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What is a copier?

I had a wonderful conversation yesterday with someone else who does Copyright training. Our conversation wandered and one of the things we touched on was basically, "what is a copier?" You know the answer. There are now many things in a library, museum, archive, or business which can create copies. And if they can create copies, then they should have some sort of copyright warning or education on/near them. 

Before you post copyright notices on everything - copiers, printers, scanners, 3D printers, audio/video duplicators - you may need to educate your colleagues and management just a little bit about the rights of the creator (Section 106) and Fair Use (Section 107), as well as the fact that posting notices protects the library because it places the burden firmly on the person (patron/user) who is making the copies [see 108(f)(1)]. Then think about how many notices you really need. Perhaps it is not one per machine but a Notice over several machines that are side by side? Be willing to be creative and patient. Your library management may not see this being important or necessary. This may not be the thing you want to make or break your reputation with OR the most important thing for you to focus on.

If you do decide to place more notices around your institution, consider what they should say. The text suggested by ALA is from 1977 and is rather cryptic:

Notice: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement. 

That text is not instructive or educational. It does not help anyone in determining if they are complying with fair use. It also doesn't tell a person who to ask if they have questions. What do you want to tell them? Yes, use that notice as a place to educate your users.

Here is a notice from the University of Illinois Library, which you might find inspiring. This infographic from the U.S. Copyright Office may not have enough details, but could be something to build upon.

If you have a notice that if more than the basic and you'd like to share it with others, leave a comment with its text or with a link to where the notice can be viewed online.

This post first appeared on Digitization 101, please read the originial post: here

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What is a copier?


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