MAY 22

Distinguished Seminar Series: "But what about copyright?"

In this Distinguished Seminar Series, Melissa Levine, Lead Copyright Officer at the University of Michigan Library, talks about how copyright touches almost all aspects of the work of libraries, museums, and archives, and she discusses current efforts to address copyright-related concerns at scale.

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Distinguished Seminar Series


As we think intentionally about issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, we recognize how free, open online collections make it possible for everyone to study primary evidence regarding race, religion, gender, national origin, indigenous peoples and more. But copyright touches almost all aspects of the work of libraries, museums, and archives. It affects what gets produced and how, what gets collected and preserved, who gets to see or use collections, and how they can be used. Copyright shapes what we are able to share online, whether they are in accessible formats, and raises questions about how to meaningfully support use and reuse. Catalog records only minimally provide information needed to make copyright determinations, and there are diverse views about copyright—even among Supreme Court justices. The aspiration of global access is affected by international legal differences that reflect varied national social and cultural norms. There is increased awareness that in being responsible stewards, our ethical considerations must include consideration of rights beyond copyright like traditional knowledge—even if not legally mandated per se.
Melissa Levine will discuss these matters and some of the current efforts to address these concerns at scale, including the HathiTrust's Copyright Review Management System, global work in the creation of, and how the Community Standards for 3D Data Preservation's working group on copyright is thinking about more than copyright. The event will be held at OCLC’s global headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, and attendees have the option to attend virtually or in-person.

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About Melissa Levine

Melissa Levine is Lead Copyright Officer at the University of Michigan Library providing guidance on copyright policy and practice in the university context. On any given day, questions range from open access and open data to copyright in scholarly publishing and artificial intelligence. She is a member of the library's senior management group and serves on the steering committee for the University of Michigan’s Museum Studies Program. Melissa is a lecturer at the University of Michigan School of Information where she teaches a course on intellectual property and information law. She also teaches a course on museums, law, and policy for the masters in museum studies program at Johns Hopkins Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Advanced Academic Programs. 

Melissa has wide-ranging experience in museum and library policy and hands-on management supporting the stewardship of cultural collections. She has worked at several university museums and at the Smithsonian Institution, where she handled business affairs including publishing and licensing matters. In addition, she was Assistant General Counsel and Legal Advisor for the Library of Congress’ National Digital Library Project, working on cutting-edge issues of digital preservation and Internet access for American history primary materials. Melissa received her undergraduate degree in history and art history from Emory University and her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law. She is a 2011 graduate of the Frye Leadership Institute Class.

About the Distinguished Seminar Series

OCLC Research established the Distinguished Seminar Series in 1978 to encourage the sharing of thought leadership around topics that effect the ever-evolving world of librarianship and information sharing. We invite distinguished professionals to our headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, to give presentations on topics of current interest. Speakers may discuss recently completed or early-stage research that they have undertaken or report other types of professional activity. Some topics align closely with our current research directions, while others represent areas of interest to the library and information science community that are not formally being studied by our researchers.


22 May 2018


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]


Dublin, Ohio


OCLC Kilgour Auditorium or virtually