ResearchGate Backs Down

The pushback from publishers is making an impact. ResearchGate had been allowing users to upload and post articles — regardless of whether or not they held the copyright.

Now, ResearchGate has “reportedly started to take down large numbers of research papers shared in breach of copyright.” Continue reading …

[Want more details? See our 10/6/17 blog post.]


ResearchGate & Copyright Compliance

Copyright compliance. It matters.

Petition submitted by prominent American authors and publishers in support of a proposed treaty for international copyright, 1880. The legislation was approved in 1891.

From The Scholarly Kitchen (October 6, 2017):

ResearchGate: Publishers Take Formal Steps to Force Copyright Compliance  by Robert Harrington

“Scholarly collaboration networks (SCNs) are top of mind these days for publishers and academic societies. One such network is ResearchGate. A new alliance of publishers, called the Coalition for Responsible Sharing, is taking steps to address widespread distribution of published articles in violation of copyright.” Continue reading …

Want to know more? Visit the U.S. Copyright Office website.

Image source: BSC Library Britannica ImageQuest database
COPYRIGHT PETITION, 1880. – Petition submitted by prominent American authors and publishers in support of a proposed treaty for international copyright, 1880. The legislation was approved in 1891.. Fine Art. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 6 Oct 2017.



Is it Fair Use? Code of Best Practices from ARL

Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) presents the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (PDF), a clear and easy-to-use statement of fair and reasonable approaches to fair use developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. The Code was developed in partnership with the Center for Social Media and the Washington College of Law at American University.

The Public Domain Review


“All works eventually fall out of copyright – from classic works of art to absentminded doodles – and in doing so they enter the public domain, a vast commons of material that everyone is free to enjoy, share and build upon without restriction.”  

The Public Domain Review was created in 2011 by the Open Knowledge Foundation.  It aims “to help our readers explore this rich terrain – like a small exhibition gallery at the entrance to an immense network of archives and storage rooms that lie beyond.”

The collections are the heart of the site.  You will find images, texts, and audiovisual materials from around the world.

Check it out!

Copyright Week – January 13-17

Copyright Week

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of the many groups and organizations celebrating Copyright Week.  EFF was founded in 1990 and is a donor-funded nonprofit working to confront cutting-edge issues defending free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights.  EFF champions the public interest regarding digital rights.

Copyright Week focuses on these six copyright issues:

  • Transparency
  • Building and defending a robust public domain
  • Open access
  • You bought it, you own it
  • Fair use rights
  • Getting copyright right

Fair Use?

Copyright.jpgFair use is a part of the U.S. copyright law that provides some leeway in reproducing or authorizing others to reproduce a copyrighted work.  Still, deciding what constitutes fair use and what is infringement is not always clear or easily defined.

Here are a couple of interactive tools that can help you decide:

Thinking through Fair Use – Developed by the University Libraries at the University of Minnesota

Fair Use Evaluator – Developed by the Office for Information Technology Policy of the American Library Association



Georgia State Copyright Case

Copyright and fair use issues are complex … Check out this article about a Georgia State University case that was recently decided  (Note: an appeal is possible).

Georgia State Copyright Case: What You Need To Know—and What It Means for E-Reserves

You can learn more about copyright at: