Meeting of November 13, 1996

Attendees: A. Giral, J. Klavans, C. Mandel, D. Millman, R. Pastor, J. Rosedale, E. Sloan, M. Summerfield, K. Taipale, N. Wacholder

The meeting covered four key topics:

Kim Taipale may request funding from the NSF for a survey of IP attitudes in academia; faculty and student understanding of IP law would be explored.

2. Judith Klavans reported on the NSF-funded Workshop on Technologies for Terms and Conditions. (Copies of her summary slides are attached.) Action Items: Suggested Focal Points indicates areas with research funding potential. Columbia researchers, including Judith Klavans and David Millman, will discuss various opportunities with funding agencies in the months ahead.

3. Jeff Rosedale, Head, Access & Technical Support, at Lehman Library has been involved in the debate about electronic reserves for several years. Briefly, he described the issues (his handouts are attached). He will come to another Committee meeting to discuss the problems in greater depth. The debate about electronic reserves revolves around technology, costs, user benefits, and intellectual property. What is fair use and when are permissions required? The CONFU discussions have halted without resolution of these issues. Most institutions have started electronic reserves with a focus on materials not covered by copyright, e.g., old exams, syllabi, lecture notes. However, some have gone forward with copyrighted materials by seeking permissions and others by treating them as governed by fair use. Jeff noted that some instructors at Columbia have created the equivalent of electronic reserves on their home pages.

4. Carol Mandel brought two related issues to the Committee.

(1) How far does the Committee want to go in supporting electronic materials projects and devoting time and effort to getting permissions? The CC Reader is a key work in the College curriculum. Many if not most of the works included are covered by copyright, so permission would be needed before they could be put online. Part of the value in this project would be in determining the ease/difficulty of obtaining those permissions and the costs that would be incurred. The CC faculty has traditionally changed the contents of the Reader by about 30% a year. Is this level so high that it would make this effort unfeasible? Students would likely still want print copies of the materials assigned in their classes; what is the most sensible means of providing them? Would a commercial publisher still be interested in this custom printing order if we had the materials online?

(2) Columbia has been acquiring and putting up texts that are out of copyright in the United States. Publishers in other countries have protested that these texts remained in copyright in their territories and that the copyright was being infringed by our online version which can be accessed anywhere. What should Columbia do in such situations? Action Items: The Libraries will continue discussions with the CC faculty about the potential for an online CC Reader. This effort might fall under the Online Books Evaluation Project.. The next committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 23rd, from 10:30-Noon in Room 522 Butler Library. The agenda for the meeting will be distributed by email earlier that week.

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