ARCHIVED: Applying Copyright Law in Libraries

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Register for this AALL Professional Development workshop to explore copyright issues that affect librarians by analyzing the respective rights of owners and users of copyrighted works.

Discussion topics include the difference between copying in for-profit libraries and copying in non-profit libraries, educational uses of copyrighted works, library document delivery services, audiovisual and digital materials, foreign works and licensing, developing policies and monitoring compliance.

Participants will also review and discuss the history and development of federal copyright law, applicable provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976 and subsequent legislation (notably the Digital Millennium Copyright Act), interpretive court decisions, and congressional and other guidelines.

Workshop is highly interactive and attendees are given fifty questions based on real-life scenarios to test their knowledge and round out the program.

Participants will be able to:

  • Explain the historical basis of copyright law and the purpose of copyright protection
  • List and explain the rights of copyright owners as provided by the Copyright Act and interpretative case law
  • Explain the level of copyright protection for works created by foreign nationals or in foreign countries pursuant to international conventions to which the US is a party
  • Explain the provisions of the Copyright Act that gives rights to users of copyrighted works, particularly: the fair use section, the library exemption, and the public performance exemption
  • Interpret congressional and other guidelines on the use of copyrighted works
  • Explain how copyright law affects the use of audiovisual and digital works
  • Draft and interpret licensing agreements so as to preserve user rights
  • Explain how copyright law impacts fee-based document delivery services
  • Monitor and explain recent developments in copyright law, such as DCMA and other legislative initiatives and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act
  • Develop copyright policies for their organization.

This program addresses the AALL Core Competencies.  The complete AALL Statement of Competencies can be found at

Who Should Attend the Program?

Law librarians, non-law librarians, and others interested in learning the issues of copyright law and the effect of copyright on their daily job.


James S. Heller is the Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at the College of William & Mary, Marshall-Wythe Law Library in Williamsburg, Virginia. Heller received his BA from the University of Michigan, JD from the University of San Diego and his MLS from the University of California, Berkeley. He has previously worked at the University of Idaho, the US Department of Justice and George Washington University. Heller is a past-president of AALL and currently chairs the association's Copyright Committee.

If you are interested in scheduling this program, please fill out and submit a scheduling form.


Thursday, February 21, 2002 -Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson & Hand - Washington, DC


To register for the February 21, 2002 in Washington, DC click here.

This professional development opportunity is brought to you by the American Association of Law Libraries. For additional information, please contact Mary Jawgiel, AALL Education Manager, at 312-939-4764.

AALL recognizes major support from BNA, Inc. for the Professional Development Program.