Copyright Series – Part 2 or “The ven-diagram of copyright and licensing rights: little overlap”

The ven-diagram of copyright and licensing rights: little overlap
This is part two of our multi-part series on copyright.

One of my current, favorite soapbox topics is e-books. In fact, I was tempted to title this post E-books: The great evil of our time but thought that might too easily reveal my feelings on the matter.

E-books have been the subject of quite a lot of controversy in the library community. The conversation has centered on their difficulty to access, lend and administer. Bess Reynolds of Debovise & Pilmpton LLP recently authored a white paper (published by ALTA & AALL) that lists, in perfect detail, the overly complicated systems employed by the top vendors and the administrative nightmares that result. (There was a follow up published in Spectrum in April, 2014.) Bess’s paper(s) succinctly sums up many of the technical issues regarding e-books, but it was one of the closing lines that really stuck with me.

 “[W]e should demand the right to own e-books just as we own our print titles.”

 Think about that for a moment. As fellow librarians, I’m confident that most of you agree. While frustrating and often obnoxious, the clunky technical hoops of the vendors’ e-book platforms are the least of our worries when it comes to copyright. Copyright Rules dictate the terms by which Libraries license e-books and are written to work around the First Sale Doctrine and almost all of the other regulations libraries are accustomed accommodating for print works. This core issue of “exclusive rights” affects user borrowing privileges, inter-library loans, accessibility and historic preservation; basically everything that makes libraries, libraries.

As is the norm in electronic resources, libraries rarely own e-books outright. Once the contract is over, so too is access to the content. In many cases it is the vendors who get to determine how the information is accessed, stored, viewed and/or transmitted. The main question here is how do we as librarians increase our rights to use the information as libraries are wont to do (as in the examples given above). Contract negotiations might be an alternative for extending our options of how to use it, but that assumes that we have some leverage. Because the legal publishing world is concentrated in 3-5 key players, law libraries do not always have the option of picking someone else to work with or taking a stand against overly aggressive licensing agreements. Smaller private libraries, in particular, do not always have a good alternative to use as leverage.

If this state of affairs concerns you, here are a few concrete suggestions of what you can do to help make advancements in this area.

  • Forewarned is forearmed. If you are in a position to negotiate contracts for your users (or are consulted on them) look out for language that will limit what users can do with the information you are purchasing.
  • Don’t just accept the standard contracts, read them and make sure you understand what the institution is giving up!
  • Ask for changes or propose other language if the wording is unclear.
  • Familiarize yourself and use the Model Law Firm copyright policy survey for the AALL Copyright Committee.
  • Advocate for change. Have a conversation with your rep about your concerns, it might not change thing now but if enough of us are more vocal about it the future could look very different. Remember the first version of WestlawNext? Of Things can change if enough librarians bring up the same issues to the right people.

Part 3 of our Copyright Series is forthcoming!

Invitation to LLAM Holiday Party

We hope you can join us for LLAM’s 2014 holiday party!
CLICK HERE to register and pay online now!

LLAM 2014 holiday party flyerholiday party menu:

Heavy Hors d’oeuvres

  • Bhel Puri – Puffed Rice, Sev (Chickpea Noodles), Tossed with Mild Chilies, Vegetables, Chopped Cilantro, Cumin, Lime Juice, Sweet and Tart Chutneys. 
  • Artistic Display of Vegetables – Assorted fresh Vegetables: Asparagus, Red Peppers, Green Beans, Grape Tomatoes, Sweet Baby Carrots and Radishes – Smokey Ranch Dip
  • Chicken Pâté –served with Cornichons, Apple Slices and Baguette Rounds
  • Balela –Middle Eastern Salad
  • Brie and Gorgonzola Torte Garnished with Herbs, Pecans
  • Asian Noodle Salad – With a Lime Szechuan Dressing garnished with Baby Corn, Snow Peas, Multicolored Peppers, Spring Onions, and Sliced Carrots
  • Smoked Salmon & Home-made Vegetable Cream Cheese on Pumpernickel
  • Grilled Cheese Quarters & Demitasse of Roasted Red Pepper- Tomato Soup
  • Lemon-Chicken Francaise – Sautéed Chicken Breast Tenders in a Sauce of Lemon Juice, White Wine and Butter with Rice Pilaf


  • Fresh Fruit
  • Sliced Lemon Cakes
  • Frozen Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Sauce


  • Seltzer, Blackberry Lemon Sparkling Punch


Assistant Librarian for Technology and Collections Management

Job Title: Assistant Librarian for Technology and Collections Management

Department: Judicial Branch

Agency: Supreme Court of the United States

Job Announcement Number: SCOTUS-1262547-LIB


$89,924.00 to $141,488.00 / Per Year


Monday, November 17, 2014 to Friday, December 5, 2014




Full Time – Excepted Service Permanent


Washington DC


United States Citizens


Not Applicable




This position is a full-time position in the Library at the Supreme Court of the United States, in Washington, DC.

