Lesley Ellen Harris is an attorney specializing in copyright and licensing and she has an excellent newsletter and website at copyrightlaws.com I highly recommend. Recently she focused on what she titled “Positions and Job Functions in Copyright & Licensing: The Copyright & New Media Law Newsletter”. The PDF of a special issue on jobs that include licensing and copyright elements can be downloaded from the website. Included is an overview of interviews with several librarians who have copyright and licensing issues as part of their responsibilities.
As noted in the article, the expansion of electronic content licensing demand information professsionals be able to understand and negotiate licenses. Of course, we also need to know when to consult with legal counsel to ensure awareness and (we hope) compliance of coworkers within our institutions.
As a museum librarian I am providing services in a research institution that is similar to an academic environment but also has elements of what is experienced in a corporate scene as well. I see a blend of the need to be copyright compliant and yet also take full advantage of what ‘fair use’ enables. At the same time, it astounds me to witness how so many people really don’t understand where ‘fair use’ begins but also ends. More on that topic in another post!!