Who are we?

Bernadette Bartlett is the Michigan Documents Librarian at the Library of Michigan and often am approached by coworkers, fellow state employees and members of the public with questions about copyright and Michigan state government information.  She’s currently working on compiling a historical record of how the State of Michigan has addressed copyright of state government information in law, rule and policy and she contributes to discussions and planning within the library as they relate to copyright.

Kyle K. Courtney is the Copyright Advisor at Harvard University, working out of the Office for Scholarly Communication.  Kyle created the Copyright First Responder network for Harvard, which is a team of copyright trained librarians that help establish a culture of shared understanding of copyright law among faculty, students, and staff in support of pedagogy, research, and innovation. His work at Harvard also includes a role as the Information Policy Advisor for the edX/HarvardX online classes. He is a published author and nationally recognized speaker on the topic of copyright, technology, and the law.  His blog is at http://kylecourtney.com“> and he can be found on Twitter @KyleKCourtney.

Kristina Eden coordinates the work of over 50 copyright reviewers on the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) which is an IMLS funded project to determine the copyright status of digitized books.  Where legally permissible, they work with HathiTrust Digital Library (http://www.hathitrust.org) to open public domain works, including state documents,  and make them available to online users.

Kris Kasianovitz is the State, Local and International Government Information Librarian at the Stanford University Library. She’s worked with state and local government for a number of years and has repeatedly dealt with the copyright issue of these materials, especially when it comes to digitization and web archiving for researchers.

What are we doing?

We have embarked on a project to demonstrate the constraints that copyright law places upon citizens, researchers, academic institutions and digital repositories, like HathiTrust, to release scanned post-1923 state government publications into the public domain as well as chart a paths forward to bring about change to this little discussed but major issue.

It should be noted that this project focuses on publications NOT records, which are governed and managed in a very different way.

By forming FSGI we are creating a place for librarians, agency employees, and other interested parties can come together to clarify and bring about change and clarity to copyright of state government information.

Currently, we have given several presentations to groups working with state government information to raise awareness.  We want to take this work to the next level and find ways to make changes to or clarify states copyright of their government publications through either the legislative or executive authority process.

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  1. Pingback: State Government Information and the copyright conundrum - District Dispatch

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