From a retired head of the recordings collection at the University of Texas...it was about 30+ years ago that we approached the University's Office of General Counsel on this question. They issued a position statement that they saw no difference between a pubic access dubbing facility and a photocopy machine. So, I installed two dubbing facilities in the Fine Arts Library...when it was still the Fine Arts Library...not the Center for whatever it is that the Dean now calls it. We were told that we did not need to monitor those dubbing facilities and that if a patron choose to violate the law, it was up to them and that we, the Library, could not be held liable in the event of that violation,
As I recall, from my past work for the Ransom Center, that they allowed for the duplication of materials only in extreme situations...until that article in the New Yorker was published. After that, Tom Staley, who was Director at that time, lightened up on those restrictions. The rationale for the limited duplication was, as I recall, that the Ransom Center had paid to acquire and maintain the materials and the thinking was the researcher needed to come to the University to access that materials. I believe that Tom reluctantly opened a few doors.
No doubt there will be many that question the legality of an unsupervised dubbing facility, but, if I were still head of the Historical Music Recordings Collection, which I established at UT, I would still support having such a facility. What one does with any dubs may be covered by other laws. We used to have restrictions on inter-library loans of non-print media. While I don't know the current thinking on these matters, that unless a library has a deposit agreement that restricts access to a specific collection, it seems to me that it is best to err on the side of access. Years ago, in a meeting I had with Jerry Gibson, we talked about my starting the collection at the University and my desire to have an open door policy. He said, "well in that case, we are unlikely to send collections your way." Obvious, not everyone shared my perspective.
Streaming can be seen as a form of publication, hence it presents other potential problems. Since you are on the UT campus, you have an Office of General Counsel that is there to address some of those concerns. Also, as stated in a document from the 1980s (when the University was sued for copyright violation---the head of the choral department was using part of the music acquisitions budget for things other than music...and was making photocopies of the music) the Office of General Counsel stated that if you, as part of your job at the University, violated copyright, the University would not support your defense in court.
One last thought, I may be in the minority, but don't assume something is under copyright. I did restoration work for the Ransom Center many years ago and, based on my recollection, very little of what I worked on would have been subject to copyright. The Zukofsky poetry readings and the Erle Stanley Gardner recordings being but two examples.
On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, 03:53:05 PM CST, Walker, Lauren E <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Hello ARSC community,
My institution is trying to improve the experience in our reading room for patrons to listen to digitized audio recordings that are in copyright but available for listening onsite. While improving the technical ease of access, we are wondering how much we need to build restrictions into the technical infrastructure of serving this audio so that patrons are not able to easily take the audio files by emailing them or uploading them to a thumb drive and walking away the recordings. Since we will be using one specific computer as a listening station, some ideas so far are port blocking, an IP restricted server, a splash page to click through a use policy.
I am wondering if people can share their knowledge of best practices for providing access in a special collections reading room to audio that is in copyright.
What are institutions doing to provide access to recordings that can only be listened to in a library reading room and not made available for streaming online?
Are there tiers of access and restriction models?
Head of Digital Projects
Harry Ransom Center | The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin, Texas 78713-7219
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