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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