Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of against the Grain

By Belcinski, Donna | Journal of the Medical Library Association, April 2014 | Go to article overview

Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of against the Grain


Belcinski, Donna, Journal of the Medical Library Association


Gasaway, Laura N. Copyright Questions and Answers for Information Professionals: From the Columns of Against the Grain. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue Uni- versity Press; 2013. 284 p. ISBN: 978-1-6124-9254-4.

The intricacies of copyright law can be difficult to navigate for even the most knowledgeable of information professionals. While there are many books available to help with this daunting task, few are as much a pleasure to read as Laura Gasaway's Copyright Ques- tions and Answers for Information Professionals. Gasaway has written a column in the periodical Against the Grain for almost fifteen years, in which she answers questions posed by Against the Grain readers. Copyright Questions and Answers is a compilation of those columns. This work is organized into thir- teen chapters and an epilogue that cover everything from copyright basics to emerging challenges in copyright. In between, there are chapters on copies for users, per- missions, performance, record- ings, interlibrary loan, preserva- tion, the Internet, and digitization. Also included are an appendix, ''When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain'' that features easy-to-read chart and an exten- sive index that gives page and question numbers for each topic. Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the chapter topic as an introduction.

Almost any question a librarian could think of pertaining to copy- right is covered in this book. Who owns the copyright of a letter, the writer or the recipient? Are emails copyrighted? Or photo- graphs? Is it better to post links to a web page, or can you repro- duce it on your own website? Is it enough to obtain permission for use through an email, or do you need it in a hard copy? These are just a few examples of the many questions that Gasaway answers in a clear, accessible style. The work has a ''plain language'' approach, which is welcome for a subject that can often be con- fusing and sometimes dull. It is a different format than more tradi- tional books on copyright, such as Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators (ALA Editions; 2012; ISBN: 978-0-8389-1092-4) by Ken- neth Crews, because Gasaway is answering questions posed by real-life librarians. For example, in chapter 10, which covers inter- library loan and document deliv- ery, the following question is asked: ''More and more frequent- ly the library is being asked to reproduce a whole journal for document delivery. …

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