Be part of the solution. Libraries themselves can perpetrate all of the
copyright misrepresentations described in this article. More and more
libraries are making the effort to be more transparent about these issues,
however, and the policy arguments for doing so are compelling. Several
institutions have adopted policies that could serve as good models for
others in the community.
17 U.S.C. §§ 301–305. This feature is also grounded in the US Constitution, which requires copyrights
to be “for limited times.” U.S. Const. art. I, sect. 8, cl. 8.
17 U.S.C. 110(1).
Jason Mazzone, “Copyfraud,” New York University Law Review 81, no. 3 (June 2006): 1026–1100.
Although protection is no longer conditioned on proper notice, there are still some legal benefits to
including a copyright notice, so publishers continue to do so.
The copyright page can be previewed on the Google Books website:
=onepage&q&f=false. While scanning and uploading the entire book would capture supplemental
material that is under copyright, it would be easy to exclude this material and scan only the novels,
which are in the public domain. The author’s rights in the novels have long ago expired.
This example is described in Stephen Fishman, The Public Domain: How to Find & Use Copyright-Free
Writings, Music, Art & More (Berkeley: Nolo, 2010), 80. Of course, the anthology includes new material
created by the editors, and that new material is protected by copyright. The bulk of the anthology,
however, consists of anthologized public domain material.
The copyright page for this edition is available on the Google Books website:
inpublisher%3ACambridge inpublisher%3AUniversity inpublisher%3APress&pg=PR6 -
The copyright page for this edition is available on the Google Books website: http://books.
A few of the works anthologized in the Oxford Anthology of English Literature are still under copyright,
but the vast majority are not. Critical introductions and editorial notes are copyrighted, but the core
works are in the public domain.
An advanced search of Google Books using authors like Austen whose works are out of copyright and
publication dates in the last two or three decades consistently turns up reprints with inaccurate notices
See Mazzone, “Copyfraud,” 1040ff.
Indeed, the Supreme Court addressed microfilms specifically in New York Times Co., Inc., v. Tasini,
533 U.S. 483, 502 (2001), explaining that they are a “mere conversion…from one medium to another.”
Melanie Schlosser, “Unless Otherwise Indicated: A Survey of Copyright Statements on Digital Library
Collections,” College and Research Libraries 70, no. 4 (July 2009): 371–385,
Peter Hirtle and Tricia Donovan, “Removing All Restrictions: Cornell’s New Policy on Use of Public
Domain Reproductions,” Research Library Issues, no. 266 (Oct. 2009): 1–6,
17 U.S.C. § 106(4). This allows rights holders to profit from movie theater uses, for example.
17 U.S.C. § 110(1).
Laura Jenemann, “Public Performance Rights Management in Academic Libraries” (presentation,
IFLA General Conference and Assembly, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 2011),
Copyfraud and Classroom Performance Rights: Two Common Bogus Copyright Claims
C O N T I N U E D
SEPTEMBER 2011 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC