LIBR 281-13
Seminar in Contemporary Issues
Topic: Digital Copyright
Fall 2014 Greensheet

Margaret A. Driscoll, iSchool
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Office Hours: Online Tuesdays 7-8pm PST

Greensheet Links
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iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: You will be enrolled into the site automatically on the first day of the semester. However, this course runs from Monday September 29 to Monday, October 27, 2014.

Course Description

This course examines digital copyright by giving students a legal and policy framework to evaluate the myriad of copyright scenarios libraries face today.  Copyright issues permeate daily tasks, from website design to book scanning projects to online reference.  To participate in the active debate about ebooks, fair use, digital rights management systems, e-reserve systems, digitization projects and the like, librarians need to be well versed in both the basics of copyright law and the latest developments by regulationl legislation, and court decisions.

This is a one credit course so we will not be able to cover all aspects of copyright in depth, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be looking at all the important parts of copyright for librarians in today’s digital world.  Additionally, I will provide resources for your ongoing personal study on this important topic. The course project assignment should be worked on while you’re in each module. As you visit the additional resources or discover your own, create an annotated bibliography which contains a description of the resource and why/when it will be valuable to you for dealing with copyright issues in the future.

Course Requirements

Outline of Schedule and Assignments

Dates Topic Interactive Class Sessions Activities
Module 1:
Sept 29-Oct 5
Copyright History and Fundamentals/
Section 108 Library Exceptions
Section 110 Fair Use
Collaborate Class Tues. Sept. 30, 7-8pm Introductions & Profile
Collaborate Class (10)
Discussion Board (10)
Module 2:
Oct 6-12
Public Domain
Permissions, Licenses, and Locating Copyright Owners
Collaborate Class Tues. Oct. 7, 7-8pm Public Domain Determination (10)
Collaborate Class (10)
Discussion Board (10)
Module 3:
Oct 13-19
Music, Video, and the DMCA
Risk Management
Collaborate Class Tues. Oct. 14, 7-8pm Fair Use Analysis (10)
Copyright Clearance Center (10)
Collaborate Class (10)
Discussion Board (10)
Module 4:
Oct 20-26
Scholarship/Authorship Rights
Creative Approaches and Alternatives
Collaborate Class Tues. Oct. 21, 7-8pm Journal Archive Policies (10)
Self-Archiving (10)
Collaborate Class (10)
Discussion Board (10)
Course Project (70)


  1. Public Domain Determination (due Oct. 12) SLO#1, SLO#2
    Using the various tools introduced this week (The Public Domain Slider, Hirtle’s Copyright Term and the Public Domain grid, Copyright Genie, Public Domain Sherpa), determine the ownership and copyright status of these items. Are they in the public domain? Why or why not?
  2. Fair Use Analysis (due Oct. 19) SLO#3, SLO#2
    Make a fair use analysis for several specific items.
  3. Copyright Clearance Center (due Oct. 19) SLO#3, SLO#5
    Research licensing of three journals – can authors self-archive?
  4. Journal Archive Policies (due Oct. 26) SLO#4
    Research licensing of three journals - can authors self-archive?
  5. Self-Archiving with Creative Commons License (due Oct. 26) SLO#6
    Select a research paper you've written and put a creative commons license on it. Submit into E-Lis repository.

Course Project: Annotated Bibliography
Throughout the modules in this course, I will provide an extensive array of resources in addition to the assigned readings. The course project is to create an annotated bibliography of these resources as well as any others that you or your fellow students come upon and bring to our attention. Visit each the additional resources and write annotations which contain a description of the resource and why/when it will be valuable to you for dealing with copyright issues in the future..

This bibliography will form a document that you can use in your professional career whenever copyright issues or questions arise. Remember, the source of the resource (organization, etc.) is important to note so that you can revisit them as the understanding of copyright law changes through legislative actions and court cases.

  Total Possible Percent of Total
Participation – 4 modules (10 pts. each) to attend and actively participate or view (posting required if viewing the recording) 40 20%
Participation - Discussion boards - 4 modules (up to 5 pts. each week for initial post, up to 5pts. each week for two responses) 40 20%
Assignments (up to 10 pts. each)
  • Public Domain Determination due Oct. 12
  • Fair Use Analysis due Oct. 19
  • Copyright Clearance Center due Oct. 19
  • Journal Archive Policies due Oct. 26
  • Self-Archiving w/Creative Commons License due Oct. 26
50 25%
Course Project due Oct. 27 70 35%
  200 100%

Other Relevant Information
The course week will begin on Mondays and end on Sundays at midnight. All assignments are due by midnight on Sunday. Turning in assignments late is not allowed except in the case of true extenuating circumstances and with writtenr approval of the instructor. 

