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Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization...

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Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums

Peter B. Hirtle, Emily Hudson , and Andrew T. Kenyon


The development of new digital technologies has led to fundamental changes in the ways that cultural institutions fulfill their public missions of access, preservation, research, and education. Many institutions are developing publicly accessible websites in which users can visit online exhibitions, search collection databases, access images of collection items, and, in some cases, create their own digital content.

Digitization, however, also raises the possibility of copyright infringement. It is imperative, therefore, that staff in archives, libraries, and museums have a good understanding of fundamental copyright principles and how institutional procedures can be affected by the law. Copyright and Cultural Institutions was written to assist understanding and compliance with copyright law. It discusses the basics of copyright law and the exclusive rights of the copyright owner, the major exemptions used by cultural heritage institutions, and stresses the importance of "risk assessment" when conducting any digitization project. Two cases studies (on digitizing oral histories and student work) are also included.


Click here for an e-version of Copyright and Cultural Institutions, which is available through eCommons, Cornell University's institutional repository.


Cornell University Library (2009)
272 pp., soft cover

Product Code: BOOKRES-0561
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