The 10 commandments for keeping your sanity if you happen to be a copyright librarian
- Thou shalt accept that only God can know everything there is to know about copyright law.
- Thou shalt accept that mere mortals such as yourself will go mad if you try to know everything about copyright law.
- Copyright law is merely a subset of intellectual property law. Thou shalt accept that the world of intellectual property law is greater than your tiny mind. The World Intellectual Property Organization lists no less than 123 texts (43 laws, 28 implementing regulations and 52 treaties) relating to New Zealand, a country of less than 5 million people.
- Thou shalt ignore flatterers who try to persuade you that you are the omniscient source of wisdom about copyright matters. Flattery is a way of getting somebody else to do something you do not want to do yourself. Don’t be flattered into making the copyright headaches of others your own.
- If, however, for your sins you are the “resident copyright guru”, thou shalt accept that while you do not know everything, it is your job to find out the answers. Poor you. But moving on …
- Thou shalt accumulate a file of guidelines and resources to help you find the answers in real time.
- Thou shalt be vigilant for databases containing copyright friendly (free) resources.
- Thou shalt relentlessly preach the virtues of attribution to staff and students.
- Thou shalt not be so stupid as to talk about anything and everything else but attribution when discussing copyright with other people. Talk about attribution first, and worry about other details later, if at all.
- Thou shalt go home at the end of the day and forget about it all. God only knows what laws, regulations and treaties tomorrow will bring.
Copyright query reference resources available online:
Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011
Copyright Act 1994
Copyright Act 1994 and amendments: Guidelines for Librarians
Copyright resources: (LIANZA)
Copyright guidelines: University of Waikato Copyright Information
Copyright guidelines: University of Waikato Copyright Q & A
No copyright on certain works: Section 27 of The Copyright Act 1994