Copyright Management by Design
Rights management can be a convoluted aspect of comprehensive collection management that all cultural institutions must consider. From activities and projects to strategy and advocacy, implementing and maintaining proper copyright policies within your organization is mandatory. With information resources and best practices coming from a plethora of sources, consolidating this information into usable documentation can be difficult. Copyright law is also continuously evolving with new precedents and case studies emerging and challenging previous norms. Those who work with copyright on a regular basis have go-to resources such as fair use checklists, Hirtle’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain chart, U.S. Code: Title 17, etc. Newly published, The Copyright Management Guidelines for Cultural Heritage Institutions will be the next addition to this list of ready reference materials. From Europeana’s Copyright Committee, this guide shares streamlined and easy-to-use best practices for copyright management in cultural institutions. Both the concise writing and the infographic-like execution of the document are designed to take the guesswork out of copyright management. Practitioners can utilize the step-by-step guide in whole or in part, selecting the advice they require. However, utilizing all the goals and phases of this document will enable you to reach the ultimate goal of “[Harmonising] all approaches to copyright across your organisation.” These guidelines are designed to enable practitioners to visualize and conceptualize the copyright management process holistically. Having a proper foundation in place will enable the expansion of an organization's copyright program into a mature set of policies and practices, allowing for the integration of copyright into all relevant aspects of collection management.
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