July 29 marked the second MPublishing Copyright Camp – this year with Deborah Wythe of the Brooklyn Museum. Copyright Camp is MPublishing’s way of making copyright fun, and we’ve had the great benefit of working with the great team at Open.Michigan on these events. What is Copyright Camp? On the last Friday of July we invite a speaker to discuss some aspect of copyright then break into informal discussion groups that allow copyright experts to mix and mingle with folks who are interested or concerned about copyright questions. Like last year, we were at full capacity again this summer.
Deborah gave a thoughtful keynote on how museums can better serve the public by going to where people are (online, that is) and sharing their materials. The Brooklyn Museum began using Creative Commons licenses a few years ago to share images of art in their collections. They make reproductions of two-dimensional objects (ie: paintings or photographs) in the public domain available online without restriction. These licenses make any copyright concerns (or the absence of any concerns!) clear to teachers, students, and anyone with an interest in using the images. They even upload their images to flickr and Wikimedia Commons to facilitate access. Deborah kindly gave us permission to share her slides and resource guide in Deep Blue. Deborah’s keynote was so engaging that many of the conversations during the unconference breakout discussions were about museum-related issues. It sounds like a few museums on the U-M campus will explore the idea of following the model of the Brooklyn Museum.
The Copyright Office can help any group on campus wishing to share their collections more effectively online or with any copyright-related questions. We can help review your collections generally and work with you to develop an approach to addressing copyright questions – including thinking about how to apply Creative Commons licenses to maximize access to your collections as appropriate.
Special thanks to Susan Topol and Emily Puckett Rogers of Open.Michigan for spearheading communications and for always being available and, well, open. Open.Michigan arranged for photos of Copyright Camp – check them out on flickr. And of course to the Copyright Office team of Bobby Glusko and Greg Grossmeier, Nancy Sims of the University of Minnesota Libraries, and Jack Bernard of the U-M Office of General Counsel. Pencil in Copyright Camp for July 2012 – summer camp attire and attitude required.