Contributions to Image Stuff are due the 20th of the month before the issue. Please send your copy in ".doc" format
The Annual Conference
If you are interested in scheduling a committee meeting during the conference, and have not yet done so, please contact VPs Betha Whitlow or Jeanne Keefe by January 31st to arrange a meeting room and time for your group.
All committee chairs and appointees should prepare a brief (two minute) synopsis of the Annual Report to present to the membership at the Annual Business meeting in Baltimore on Wednesday, March 8. Due to time constraints, chapter chairs will NOT be asked to report on chapter activities. Information on chapter activities is readily available on chapter websites and chapter annual reports will be posted on-line in mid-March with the other reports.
VRA's 25th Year: A Silver Anniversary
The Art Libraries Society/North America (ARLIS/NA) and the Visual Resources Association (VRA) are pleased to announce that registration for the third Summer Educational Institute (SEI) for Visual Resources and Image Management will open Wednesday, February 1, 2006.
The Morton R. Godine Library at the Massachusetts College of Art is pleased to announce that Caitlin Pereira has accepted the position of Digital Imaging Assistant. Caitlin is a recent graduate of MassArt, earning her BFA in photography. After graduation, she worked for Boston Photo Imaging, where she worked on large digitization projects for Harvard Divinity School, Northeastern Law School, as well as MassArt's pilot digitization project. We are very excited to have Caitlin joining our team!
For open and archived positions, see Job Opportunities on the VRA main page.
Questions on the listserv regarding copyright led me to take another look at some 2005 publications on the subject. While these may not directly address the copyright issues faced in academic visual resources collections, they do provide useful guidance.
Barker, D. M. (2005). Defining the contours of the digital millennium copyright act: The growing body of case law surrounding the DMCA. Berkeley Technology Law Journal, 20(1), 47-63. Reviews recent cases and their implications for interpretation of DMCA.
Bowe, N. E. (2005). Digital rights and wrongs: Intellectual property in the information age.Business & Society Review, 110(1), 77-96. Provides a very conservative take on the morality of copying -- worth a look even if you disagree.
Bromberg, D., & Underwood, S. (2005). Constitutional limits on copyrights. Intellectual Property &Technology Law Journal, 17(2), 1-6. In addition to addressing the rulings in recent cases, includes a section on the "Constitutional Background on Copyrights."
Center for Intellectual Property in the Digital Environment. (2005). Colleges, Code, and Copyright:The Impact of Digital Networks and Technological Controls on Copyright and the Dissemination of Information in Higher Education (ACRL Publications in Librarianship no. 57). Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries. Proceedings of the University of Maryland Center for Intellectual Property's June 2004 symposium. Includes papers on digital rights management systems, the TEACH Act, understanding of and attitudes towards copyright in the academy, and scholarly publishing.
Chou, M., & Zhou, O. (2005). The impact of licenses on library collections. The Acquisitions Librarian, 17(33/34), 7-23. Discusses problems with licensing digital content by means of annual subscriptions and advocates a digital first sale doctrine for libraries.
Gould, T. H. P., Lipinski, T. A., & Buchanan, E. A. (2005). Copyright policies and the deciphering of fair use in the creation of reserves at university libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 31(3), 182-197. Provides overview of case law as well as suggestions for the development of copyright policies. Includes useful table: "Portion Limitations on the Use of Copyrighted Material as Articulated in the Fair Use Guidelines and in Various Court Cases."
Harris, L. E. (2005). What if you can't locate a copyright owner? Information Outlook, 9(8), 30. Discusses laws that address locating a copyright owner and other issues faced by permission seekers.
Johnson, D. and Simpson, C. (2005). Are you the copy cop? Why copyright violations happen in schools and how to prevent them. Learning & Leading with Technology, 32(7), 14-20. Addresses some familiar issues including the cost and difficulty of obtaining permissions and "poverty and emotional appeals."
