Law Professor Speaks at Copyright Workshop

Earlier this year, Truman welcomed Paul D. Callister, professor of law and director of the Leon E. Bloch Law Library at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, to present information on the key copyright issues encountered by faculty and staff in higher education.
The workshop was sponsored by Pickler Memorial Library and Information Technology Services in an effort to continue to provide opportunities for faculty and staff to discuss and further their knowledge of the topic.  

“Copyright law is dynamic. It is a topic we frequently receive questions about,” said Diane Richmond, director of Learning Technologies. “As faculty members build course content, and as more and more information is being disseminated via Blackboard, professors have a heightened awareness of their responsibility to respect copyright law and review their materials. In education, we use the guidelines of Fair Use as our ‘litmus test,’ but this is not a law, it is a set of principles by which we make our decisions about what is ethical to use in our courses. Needless to say, the discussion of copyright is not straightforward. There are many factors that weigh into the decision-making process.”  

During the workshop, a variety of prevalent topics were covered, including aspects of copyright related to Fair Use, the TEACH Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Blackboard and use of media materials. This event was open to a diverse audience, including individuals who had prior knowledge regarding copyright who were looking for a refresher, as well as individuals looking for an introduction to copyright law.  

The workshop was interactive in format and provided attendees with the opportunity to work in small groups to discuss and provide resolutions to typical copyright problems.

By using a scenario-based presentation, Callister showed faculty how to work through a series of questions about licensing and possible copyright exemptions that might apply to their particular situation. Callister also the stressed the importance of keeping up with recent court decisions regarding copyright cases.