This week, we are proud to present the first ever Author Spotlight collaboration post featuring James S. Heller, Professor of Law at College of William & Mary Law School and Director of The Wolf Law Library; Paul Hellyer, Reference Librarian at College of William & Mary, The Wolf Law Library; and Benjamin J. Keele, Research and Instruction Librarian at Indiana University Ruth Lilly Law Library, all co-authors of Librarian’s Copyright Companion, Second Edition.
Long before he wrote the first edition of the Librarian’s Copyright Companion, Jim Heller was active in copyright issues. Between 1982 and 2001, he served as chair of the Copyright Committee of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) four separate times. He was also designated as an advisor on copyright issues for the College of William & Mary, where he currently serves as director of the law library. Jim’s core philosophy regarding copyright is based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s statements that the purpose of copyright is the dissemination and promotion of knowledge. With that in mind, Jim says that “When there are close calls, I resolve them in favor of users of intellectual property – individuals and libraries – rather than copyright owners. Organizations like the Copyright Clearance Center and the Author’s Guild often don’t agree with me, but that’s OK. As librarians, it’s our job to strongly support permissible uses of copyrighted works under U.S. law.”
In 2001 Jim decided to begin work on a copyright book for librarians. Having been a customer of Hein for many years, Jim understood Hein’s commitment to the library community. Hein was Jim’s first choice for publisher, and Hein readily accepted his proposal. Jim’s plan was not for a general treatise on copyright law, but rather for a copyright book that would be tailored for librarians. He wanted a book that would provide practical advice on the most common copyright problems that librarians confront. He also wanted to convey a broad and robust concept of the fair use doctrine, and offer a perspective that favors users and libraries, to counter the restrictive views on copyright conveyed by the publishing industry.
Hein published the first edition of the Librarian’s Copyright Companion in 2004, and it was purchased by hundreds of libraries across the country. The first edition served its purpose well, but copyright law is always in flux, and by 2010, Jim felt it was time to begin work on a new edition. He had written the first edition by himself, but he wanted to take a collaborative approach to the new edition, so he asked two of the reference librarians at William & Mary Law School to join him in the effort—Paul Hellyer and Ben Keele. All three co-authors have degrees in both law and library science.
Jim, Paul and Ben planned to thoroughly revise the book to cover new developments in copyright law, improve the first edition’s explanations, and cover new areas not addressed in the first edition. Paul focused on the first five chapters of the book, Ben focused on the remainder, and Jim oversaw the project. After about two years of work, the three co-authors submitted the Second Edition of the Librarian’s Copyright Companion to Hein. The book went on sale in November 2012, and has received several positive reviews in journals including the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, the Journal of Academic Librarianship, Law Library Journal, and Library Quarterly.
Since publishing the Second Edition, Jim, Paul and Ben remain active in copyright law. All three authors give presentations on copyright law at professional association meetings and their universities. In 2014, Paul wrote a copyright column for the Virginia Association of Law Libraries, and recently had an article on copyright’s work-made-for-hire doctrine accepted by Law Library Journal. Ben now works as a research librarian at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, where he continues to write on copyright issues and serves on the AALL Copyright Committee.
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Much has changed (and much hasn’t) since the first edition came out in 2004. The transition from print to digital continues in periodical collections and academic reserves and repositories. The Copyright Act has changed a little but not for the better. What also hasn’t changed is the fact that the publishing industry’s views begin with the premise that if you want to use something, you have to pay for it. This book is another voice of copyright, beginning with a different premise: copyright exists to promote the dissemination of information, and while creators have certain rights, so do users. This new edition updates every chapter from the first edition and adds a new chapter on the library as a publisher. Also included is information on recent developments such as Creative Common licenses and the use of digital video (e.g. YouTube) in the classroom.
Librarian’s Copyright Companion, Second Edition
Item #: 8831
Published: Buffalo; William S. Hein & Co., Inc.; 2012