If you have comments on these publications or suggestions for other useful publications, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll add them to the next column.
Digital Rights Management – Issues for Higher Education
Kristin Solias’ compilation of 2005 publications on copyright includes the bound volume of the proceedings of the 2004 annual symposium of the Center for Intellectual Property and Copyright at the University of Maryland. The proceedings were published as Number 57 in the ACRL Publications in Librarianship series, under the title Colleges, Code, and Copyright: The Impact of Digital Networks and Technological Controls on Copyright and the Dissemination of Information in Higher Education.
The symposium’s focus was an exploration of how digital information and digital networks are transforming teaching, learning and scholarship in higher education. The proceedings are introduced with an edited transcription of Clifford Lynch’s keynote address. Dr. Lynch, who holds a PhD. in computer science, and currently serves as executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), presented an overview of the issues raised by DRM, with special emphasis on the academic realm.
Lynch has an interesting discussion of the transition in the world of computer science from the use of the phrase “software copy protection” to the currently used phrase “digital rights management” or DRM. He argues that this change in vocabulary carries with it an implied shift in outlook and a political position which was not present in the earlier days, with the term “rights” implying legal and policy aspects embedded in the system. DRM technologies, he asserts, are often presented as “engineering in the service of upholding the God-given rights of the rights holders.”1
His address includes an overview of the various types of DRM technologies – access control, downstream control, and tracking and accountability (eg. digital watermarking).
Lynch sees the plethora of government legislation and regulations as serving to inhibit innovation. “The more ubiquitous, the more mandated and global that [DRM] implementation is, the scarier it gets. And the more damaging it gets.”2
One of Lynch’s major points is that policy makers need to recognize and consider the purposes and functions of the academic environment, where the needs for and uses of digital information are different from those of the consumer marketplace. This concept informs the tone of his address, and adds his voice to a theme that is consistently found in any number of discussions of copyright issues as they relate to the academic environment. And like many others, Lynch echoes the call for policy makers in the higher education and cultural heritage environments to come to a consensus and pursue an agenda for “the development and deployment of DRM for its own purpose and within its own sphere.” 3 Lynch’s address also touches on both fair use and the TEACH act, re-iterating his point that we need to not only think about, but actively advocate for the kinds of digital rights management environments that will best serve the needs of the academic world.
In addition to the keynote address, there are eight other papers published in this volume, culled from the original thirty-one presented at the symposium. The selected papers are presented to the reader in two broad groupings, “Framing the Issues” and “Reaching Solutions”. A paper by John T. Mitchell, “DRM: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” sets out to differentiate between uses of DRM that should be encouraged, monitored, or prohibited and prosecuted. 4 In places filled with legal language difficult to read through, the paper nonetheless provides a wealth of detailed information about DRM systems, and the issues surrounding their use in managing the rights of a copyright holder. At sixty-six pages in length, Mitchell’s paper is by far the longest in the volume. And, with sixteen (!) full pages of footnotes, there are enough references to satisfy any research scholar.
Another paper, “Knowledge Level of Postsecondary Educators Regarding Copyright and Copyright-related Issues” by Jasmine R. Renner, reports on a questionnaire-based study of 120 post-secondary educators who taught web-based courses. There are several tables summarizing the results which indicate, not surprisingly, that educators lack knowledge of copyright policies, and do not know where to gain this information. Renner also reports that institutions of higher learning are struggling to keep up with changes in copyright law brought about through recent legislation. She suggests that institutions need to develop more effective means to ensure that their instructors are aware of, and have access to current information on copyright. The two questionnaires used in the survey are included as appendices, and are interesting in themselves.
