Tag: creative commons

Articles of Interest: July-December 2018

This post highlights articles published in the second half of 2018 with a focus on copyright, especially as it pertains to libraries, higher education, and scholarly communication. Links to the full-text articles are provided when available; [OSU full-text] links will connect authenticated users through The Ohio State University Libraries, while [OA full-text] links point to an open access version of the article that should be available to all users.

Did we miss an interesting article? Please share the citation in the comments!


Boettcher, J. C. & Dames, K. M. (2018). Government Data as Intellectual Property: Is Public Domain the same as Open Access? Online Searcher42(4), 42–48. [OSU full text]

Charlton, J. (2018). New European Copyright Directive Courts Controversy. Information Today35(9), 15. [OSU full text]

Christou, C. (2018). Where to Learn About Copyright. Information Today35(7), 1–27. [OSU full text] / [OA full text]

Courtney, K. K. (2018). The state copyright conundrum: What’s your state government’s rule on copyright? College & Research Libraries News79(10), 571–574. [OSU full text] / [OA full text]

Ensign, D. (2018). Copyright Corner: Blockchain and Copyright. Kentucky Libraries82(3), 4–5. [OSU full text]

Pike, G. H. (2018). Who Owns the Law? Information Today, 35(6), 18. [OSU full text]

Teixeira da Silva, J. A. (2018). The Issue of Comment Ownership and Copyright at PubPeer. Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences55(2), 1–15. [OSU full text] / [OA full text]

Wingo, R. S., Logsdon, A., & Schommer, C. (2018). Going viral: Copyright lessons from Max the Cat. College & Research Libraries News, 79(7/8), 350–353. [OSU full text] / [OA full text]


Capell, L. and Williams, E., 2018. Implementing RightsStatements.org at the University of Miami Libraries. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6(1), p.eP2254. doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2254 [OA full text]

Ensign, D. (2018). Copyright Corner: Public Lending Rights. Kentucky Libraries82(4), 2–3. [OSU full text]

Hansen, D. R., & Courtney, K. K. (2018, September 24). A White Paper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books. doi.org/10.31228/osf.io/7fdyr [OA full text]

Radniecki, T. (2018). Intellectual Property in the Makerspace. Journal of Library Administration58(6), 545–560. doi.org/10.1080/01930826.2018.1491178 [OSU full text] / [OA full text]

Publishing & Scholarly Communication

Bolick, J. (2018). Leveraging Elsevier’s Creative Commons License Requirement to Undermine Embargoes. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 2(2), 1-19. doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v2i2.7415 [OA full text]

Herr, M., 2018. The Rights Provisions of a Book Publishing Contract. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6(1), p.eP2273. doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2273 [OA full text]

Kohn, A. and Lange, J., 2018. Confused about copyright? Assessing Researchers’ Comprehension of Copyright Transfer Agreements. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 6(1), p.eP2253. doi.org/10.7710/2162-3309.2253 [OA full text]

Lewis, C. (2018). The Open Access Citation Advantage: Does It Exist and What Does It Mean for Libraries? Information Technology & Libraries, 37(3), 50–65. doi.org/10.6017/ital.v37i3.10604 [OSU full text] / [OA full text]

Xu, H. (2018). Obstacles for Faculty using Open Educational Resources and Solutions. Texas Library Journal, 94(3), 85–87. [OSU full text]


By Maria Scheid, Copyright Services Coordinator at Copyright Services, The Ohio State University Libraries.

Copyright in CarmenCanvas Guide: New resource demonstrates best practices for sharing copyrighted content in Carmen courses

Does your course include movies, text, pictures, or audio that you did not create? Are you planning to share materials you created with your students? To help instructors in the creation of their Carmen courses, we’ve put together the Copyright in CarmenCanvas Guide.  It will help readers understand copyright law, specifically in the context of creating Carmen courses.  While it is not legal advice, it is both a wealth of information and a multi-media demonstration of copyright best practices for sharing content through Carmen.

Readers can begin with the syllabus, gaining a topical overview of the information in each module of the Guide.  The modules in the Guide are in order from most open (materials that may be used in a course without copyright limitation), to most restrictive (materials and uses that will require permission from the copyright owner).  Each module begins with an introduction page describing the topics to be discussed in the module.  After the introduction, each page within a module contains an explanation and one or more demonstrations of best practices relevant to the topic at issue.   A listing of helpful resources is also included within each page, for those seeking more information on the topic. The introduction page of the Guide provides additional resources for those who wish to improve their general understanding of copyright and related issues.

