Category Archives: Copyright

Happy Fair Use Week!

This week is Fair Use Week and UT Libraries is participating by hosting a Copyright & Fair Use workshop on Wednesday and by joining in the online discussion via social media.

If you want to see everything that is happening around the country this week, please see the Association of Research Libraries’ page devoted to Fair Use Week.

What is fair use?

Fair use is the limited use of copyrighted works without needing to ask permission from the copyright owner. There is a ton of nuance in that sentence and fair use requires careful consideration. While it is complicated, it’s one of the most important parts of U.S. copyright law for people who are creating new works by building upon the works of others.

Fair use is happening all around – especially if you are on a college campus.

  • A professor may use small clips from films or television shows to demonstrate or illustrate a point in class
  • A student may use quotes from other authors in order to expand upon an argument in their paper
  • University radio or TV stations may use small clips from press conferences or other events as part of their news reporting
  • An instructor may share an article or selected reading with their class
  • A PhD student may include images or figures in their dissertation
  • A student group may create a parody of a popular show or meme

If this all seems foreign to you, I encourage to come to the workshop tomorrow (Wednesday) about fair use. We’ll discuss the basics of copyright & fair use and have hands-on “is this fair use?” activities.

The Libraries also has a comprehensive resource about copyright in the U.S. There is a subsection on fair use that gives a good overview of what needs to be considered. And I highly recommend you check out the codes of best practices that the Center for Media & Social Impact has collected on their site. While these statements are not legally binding, they are a great resource for investigating fair use in different fields.


Top 5 Things We Tweeted This Year!

These are our top 5 tweets for 2016! Thanks for all the Twitter love, everybody!

Texas ScholarWorks @utdigitalrepo
The @utlibraries scholarly publishing site is now live! Learn about #openaccess, #opendata, #copyright and more!

Texas ScholarWorks @utdigitalrepo
ACRL Releases Updated Scholarly Communication Toolkit …

Texas ScholarWorks @utdigitalrepo
More #openaccess button-making & swag today! Come by! Thursday, Oct. 27th, from 1:00-3:00pm in the Fine Arts Library @utlibraries

Texas ScholarWorks @utdigitalrepo
@utlibraries paid 24k 4 subscription 2 Science mag. Could’ve bought a Ford Escape 4 that $! #openaccess helps keep our, & your, costs down!

Texas ScholarWorks @utdigitalrepo
@utaustin Stop by our #openaccess Week booth at PCL from 12-2 today! button-making machines, swag, & enthusiastic librarians! @utlibraries

Carla Hayden: New Librarian Of Congress

We at Texas ScholarWorks wanted to congratulate Carla Hayden on her appointment as the new Librarian of Congress! She is not only the first women to hold the post, but the first African American. We wish her luck and we are confident that she will provide the knowledge and experience this position demands. Best wishes, Carla!

Google Books copyright case

The Google Books copyright case (Authors Guild vs Google) is finally over – more than 10 years after it started. The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal from the authors which means the Second Circuit Court decision stands – that the Google Books digitization project was a fair use.

If you’d like to review the details of this case, here are a couple resources:,_Inc._v._Google,_Inc.

Scholarly communication learning opportunities

Winter/spring semester 2016 is full of learning opportunities on a variety of scholarly communication topics.

Friday, February 12th, 12:30-1:30: Deceptive -vs- ethical publishing practices. PCL 1.124

Wednesday, February 17th, 1:00-2:00: Copyright and academic work. Learning Lab 2 (PCL 2.340).

Wednesday, March 2nd, 12:00-1:00: Statistics in Texas ScholarWorks. PCL 1.124

  • UT Libraries has added a statistics module onto Texas ScholarWorks. The module allows users to see the last six months of usage information and allows library staff and collection managers to run usage reports on collections and authors. This training session will demonstrate step-by-step instructions for using the new statistics module and provide examples of how these stats could be used with faculty, staff, and students.

Thursday, March 10th, 2:00-3:00: Creative Commons Licenses. Learning Lab 2, (PCL 2.340).

  • Did you know almost everything you create is copyrighted and can’t be used without your permission? Join Matt Russell, Learning Sciences, and Colleen Lyon, UT Libraries, as they discuss how you can use Creative Commons (CC) licenses to allow others to use your work while still getting the credit you deserve as the creator. They will also discuss strategies for finding CC licensed work for you to use in your own research and teaching.

Thursday, March 10th, 4:00-5:00: Open Education Week Panel. Learning Lab 1, (PCL 2.370)

  • In celebration of Open Education Week, hear about how UT professors are using open practices in their classes in order to engage students and increase accessibility and affordability of materials. Christian Hilchey and Mark Hopkins will explain the process of creating openly licensed online multimedia materials for their introductory Czech classes. James Henson will discuss his experience with teaching a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) about Texas politics and government.

Monday, March 21st, 12:00-1:00pm: Finding and Repurposing Data PCL 1.124

  • Dr. Daniel Taber, Asst. Professor at the UT School of Public Health, will discuss his experiences with finding and repurposing data.

Friday, April 8th, 4:00-5:00: Open Access Panel. PCL Learning Lab 1 (PCL 2.370) This event is canceled.

Friday, April 15th, 12:00-1:00: Publication agreements and author rights. PCL 1.124

  • Many authors are so excited to get published that they don’t read the publication agreement before signing. They may later find out they no longer own any rights to their own work. Other authors want to negotiate to retain some rights but are thwarted by online click-through licenses. Join the Scholarly Communication Group in a discussion about publication agreements, copyright, and author rights.

Friday, April 15th, 4:00-5:00: John Ioannidis and the communication of biomedical research. Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302

  • In 2014, Stanford University established the Meta-Research Innovation Center,METRICS, that aims to transform research practices to improve the reproducibility, efficiency and quality of scientific investigations. John Ioannidis, co-Director of METRICS, will share about the communication of biomedical research.

Tuesday, May 10th, 3:00-4:00: Randy Bass. Avaya Auditorium, POB 2.302

  • Dr. Bass will talk about the importance of ‘openness’ in curricular innovation and new designs for learning.


Happy Birthday to You!

A district judge ruled yesterday that Warner-Chappell does not own the copyright to Happy Birthday. Warner-Chappell had been collecting licensing fees on the song that reportedly totaled 2 million dollars a year.
For more information about the ruling:


More publisher take-down notices

The American Society of Civil Engineers has hired a firm called Digimarc to police the uploading of publisher PDF versions of their articles on personal or university websites. The take-down notices have gone out to many universities around the world. For more information:

General information:

Information about these take-down notices from the University of California:

While it’s sad to see a publisher attacking the very people who keep their journals in business, this is a perfect example of why faculty/researchers should be aware of their rights when publishing any of their work.