The TEACH act article 5 details the origins and provisions of the act, material already familiar to the VR community through the presentations and online materials of Dr. Kenny Crews, and presentations at our own VRA conferences. Kathleen Wallman and Albert A. Gonzalez’ article on the future of fair use 6 aims to explore protections required to ensure that fair use remains viable in the digital age. Like other papers in the volume, theirs also draws attention to the new restrictions in the copyright environment brought about by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) that prohibits the circumvention of DRM technologies. They note that the DRM technology used to enforce the DMCA also serves to limit access to copyrighted materials. The authors report on the findings of their survey on current practices regarding fair use in classroom teaching and research. They describe instructor attitudes about using copyrighted material in the classroom, and instructor knowledge about copyright issues in teaching. Recognizing that “respondents’ answers suggest the DRM limitation would deter research and teaching use of electronic copyrighted materials” 7 , the authors suggest the need for legal protections for fair use. Much has already happened in this area since this paper was presented in June 2004. The attention drawn to fair use through the U. S. Copyright office’s Orphan Works inquiry in 2005 has greatly increased awareness of the need for workable solutions to fair use issues. As the closing article in the volume, it again argues the case for exceptions to the restrictive digital rights management systems that figure all too prominently in today’s world.
Museums And The Web 2006
Access To Assets: Return On Investment
Greater New York
The Greater New York Chapter held its fall 2005 meeting in November at the Institute of Fine Arts/NYU. A lively and productive business meeting was followed by a presentation by Chapter Chair Jenni Rodda, as a preview of the "Educating the Educators" workshop to be held at the Baltimore conference in March. Committees were formed to review
The annual meeting of the Pacific Rim Chapter was held at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, on August 27, 2005. The meeting was hosted by Margo Ballantyne (Lewis and Clark College) and Karin Whalen (Reed College), and took place in Lewis and Clark's new "green" building, Howard Hall. Margo provided a tour of the building and the Visual Resources Collection, and presentations were given by Debra Cox, Karin Whalen, and Deb Royer.
Debra Cox (Curator, Art Slide Library, University of Washington, Seattle) presented on the workshop she attended at the VRA 2005 annual conference in Miami Beach, "Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) Bootcamp." Her presentation was terrific and stimulated a spirited discussion. Deb had received the Chapter's Travel Award for 2005 to help attend the VRA conference.
Karin Whalen (Visual Resources Librarian, Reed College, Portland, OR) reported on "DAM (Digital Asset Management) Day" which took place at Reed College in June 2005. Representatives from Almagest, Luna, MDID, and ContentDM made presentations to local visual resources professionals.
Deb Royer (Library Director, Rex Arragon Library, Portland Art Museum) talked about her experiences during the expansion and renovation of the Portland Art Museum's North Building, which involved moving the Rex Arragon Library from its old space to temporary quarters, and then back to its new space in the renovated building. The presentation included many compelling visuals and anecdotes! Deb also provided meeting attendees with complimentary passes to visit the Portland Art Museum.
During the business meeting, the site and date for the 2006 annual chapter meeting was discussed. Deb Cox suggested the Seattle Public Library, where she volunteers. Deb agreed to coordinate the meeting for the Chapter, which will probably take place in October.
Karin Whalen announced that the 2006 VRA/ARLIS Summer Education Institute (SEI) will be held at Reed College in Portland.
In other news
Denise Hattwig, Curator, Visual Resources Collection, University of Washington, Bothell was chosen to be the Chapter secretary for a two-year term beginning in January 2006.
Jeanette Mills, Director of Visual Services, Art Slide Library, University of Washington, Seattle, is the recipient of the 2006 Chapter Travel Award of $500.00 to assist her attendance at the VRA annual conference in Baltimore in 2006.
Christine Sundt announced in December that she was retiring from her position as Visual Resources Curator, Architecture and Allied Arts Library, University of Oregon, Eugene. Congratulations, Chris! We wish you all the best!
Karin Whalen announced in January that Reed College is seeking applicants for a grant funded full time two year Digital Collection Assistant assisting in the Visual Resources Collection. The deadline for the application is February 6, 2006. For complete description details, please see: http://web.reed.edu/digital_asset_mgmt/