Every week we will have an online class session using Collaborate.  These sessions will be on Tuesdays from 7-8pm PST. Attendance is strongy encouraged at the interactive online class sessions -- these will not be just 'lecture' but will also offer the opportunity to ask questions in real-time, build community with your classmates (i.e. networking!), voice personal experience and/or opinions about the weekly topic, and gain clarification on assignment tasks. The class sessions will be recorded. There will be 10 pts given to each actively participating attendee and viewer (after writing reflective post on the lecture topic/s) of each of the four class sessions.

Participation may well be one of your greatest challenges in this course. Given your prior experiences in a teacher-centered classroom, some of you may fear initiating discussion, especially among yourselves; however, it is so important that you participate in the discussions substantively. Your peers have a lot to share with you and amazing stories to tell.

I will divide the class in half for each discussion board so as to avoid that feeling of 'overwhelmedness' with hundreds (seemingly) of posts to read and process. You are required to be involved with only one of the two discussions each week but are welcome to visit and participate in the other if desired. For each weekly discussion you can earn up to 5 pts. for the initial post and up to 5 pts. for two responses to classmates' posts.

What do I mean by a substantive post?

The following are some ideas to set the stage for substantive participation for the development of your critical thinking skills:

  1. Ensure that the posting contributes to the overall discussion thread that is being developed. Your response must contain some reference back to the original discussion question. Stay on track by always referring back to that original discussion question.
  2. Try to use your posting to add value to the discussion. This is more effective than simply responding to meet a requirement.
  3. Check to see that the posting expands on the main theme (in the discussion question, or assignment posting).
  4. Make sure your posting is at least 75-150 words.

Other Ideas for Participation

  • Share a related experience.
  • Comment on others' experiences.
  • Ask students questions about their ideas/experiences.
  • Consider an idea being discussed, and offer a different perspective on it.
  • Describe an interesting idea from the week's reading, and explain what insights you gained from it.
  • Ask the group a question about the week's reading.
  • Disagree (respectfully, of course) with a point that someone else has made.
  • Discuss a related issue on which you would like some feedback.
  • Describe how you have applied the recent course concepts to your personal/professional life.
  • Share another resource you have used as you explored the course topics.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, LIBR 202, LIBR 204, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate major issues and problems related to metadata.
  2. Apply current metadata terminology and concepts, including major content and encoding schemes for digital libraries.
  3. Analyze and critically apply different approaches to metadata creation, storage, management, and dissemination within different information communities for different purposes.
  4. Critically analyze and compare different metadata standards and their applicability to different contexts, and apply basic metadata quality metrics to assess the relative quality of different types of descriptive metadata.
  5. Create descriptive metadata for digital resources, and design and plan metadata database templates for digital resource projects.
  6. Explain the importance of information in crisis/disaster response.
  7. Recognize the inter-connectedness of information, people and technology in a crisis/disaster.
  8. Analyze information needs and information seeking behaviors of different actors in a crisis/disaster.
  9. Compare and evaluate technologies and human-centered approaches that support communities in a crisis/disaster.
  10. Identify the factors that impact the integration and coordination of information in a crisis/disaster.
  11. Create a crisis/disaster information resource.
  12. Interpret the ways in which factors such as environmental scanning, big data, and cyber security impact the planning and implementation of future technologies.
  13. Plan strategically for the changing technological landscape.
  14. Identify and track the various publications, organizations, and trade shows that highlight new technologies.
  15. Identify and discuss the history of forecasting.
  16. Select the appropriate resources to use in planning for new technologies.
  17. Develop a digital poster on the future of technology.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 281 supports the following core competencies:

  1. E Design, query and evaluate information retrieval systems.
  2. F Use the basic concepts and principles related to the selection, evaluation, organization, and preservation of physical and digital items and collections.
  3. G Demonstrate understanding of basic principles and standards involved in organizing information, including classification, cataloging, metadata, or other systems.
  4. H Demonstrate proficiency in identifying, using, and evaluating current and emerging information and communication technologies.
  5. J Describe the fundamental concepts of information-seeking behaviors.
  6. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


Required Textbooks:

  • Hirtle, P., Hudson, E. & Keyon, A. (2009). Copyright & Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives & Museums. Cornell University Library. Available through Amazon: 0935995102. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Recommended Textbooks:

  • Crews, K. (2011). Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions, Third Edition. ALA Editions. Available through Amazon: 0838910920. arrow gif indicating link outside sjsu domain

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

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