Meeting of September 18, 1996

Attendees: B. Abrams, A. Giral, J. Hoover, J. Klavans, R. McClintock, D. Millman, P. Molholt, S. Murray, M. Summerfield, K. Taipale

The first committee meeting of the 1996-97 academic year began with a brief business session to review the progress on the action items set at the last meeting. The balance of the meeting was a presentation by Barbara Hoffman, counsel to the College Art Association and participant in the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU) discussions.

BUSINESS MEETING The meeting covered four key topics:

1. Judith Klavans reminded the group that the Web page for the Committee is up as shown in the last Committee report. The Web page will describe the issues the Committee is discussing, upcoming events and goals. Action Items: Judith Klavans and Mary Summerfield will continue to develop the Web page; they seek input from Committee members.

2. The committee has agreed that we should develop a program for informing the Columbia community about relevant Intellectual Property issues. Kim Taipale has volunteered to begin this program by updating the current ILT Web page on intellectual property. As an Office of New Media project, Kim will work up a section on Intellectual property for the new Faculty Handbook. Ultimately we will seek to create a CU intellectual property document by obtaining input from faculty as well as the Corporate Counsel's office (Beryl Abrams) and committee members.

3. Beryl Abrams reported on the University's suit against Columbia Healthcare which has undertaken a national advertising campaign using the Columbia name in the health care field. This demonstrates the importance of University units taking steps to protect names they are using. This issue lead into a discussion of the commercial use of by departments and individuals. Restrictions should be included in the CU/AcIS Policy.

4. Judith Klavans will be convening an NSF-funded workshop later in September to bring together an interdisciplinary group of experts in libraries, publishing, economics, technology, and policy. The goal of the workshop was to determine common ground on issues, leading towards resolving technology issues in terms or conditions of use of online resources. David Millman is a member of the Steering Committee. David Millman and Judith Klavans will report on the results of the workshop. at the next meeting.


Barbara Hoffman is an Intellectual Property attorney based in New York. As counsel and representative for the College Art Association and various creators, she has a visual images focus in her work. Stephen Murray heard her speak at a CAA meeting last spring and suggested that we might benefit from having her address the Committee.

Ms. Hoffman began by noting that the proposed copyright legislation now in congress is a result of the Gore initiative which led to the Green Paper and that to the White Paper which was taken wholesale into the proposed statute. She believes that Congress will not get around to acting on that legislation during the remainder of this session.

She noted that many groups representing users of intellectual property (e.g., libraries) felt that the Green Paper was skewed to owners' interests, that it propounded a certain view of the law, not necessarily one that had been derived from judicial findings. The restraint on fair use is one such area. CONFU (Conference on Fair Use) brings together representatives of both sides in an effort to update the Classroom Guidelines for various areas of copyright use. Images are included in these discussions; they were discussed inadequately previously. Distance learning, electronic reserves, interlibrary loan, and digital images archives are key discussion areas. CONFU has operated largely via a system of critiquing scenarios for their fair use quality. Ms. Hoffman noted that risk-reward analyses are lacking from this process. She also noted that many of the discussants are not familiar with modern electronic technologies so what they seek may be unrealistic. Instructional Media Services are drafting multimedia guidelines in a separate process. They have a history of licensing uses for images (while art department and library slide archives are generally not licensed). Ms. Hoffman advocated a fairly aggressive stance on the part of holders of art slide archives. She thought that the use of a small number of images from any single book was probably fair use, both in slide form and in conversion to digital form for the Net. She also noted the difficulty of tracing the origins of slides that were accumulated over many years. She fears that restrictive Guidelines which are meant to set a minimum standard for fair use might become the standard and a ceiling rather than a floor. She worried that allowing copyright owners to prohibit use of an image of an art work without permission would stifle criticism. Attached are the most recent drafts from CONFU.

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For more information on the Intellectual Property Committee,
please contact either Mary Summerfield or Judith Klavans
This page is located at Cria/IP/meeting-9-18-96.html
This page was last updated on 6/12/97