MOOC company Florida worked with) creates their videos. Loren explained how there is a Coursera studio at Florida with a Green Screen and Teleprompter that makes the videos more professional.
5. Determine the Course Certificates and Satisfaction goals. Coursera, as a for-profit company, offers a level called 'signature track' for certain classes that lends more respectability to the certificate for a cost to the student.
6. Launch the Course.
7. Watch the Discussion Forums. Florida's MOOC had 72 pages (!!!) of discussion topics, so hiring student assistants to monitor and track these boards was crucial. They would forward pertinent questions to the professors.
8. Solicit student feedback. Florida's feedback was largely positive.
9. Archive the course.

Access to the resources for students across the globe has proven tricky, as economic sanctions on countries such as Iran mean Coursera must seek special permission to 'send information or services' to that country.

Kyle wrapped up by talking about how there is plenty of space for librarians of all stripes in MOOCs, whether in front or behind the camera. Law librarians are in an especially unique place, since much of the primary content is public domain, making the law MOOCS potentially easier to create and avoid some of the Copyright pitfalls.

MOOCs are an exciting and interesting recent phenomenon that show no sign of going away. I plan on taking a MOOC this summer, and would encourage others to try it out as well. While MOOCs may never replace a traditional course, they can serve as great ways to market your library or school, educate users you wouldn't normally reach, or simply create something original. I'm looking forward to trying out my MOOC, and this session certainly gave me plenty of food for thought. 

Posted By Kristopher Turner at 7/15/2014 3:03:23 PM  0 Comments
7/15/2014 10:09:46 AM

AALL Session Review: Click and Go: Ensuring Smooth Access to Online Resources

Suzanne Graham, University of Georgia
Julie Horst: Ninth Circuit Library
Keiko Okuhara, University of Hawaii

Link Rot is a relatively new and pretty disturbing problem that we as law librarians are facing.  Studies have shown that the Harvard Law Review has over 70% of it's non-proprietary citing links rotted away (not working) and the Supreme Court Legal Decisions have 50% of it's non-proprietary links going nowhere.  Suzanne Graham started the session with these stats and a great image of the 'million dollar website' that, where one dollar bought one pixel...and now about 22 percent are dead!  

One other important distinction that was made was between Link Rot and Reference Rot.  Link Rot means the page no longer exists, but Reference Rot is slightly more devious, with the page still existing but with different, non-cited content.  Librarians must be aware of these problems and how to solve them.

Julie Horst did a quick review of how HTML coding and error code works and gave links to more error links in the session's handout.  Keiko Okuhara then reviewed several add-ons that librarians can use for free to check links on their webpages and in their catalog.  In Keiko's case, she uses Xenu, which can be built to work directly with Voyager.  Keiko also also discussed add-ons for Firefox with a program called Linkchecker. All these programs and resources can be found on the session's handout.

Suzanne then covered more webpage link-checkers, including one that works with the Sierra ILS.  W3C, the web consortium has a good 'base-line' checker.  WordPress has a free add-on for link-checking, as does Drupal web design.  If you are using these programs with your website, these resources are invaluable. Of course, Libguides, everyone's favorite guide creator, has a built-in link checker that is very intuitive.  I have used the Libguide one before, and it is very helpful and friendly for users.

Finding the right website, the one that is cited, can be difficult. Some resources that can be used are the Wayback Machine and Memento.  Both programs catch websites at a moment in time, and can be extremely useful if a citation says 'accessed on a particular day'.  However, you do have to be lucky with those days!  It isn't a perfect solution, but a useful tool to have in your arsenal.

Julie then reviewed how the 9th Circuit Library approached the Link Rot problem.  Julie would receive updates about which websites are being cited, and capture the page and create a watermarked PDF of that page and then add it to the library's website.  A great way to keep track of cited sites.

Suzanne wrapped up the session by discussing some solutions to Link Rot, including Perma.CC, a collection of academic libraries (of which the University of Wisconsin is one), where permanent links are created to preserve cites.  One alternative to Perma.CC is Archive-it, where you can 'force' the Wayback Machine to capture your site before it is changed.  That isn't a perfect solution, but is an option to help preserve a page before it is lost or fundamentally changed. 
This was a great session that was very informative.  I highly suggest that if you work with Law Reviews or with citations or websites you check out the handout for the session (under C4: Click and Go), or at least contact Perma.CC to see if your institution can get involved.

Posted By Kristopher Turner at 7/15/2014 10:09:46 AM  0 Comments