I received multiple email forwards this morning about a “New Complimentary Copyright Guide for Libraries and Instructors” from SIPX. A couple of those forwards included a suggestion that I review. So, here’s a review:
This resource is 100% accurate.
It is nicely formatted.
It is also really boring.
The basic information it contains is:
1) You don’t always have to pay, to be in compliance with copyright laws. You may already have the right to use the resource via a license, fair use or fair dealing may apply, or you may need to seek permission and it may involve payment.
2) Works that don’t display a © are not free of copyrights.
3) Works that are freely available online are not free of copyrights.
[4) SIPX has products that may help with workflows related to these issues.]
I sincerely hope that anyone with copyright as a major part of their job duties already knew all of those things. I’m fairly certain most library staff members already knew all of those things. Except 4. 4 is a good thing to know, I guess, if you’re looking for those kinds of products, but it’s not quite as essential as 1-3.
Also worth noting, this resource is only available after you’ve disclosed extensive information about yourself and your institution via a registration form. SIPX thinks that this information might be of value for people to talk about more broadly (it might!), and says they plan to share anonymized versions of the info later on. This information is also probably pretty useful to their marketing efforts. In fact, it is probably slightly more useful for their marketing than for the broader campus/library copyright-related communities.
Considering this as a transaction between you and SIPX, you’re giving information of value about yourself (I’ll concede, potentially of real value to the community, as well as of real value to SIPX), in exchange for something of pretty minimal value, copyright-information-wise. You can draw your own determinations about whether that transaction is one you want to make.