about their rights, to help them exercise copyrights
they may have long after a book is published and is
out of print, to increase awareness as to how these
rights can be availed to give their books new life.
For many of these books—and their authors—this
is a renaissance in the true sense of rebirth.
Past Practice for
Copyright Assignment
Scholars typically assign or transfer copyrights to
their works to publishers in order to gain the
reputational benefit of publication, peer-review
resources, copyediting, marketing, and design for
their work. All of these benefits can be more
significant for academics than any direct expectation
of monetary reward in the form of royalties or fees
from publishers, but sales are also important for
many. In addition to assigning copyright to the
original scholarship, authors are typically expected
to obtain and pay for permissions, to reproduce
images or other copyrighted material in their work,
provide documentation of permissions to their
publishers, as well as sign a “hold harmless”
agreement. Even though suits against scholarly
authors by their publishers are almost unheard of,
technically, authors are contractually liable for any
flaws in their chain of permissions.
Publishers absolutely need these assurances,
yet this seems a significant administrative and legal
burden for many writers. Scholarly writers often
express frustration at the administrative burden and
the anxiety associated with obtaining permissions
that a publisher will find adequate. A corollary of
this is a certain understandable conservatism or fear
that may lead to a reduced exercise of legitimate fair
uses. Many of the efforts to engage academics in
RLI 269
15
Opening Up Content in HathiTrust
(
C O N T I N U E D
)
APRIL 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
HathiTrust Partners
HathiTrust membership currently consists of the member
libraries of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation
(CIC), the University of California system, Columbia
University, and the University of Virginia, but is open to
interested research libraries internationally. Current
institutions include:
California Digital Library
Columbia University
Indiana University
Michigan State University
Northwestern University
Ohio State University
Penn State University
Purdue University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Merced
University of California, Riverside
University of California, San Diego
University of California, San Francisco
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Chicago
University of Illinois
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Iowa
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Virginia
See the HathiTrust Web site for information about how to
get involved: http://www.hathitrust.org/join/.
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