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Becoming the Copyright Specialist in Your Library eCourse
Lesley Ellen Harris
Item Number: 1541-9051
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $175.00
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This eCourse is now closed. We plan on offering the eCourse again soon. If you’d like to an email alert when we schedule the next session, please complete this form.

Asynchronous eCourse beginning August 22, 2016 and continuing for 4 weeks
An ALA Editions eCourse facilitated by Lesley Ellen Harris

Please note: Your purchase at the ALA Store is only Step 1 of a 2-Step Registration process!

Upon purchase you will receive a registration PDF in the form of a digital download. This PDF contains a link to our Registration page and a password. You must download this PDF and follow the instructions in order to complete the registration. The download link can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account History. Confirmation with login instructions, reminders, and alerts will go to the email address used in the registration.

This eCourse is licensed for a single user. For pricing on bulk purchases in excess of $1,000, please contact us for more information.

Estimated Hours of Learning: 24

Learning Outcomes
After participating in this eCourse, you will be able to:
  • Understand what being the go-to copyright specialist means in your institution
  • Evaluate the copyright issues in your institution
  • Set priorities for your library when it comes to copyright and licensing issues
  • Identify helpful resources on copyright law and licensing

Lesley Ellen Harris will help you become the copyright specialist at your institution. Educators, librarians, archivists, and other information professionals are often required to understand international copyright treaties and foreign copyright laws as well as the copyright laws in their own country—at least on a practical level. In this course, Harris will provide you with the knowledge you need to complete daily activities within the confines of copyright law.

The role of the librarian as all-purpose copyright specialist is becoming increasingly important, and in this course, you will learn what makes a great one. You will also examine and evaluate the opportunities and challenges of being the go-to copyright specialist.

eCourse Outline

WHY the (sudden) interest in copyright?
Has there been an actual 'incident' breach/infringement?
Is it (just) heightened concern for protecting the institution?
  • Due to media coverage of court cases
  • Understanding high profile cases like the Google Book Project
  • Someone in administration attended a conference/webinar and heard about 'risks'
  • Concern about protecting the original creative works produced by the institution and perhaps looking for ways to make some money from our own IP or at least profit reputation-wise for producing it?
  • New digital projects (e.g., library digitization project) and confusion about how copyright applies in the digital world
  • the 'buzz' on the street that each individual person/employee could be liable for copyright infringement in their own library or workplace
 is interested in copyright? (And how much do they know about copyright?)
Upper Management
Middle Management
To whom will this position report?
Will people listen to me when it comes to copyright? How do I get enterprise-wide support for being that copyright specialist?

 does being the 'Go-To Copyright Specialist' mean?
What are the responsibilities/expectations?
What are the copyright issues in the institution?
What type of institution? (Nonprofit educational, public/private, for profit educational, commercial, domestic or international, etc.)
  • Implement existing policies - or
  • Create a copyright policy - or
  • Establish 'Best Practices' - or
  • Create a Risk Management policy (determine level of comfort with 'risk')
  • Educate staff
  • Negotiate/educate/enforce license terms? (minimally: Access to license terms)
  • Seek 'permissions' (Is there a budget?)
  • Do 'Fair Use' analyses on behalf of the institution
  • DMCA contact
  • Title/Authority/Support
  • Impact on existing duties/responsibilities (schedule/salary?)
 resources/budget are available?
Training (books, newsletters, media, etc., workshops/conferences)
'Permissions' (if part of the job)
Additional staff/consultant
Administrative support
Committee members
Other staff in the institution: IP attorney, contract attorney, DMCA contact, other?

How this eCourse Works

The eCourse begins on August 22, 2016. Your participation will require approximately six hours a week, at times that fit your schedule. All activities take place on the website, and you will be expected to
  • Read, listen to or view online content
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete weekly assignments or activities
Instructor Lesley Ellen Harris will monitor discussion boards regularly during the four-week period, lead group discussions, and will also answer individual questions. All interaction will take place on the eCourse site, which will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's recommended that students log into the site on the first day of class or within a few days for an overview of the content and to begin the first lesson.

User Requirements

Participants will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message boards participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (mp3 files), and downloading and viewing PDFs and PowerPoint files. ALA Editions eCourses are fully compatible with Windows and MacOs.

At Your Service

Accommodations are offered based on user needs. For transcription or other accessibility requests, please contact us at

About the Instructor

Lesley Ellen Harris is a copyright, licensing, and digital property lawyer who consults on legal, business, policy, and strategic issues in the publishing, entertainment, Internet, and information industries. She frequently works with libraries, archives, museums, and educational institutions. She teaches in-person and online courses on copyright and licensing through in conjunction with national and regional associations in Canada and the United States. Harris is the author of numerous articles and several books including Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians (2nd ed., 2009). Since 1997, she has been the editor of The Copyright and New Media Law Newsletter. She maintains the website and the blog Copyright Questions & Answers.

  Also of interest:  
Copyright for Academic Librarians and Professionals
Item Number:  978-0-8389-1214-0
This practical handbook will show students training to become college and university librarians how to make informed decisions regarding the use and availability of print, non-print, and online resources.
Price: $82.00
The No-Nonsense Guide to Copyright in All Media
Item Number:  978-1-85604-764-7
Providing a happy medium between a "fingers crossed" approach and a "copyright police" stance, both of which can stymie creativity and undermine your organization, this handbook explores the principles of copyright.
Price: $115.00
Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians, Second Edition
Item Number:  978-0-8389-0992-8
The revised second edition of this popular one-stop resource covers the basics of digital licensing for librarians in a plain-language approach that demystifies the process.
Price: $59.00