Modules do not need to be completed in any particular order.  However, we do encourage readers to explore all the modules to become familiar with the many options available to course creators as they pull content into their courses.

Whether a reader visits one page, or reviews the entire Copyright in CarmenCanvas Guide, it is a great resource for anyone creating courses at The Ohio State University.

Contact our office with additional questions.

Website: go.osu.edu/copyright

Email:  LIBCopyright@osu.edu

Twitter:  @OSUCopyright

Phone:  614-688-5849

By Maria Scheid, Rights Management Specialist at  Copyright Services, The Ohio State University Libraries

Open Access Week 2016

To kick off this year’s Open Access Week, we are sharing information on open access workshops offered by The Ohio State University Libraries throughout the week. This blog post first appeared on the Research Commons blog.

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Open Access Week Logo

Open Access Week 2016 by SPARC is licensed under CC-BY 4.0 (cropped).


Next week, October 24-30, 2016, we celebrate the 9th International Open Access Week. This year’s theme is “Open in Action” and will highlight ideas for taking action to open research and scholarship.

Open Access Week is a yearly global event to spread awareness of Open Access, a movement that supports free and immediate access to research. The Open Access movement seeks to maximize the impact and accessibility of published research through the removal of financial and use restrictions placed on research. Interested in learning more about Open Access? Peter Suber’s “Open Access Overview” provides a great summary of the Open Access movement and the different forms and vehicles through which Open Access research may be shared.

Join us at the Research Commons and Thompson Library to celebrate Open Access by attending an OA workshop offered by The Ohio State University Libraries next week:


Open Access: Know Your Rights, Share Your Research

This workshop will cover the basics of copyright and open access, including understanding your rights as an author, sharing your research to a broader audience, and publishing in open access journals. Presented in conjunction with International Open Access Week, this workshop will feature speakers from the University Libraries’ Copyright Resources Center and Publishing and Repository Services department. Light refreshments will be provided, and our presenters will be available afterward for consultations.

Light refreshments will be provided, and our presenters will be available afterward for consultations.
When: Tuesday, October 25, 11:00am – 12:30pm
Where: Research Commons, 3rd floor of the 18th Avenue Library

Register: go.osu.edu/oa-workshop


Open Access Week: Creative Commons

Please join the University Libraries’ Copyright Resources Center for a workshop on Creative Commons (CC). The session will introduce CC and explore how CC licenses benefit creators and users of licensed material. These licenses contribute to affordability and the development and use of Open Educational Resources, a particularly relevant topic for us in light of the university-wide focus on affordable learning. Bring your questions!

When: Wednesday, October 26, 10:00 am-11:30 am

Where: Thompson Library, Room 165

RSVP: http://go.osu.edu/oa-creativecommons


Open Data: A Panel Discussion

Curious about Open Data? Want to know more about where to find Open Data to use in your own research, or how to make your data open to comply with funding agency mandates? Have your top concerns and questions addressed by a group of campus experts – all who are interested in Open Data are welcome!

This event is part of Data Analytics Month @ Ohio State. Learn more at: go.osu.edu/dataanalyticsmonth.


When: Wednesday, October 26, 2:00 – 3:30pm
Where: Research Commons, 3rd floor of 18th Avenue Library

Register: go.osu.edu/opendata-panel


By Maria Scheid, Rights Management Specialist at the Copyright Resources Center, The Ohio State University Libraries

Open Access Week 2015

Open Access Logo

Next week is Open Access Week (October 19-25)! Open Access (OA) is a global movement that encourages making scholarly resources more freely available over the internet in order to maximize the impact and accessibility of research, especially research that has been funded with public money. Open Access Week is an event where members of the academic and research community teach, learn, and share information about the OA publishing model.

Want to learn more about Open Access? View the resources linked below:

And check out the workshops and initiatives happening at Ohio State in support of Open Access:

Open Access Publishing: Potentials and Pitfalls (Discussion Forum)

Are you curious about open access publishing? Have you published in an open access journal, or are you considering this as a possibility? Have you received questionable solicitations to publish your research or had a run-in with a predatory publisher? If you answered yes to any of these questions and want to know more about who can help, join Sandra Enimil (Head, Copyright Resources Center) and Melanie Schlosser (Digital Publishing Librarian) to learn some tips for steering clear of unethical publishing practices and some ways that researchers can benefit from scholarly open access publishing.

Who: OSU faculty, graduates, and postdocs
When: Wednesday, October 21, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Where: Thompson Library, Room 165

Register here: https://library.osu.edu/researchcommons/event/open-access-discussion/

Lunch & Learn: Creative Commons

Please join the University Libraries’ Copyright Resources Center for a lunch and learn about Creative Commons (CC). The session will introduce CC and explore how CC licenses benefit creators and users of licensed material. These licenses contribute to affordability and the development and use of Open Educational Resources, a particularly relevant topic for us in light of the university-wide focus on affordable learning. Bring your lunch and your questions!

Who: OSU faculty, staff, and students
When: Thursday, October 22, 12:00 – 1:00pm
Where: Thompson Library, Room 204

Space is limited. Please RSVP at the following link: http://goo.gl/forms/ciSlGzvOga

Changes to OSU Libraries’ website copyright information and licensing

In support of Libre Open Access, content on The Ohio State University Libraries’ (OSUL) website for which OSUL owns the copyright (or has permission to sublicense) will be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.  The CC BY license enables others to share, reuse, and remix OSUL content so long as they credit The Ohio State University Libraries as the source of the original material and they indicate if changes have been made. For more information, please visit: https://go.osu.edu/osul-copyright-info.

Open Access at The Ohio State University Libraries

More than 20,000 theses and dissertations by Ohio State students are open access via the Libraries’ partnership with the OhioLINK ETD Center. With participation from thirty universities and colleges in Ohio, the OhioLink ETD Center houses a combined collection of over 50,000 electronic theses and dissertations and has over 25 million total downloads worldwide.

The Libraries Publishing Program works with faculty, students, and academic units at OSU to publish open access scholarly work in a variety of formats. This program provides free or low-cost publication development and hosting, and serves as an alternative to working with a commercial publisher.

OSU’s institutional repository, the Knowledge Bank, provides digital content publishing and archiving for OSU faculty, staff, and graduate students. Many materials in the Knowledge Bank are available open access.

The Faculty of The Ohio State University Libraries is committed to disseminating the fruits of its research and scholarship as widely as possible. In keeping with that commitment, the Faculty adopted an open access resolution effective July 1, 2012: The Ohio State University Libraries Open Access Resolution



By Jessica Chan, Rights Management Specialist at the Copyright Resources Center, The Ohio State University Libraries

Creative Commons Licenses: What You Need to Know as a Creator and User

As one of the major open licensing options for copyright owners, Creative Commons (CC) is likely a familiar name to many of our readers. For those that are unfamiliar, CC is a nonprofit organization that offers a number of different copyright license options to copyright owners. A CC license allows a copyright owner to choose how they would like others to be able to use their work, and anybody may use the work for free, so long as they follow the terms of the license. Before using a CC licensed work or deciding to apply a CC license to your own work, you should have an understanding of the scope of the license you are working with. This blog will provide more information on some important points to keep in mind about CC licenses and provide an overview of the license options.

What Do You Need to Know About Creative Commons Licenses?

Whether you are applying a CC license to your own work or using a work covered by a CC license, here are some important things to keep in mind:

9 million websites use Creative Commons licenses

  1. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright—a work must be copyrighted in order to be licensed under a CC license. Copyright owners have a bundle of rights that allow them exclusive control over how their work may be reproduced, adapted, distributed and publicly performed or displayed. A copyright owner may decide to transfer some or all of these rights to another or permit others to use the work through a licensing agreement. If a copyright owner chooses to license their work under a CC license, they are not giving up ownership of their work—they are permitting others to exercise one of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights under the terms and conditions listed in the language of the license.
  1. Creative Commons licenses do not limit or restrict any rights granted through statutory exceptions, including fair use. If your use of a copyright protected work would otherwise be allowed through a statutory exception (such as the face-to-face teaching exception, the TEACH Act, or fair use), you may still rely on those statutory exceptions.
  1. Only the copyright owner can place a CC license on the work or authorize another to do so. If third party material  is being used in a new work under a statutory exception or limitation or through permission of the copyright owner, the author of the new work can only license the part of the work to which they claim ownership. In this type of situation, it is important for the author to mark third party content to let others know that the entire new work may not be available under the selected CC license. An author of a new work may avoid this situation by seeking permission from the copyright owner to make the third party material available under a CC license, allowing others to then use the entire work according to the license terms.
  1. Creative Commons licenses are non-exclusive and non-revocable. Anyone is free to use a CC licensed work so long as they abide by the terms of the license. A copyright owner is also free to continue to exercise their exclusive rights, meaning they may simultaneously enter into separate agreements for the use of their works. A copyright owner may decide to no longer distribute their work under a CC license, but because CC licenses are non-revocable, anybody who already has access to the work may continue to use the work under the original license terms.

What Are the License Options?

Icon badges for all six Creative Commons license options and the Public Domain tool.

Creative Commons licenses provide copyright owners with a great degree of flexibility in how open they would like to make their work. The various license terms define the ways in which users may freely and legally share, modify, or build upon a copyrighted work.

All CC licenses require attribution. Beyond attribution, copyright owners may choose among a combination of licensing terms. Copyright owners may specify that their work not be used for the primary purpose of monetary compensation (NonCommercial) or that their work not be modified or adapted in any way (NoDerivs). Alternatively, a copyright owner may permit a user to modify, adapt, or build upon their work but specify that any new work created be made available under similar open licensing terms (ShareAlike). Creative Commons also provides a Public Domain Dedication (CC0) tool. This tool allows a copyright owner to dedicate their work to the public domain by waiving all of their copyright and related rights in a work, to the extent allowed under the law. While attribution is not required for CC0 works, it is recommended as a best practice in order to acknowledge the intellectual work of others and to avoid accusations of plagiarism.

Spectrum of openness for Creative Commons licensesFinally, if you are looking for CC works to use, a good place to start your search is with the search function on the Creative Commons website. You may also look through the Creative Commons content directories to view organizations and projects using CC licenses. Many services, including Flickr, SoundCloud, Google, Bing, and Vimeo, provide their own advanced search feature, making the search for CC licensed works quick and easy.

In conclusion, CC licenses are a great resource for copyright owners and users of copyrighted content. As with any license agreement, however, be sure you are clear about the scope and limitations of the license before using a protected work or making your own works available for use by others.

Interested in learning more about Creative Commons? Contact the Copyright Resources Center for answers to your questions or to schedule a Creative Commons workshop.


By Maria Scheid, Rights Management Specialist at the Copyright Resources Center, The Ohio State University Libraries

Copyright online: What you need to know about protecting your works and using the works of others

Every day content creators invest their time, energy, and creativity into generating and publishing millions of original works online. In the time it takes for a person to copy and paste, those works can be taken out of the creator’s control and passed off as the creative labors of another. Understanding the scope of rights granted to copyright owners is the first step in protecting your works online, and can also help you avoid infringing on other creators’ rights.

Protecting Your Works:

Copyright protection is as equally broad for online content as it is for non-digital content; to qualify for copyright protection, the law requires an original work of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Blogs, website designs, e-books, videos, and graphics are just a few examples of protectable digital works. Copyright is automatic; the moment you create a work, you own the copyright.[1] You do not need to register your work or include a copyright notice to have copyright protection.

As a copyright owner, you have a number of exclusive rights to your works. These include the right to:

  1. Reproduce your work;
  2. Prepare derivative works;
  3. Distribute your work;
  4. Publicly display your work;
  5. Publicly perform your work; and
  6. In the case of sound recordings, publicly perform the work by means of digital audio transmission.

This means that before anybody uses your work in any of the above ways, they must first get your permission to do so.[2] This prohibition on copying is not just limited to exact copies of your whole works—a third party does not have to copy every single word or pixel of your work to be infringing—it also extends to works that are substantially similar to your own.

Tip #1: Make it clear that you are the copyright owner.

An important step in protecting your online content is letting others know that the particular work you have placed online is your own. Works no longer need to have a copyright notice to qualify for copyright protection, but by affixing a notice to a work, a copyright owner lets others know that the work is protected by copyright and the content creator is the owner of that copyrighted work. Subsequently, third parties can clearly see whom they must seek permission from if they wish to use the work.

Notice may be designated by the use of the “©” symbol, the word “Copyright”, or the abbreviation “Copr.”, followed by the copyright owner’s name and the year of the publication of the work. In addition to this information, it may be beneficial to provide an easy way for third parties to contact you for the purposes of asking permission to use your works.

Tip #2: Let others know what they can or can’t do with the work.

As we mentioned before,  copyright owners have exclusive rights in their works. Under the traditional copyright framework, a copyright owner reserves all rights in his or her work, allowing third party use only through individual permission or statutory exceptions, such as fair use. One easy way to communicate this information is through the use of a disclaimer. A disclaimer can be placed on the website where the content appears, and will notify others that your work is protected and should not be used without the creator’s permission.

Beyond the traditional copyright framework, however, content creators can also control how their works are used through the use of a Creative Commons license. You can choose from several different Creative Commons licenses that allow others to use your work under certain conditions —commercial, noncommercial, derivative works allowed, etc. — without additional permission, and let others know of the conditions through the use of an online-generated badge. See our page about Creative Commons for more information, including the licensing options available for content creators.

Tip #3: Monitor your work.

Notices, disclaimers, or easy licensing avenues will not be enough to deter all potential infringers. This is why it is important to monitor your work. In addition to the routine manual checking you may be doing on your own, such as through Google or Twitter, there are a number of online tools that can help in this process. For suggestions on monitoring tools available to content creators, and a comprehensive discussion on protecting your blog content, check out Awesomely Luvvie’s blog post, “How to Protect Your Blog Content: Know Your Rights”.

Tip #4: Enforce the rights you have.

So what do you do when you discover that another person has copied your content? You have a number of options, the first of which involves directly approaching the alleged infringer to ask them to remove the content and/or providing information on how they may use your content (you may ask for appropriate citation of your material or a fee for the use). Contact information may be found on the infringing website, or in some cases may be found by searching WHOIS and reviewing the registrant information. If you are unable to determine the author of the infringing work, you may contact the website service provider or webhosting company. Once again, you may search WHOIS to find contact information on the service provider or web hosting company.

Under the DMCA safe harbor provisions, the webhosting company or service provider may have a defense against your claim of infringement, so long as it expeditiously removes the infringing material upon receiving a proper takedown notice from you. To be effective, a takedown notice must be sent to the registered agent of the service provider or webhosting company you wish to contact. This information may be found through the U.S. Copyright Office’s directory of service provider agents.

Many website service providers (such as YouTube) have explicit copyright removal procedures in place, making it easy for you to file a proper DMCA takedown notice. If notice forms are not provided, you may file a notice on your own, so long the notice includes the following elements:

  • Your physical or electronic signature;
  • Identification of the copyrighted work;
  • Identification of the allegedly infringing material (with enough information that the service provider can find the material);
  • Your contact information;
  • A “good faith” statement that you believe use of the material is not authorized by law; and
  • A statement that the information you have included is accurate, to the best of your knowledge.

Finally, if you are unable to get infringing content removed or satisfactorily attributed, you may seek legal action. One important thing to keep in mind, however, is that civil actions for copyright infringement require that the work be registered with the Copyright Office.

Using the Works of Others:

When using the work of another in the creation of your own online content, you must first determine if the work itself is protected by copyright. Remember that copyright extends to original works of expression fixed in tangible mediums of expression. Copyright does not extend to ideas, facts, slogans or short phrases, or works that fall within the public domain.

If a work has copyright protection, and you are unable to rely on a statutory exception, you must seek permission from third parties to use their works. Similarly, any third party wishing to use your works must first seek your permission to use the works.

One option to avoid seeking direct permission is to utilize the work by linking to the material. If, however, linking to the source is insufficient, you must consider whether you can rely on an exception like fair use or seek permission from the copyright owner to use the work. If fair use is appropriate be sure to document your analyses of each instance where you rely on it. Permission can come from contacting the copyright owner directly, or adhering to the conditions of use they have set forth through any open licensing option such as Creative Commons. Finally, when using a work, limit your use of the work to only the amount needed to achieve your intended purpose, and attribute your sources.

[1] An exception to this would be a work that was created as a “work for hire.”

[2] A note on fair use: Under some circumstances, a third party may be able to use your work without receiving your permission. This can occur if the third party’s use of your work is determined to be a fair use. Visit our page on fair use to find more information about fair use, including tools to help determine if a use may qualify as fair.



Maria Scheid is a graduate of The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and former legal intern at the Copyright Resources Center at OSU Libraries

Brown Bag on Creative Commons Licensing

Next up for Open Access Week on Wednesday, October 20:  A brown bag at Knowlton School of Architecture, 275 W. Woodruff Ave., Room 258, from noon-1:00 p.m. when Melanie Schlosser will speak on Creative Commons licensing.

Creative Commons licenses allow a copyright holder to keep his or her copyright but allow copying and distribution of the work within parameters the rights holder specifies.