October 14, 2010

Morris Library hosting forum on copyright issues

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Copyright law and practice are sometimes confusing and complex issues that have major significance to many, particularly in a university community. An event this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale explores copyright and how it affects the world of education.

Morris Library is hosting a forum, “Protection or Promotion: Copyright in the University,” at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the John C. Guyon Auditorium. The event, addressing issues and concerns and answering questions, is free and the public is welcome.

Experts Dwayne Buttler and Greg Grossmeier will discuss what copyrights do and don’t allow, how to maximize access to and the use of research, the relationship between copyrights and Open Access and much more. Open Access makes research, ideas and creative works available for people to access without financial barriers. Essentially, it offers online availability of documents and data to anyone with the goal of advancing scholarship by sharing knowledge and research.

Copyright has a strong influence on much of the campus community. It determines what faculty members can use, whether in the classroom, online or even on their own websites. Moreover, copyright plays a role in the distribution of research around the world to other researchers and to students. For students, copyright can restrict their access to some materials and how they can use materials others create.

Buttler is the first Evelyn J. Schneider Endowed Chair for Scholarly Communication at the University of Louisville, where he is a professor in University Libraries. His areas of study and expertise include the relationship of copyright law and licensing to university activities and teaching as well as to the teaching and scholarly communication mission of the library.

Grossmeier is the copyright specialist at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor’s library where he advises faculty, staff and students about copyright and other publishing questions. He is also a fellow at Creative Commons, an organization providing free licenses allowing researchers to decide which rights they will retain as authors in keeping with copyright law and how others can use their work. He is a frequent consultant regarding open educational resources and the Free/Libre Open Source Software community.

The Morris Library forum occurs during the international commemoration of Open Access Week, an event running Oct. 18-22 this year. Open Access Week highlights the benefits of Open Access and provides researchers and authors the opportunity to share experiences with one another.