No deed of gift question
- July 16, 2008 @ 11:21amtiffanyinnyc says:I am an archivist at a small college. I am working on establishing the college's archives. During this process I opened a box of a person who used to be a "Advisory Board Member" at the college. She is no longer living. According to the past president he believes her daughter gave the college her papers. I tried to get the current president to confirm this or check the records. She called the college's attorneys and they said they could not forsee any problems by archiving the papers. My boss says to just let it go and keep the email from the president in case something happens later. I have great qualms about this. My understand is that researchers would who want to use this collection could use it, but could not reproduce anything from the collection since we do not know who owns the copyright. My question is should I allow researchers to use it or not? Should ignore the president and my boss and try to find the heir? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
- July 17, 2008 @ 12:20pmJanetCroft says:Depends what you mean by scholars "reproducing" items from the collection. Under fair use, they should be able to quote from these items in reasonable amounts for scholarly purposes, even if the copyright status is in question. And they should be permitted to make photocopies for their own scholarly reference. Section 107 specifically states that unpublished works can be used under the four factors of fair use. For larger-scale reproduction, though, like reproducing a whole manuscript page in a book, you would need a very clear indication of their copyright status.
- July 17, 2008 @ 1:39pmwilliamsonl says:I think you would only run into a problem if the library (or a researcher, I guess) wanted to publish the papers. We have many items like this in our collection and they are used frequently by researchers. We also now try to have a written agreement either transferring copyright or use a Creative Commons license.
- July 21, 2008 @ 7:14amtiffanyinnyc says:Thank you both for your advice. I think the best thing to do is to let researchers use it but clearly state that we do not hold the copyright. If I had been around when this transferred occurred, you can be assured I would have pressed for copyright, but alas I was not born yet!
- July 21, 2008 @ 7:16amtiffanyinnyc says:Thank you both for your advice. I think the best thing to do is to let researchers use it but clearly state that we do not hold the copyright. If I had been around when this transferred occurred, you can be assured I would have pressed for copyright, but alas I was not born yet!
- August 27, 2008 @ 2:23pmldausch says:If a copyright owner decides to let our library scan a photo for our digital library on the Internet, it is sufficient for the owner to just write a statement and email/fax it to the library or should this be some sort of legal document?
Posting to the forum is only available to users who are logged in.