Closing Date: Friday, December 05, 2014, 11:59 PM


  • Not Required


  • No


  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Meet experience requirements (See Qualifications and Evaluations)
  • Security background check


Back to top

Department Head who plans, directs and evaluates the operations of the Library’s Technology Unit and Collections Management Unit. The Assistant Librarian is responsible for acquiring, coordinating, developing, implementing and administering computer systems and equipment to support all library functions and for assuring and maintaining access to all library collections and information resources, whether in print or electronic format. The incumbent advises the Librarian on the Library’s technology budget and evolving technology requirements and enhancements, manages the integrated library system, develops in-house applications, plans and manages the Library’s digitization program and acts as the Library’s liaison with the Court’s Office of Information Technology. In addition, the incumbent oversees circulation, interlibrary loan and document delivery policies and operations; coordinates space planning activities and administers the offsite Library Annex. The Assistant Librarian also coordinates library-wide disaster preparedness and recovery planning for technology. Collaborates on the disaster preparedness plan for the physical collection and participates in collection development and other policy-making areas as a member of the Library’s management team. The Assistant Librarian reports to the Librarian of the Court.


Back to top

Master’s Degree in Library Science from an ALA accredited school required. At least five years of post-MLS experience in supporting library technology needs and at least three years of experience as a library supervisor required. Three to five years of collections management experience also required. Comprehensive knowledge of library practices and procedures and how they interrelate, including expertise with library technology trends, issues and practices and knowledge of legal bibliography required. Experience with administering Innovative Interfaces’ Millennium or similar integrated library system required. Experience should include planning and executing digitization projects, administering library web sites, developing and providing access to online information products and services and providing access to and maintenance of a legal collection. Demonstrated knowledge of document delivery practices, OCLC and interlibrary loan functions. Proficiency with technical troubleshooting, Unix or Linux operating systems and scripting required. Experience in a law library setting and with library conservation and preservation practices preferred. Excellent communication skills, including the ability to comprehend and explain technology developments to employees at all levels and to document systems and procedures required. Ability to initiate, plan, manage and carry out highly complex tasks and to manage multiple complex activities simultaneously required. Proficiency with MS Office applications and SharePoint preferred.

Employment is subject to the successful completion of a security background check.


We will review and assess your application package in comparison with the posted qualifications for the position.


Back to top

Working for the Supreme Court of the United States offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. Additional benefits include flexible spending accounts, long term care insurance, and the SmartTrip transit subsidy.


Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959 , you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See


To apply for this position, you must submit a completed occupational questionaire (see below).

You must also complete, print and sign the OF-306 form, then upload it along with your resume and cover letter. These three documents are required and must be received by the closing date, Friday, December 05, 2014 in order to be considered. Please submit only these required documents.

  • To begin, click Apply Online to create a USAJOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USAJOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  • Click the Submit My Answers button to submit your application package.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date.
  • To verify your application is complete, log into your USAJOBS account,, select the Application Status link and then select the More Information link for this position. The Details page will display the status of your application, the documentation received and processed, and any correspondence the agency has sent related to this application. Your uploaded documents may take several hours to clear the virus scan process.
  • To return to an incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account and click Update Application in the vacancy announcement. You must re-select your resume and/or other documents from your USAJOBS account or your application will be incomplete.

Faxing Applications or Supporting Documents:

You are encouraged to apply online. Applying online will allow you to review and track the status of your application.

NOTE: If you applied online and your application is complete, do not fax the paper application (1203FX) as this will overwrite your prior online responses and may result in you being found ineligible.

If you completed the occupational questionnaire online and are unable to upload supporting document(s):

  1. To fax your documents, you must use the following cover page and provide the required information. The Vacancy ID 1262547.
  2. Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot complete the Application Package online, you may fax all of your materials. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Friday, December 05, 2014 to receive consideration. Keep a copy of your fax confirmation in the event verification is needed.

To complete the occupational questionnaire and submit via fax:

  1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire.
  2. Print the 1203FX form, follow the instructions and provide your responses to the occupational questionnaire items
  3. Fax all six pages of the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.


The following documents are required:

  1. Completion of the on-line Questionnaire
  2. OF-306
  3. A resume
  4. A cover letter


Personnel Office Phone: (202)479-3404 Email: PERSONNEL@SUPREMECOURT.GOV

Agency Information: Supreme Court of the United States Office of Budget and Personnel One First Street NE Washington, DC 20543 USA


Upon submission, you will receive an e-mail acknowledging receipt of your application. Please be advised that your application will not be considered complete unless all of the required documents have been received.

All applicants will be notified once a selection has been made.

The Future of Law Libraries: Looking Back and Looking Forward


On Tuesday, October 28, after LLAM’s fall board meeting, the Thurgood Marshall Law Library hosted a brown bag lunch and program featuring two presentations by Gail Warren, Director of the Virginia State Law Library and Treasurer of the American Association of Law Libraries. In the first, Ms. Warren looked back at the predictions made by AALL’s Special Committee on Law Libraries in the Digital Age in its 2002 report Beyond the Boundaries: Report of the Special Committee on the Future of Law Libraries in the Digital Age. This report provided impetus for the formation of Legal Information Preservation Alliance in 2003, and the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group in 2007. Predicting the future of law libraries is more art than science, and her frank assessment will be useful for those members who are called upon to make long term planning decisions in their own shops: Beyond the Boundaries, LIPA and Chesapeake (slides).


In the second presentation, Ms. Warren was joined by Mary Jo Lazun, Head of Collection Management at the Maryland State Law Library, and Joan Bellistri, Director of the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library, for an update on the work of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group. The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group is a collaborative effort of Legal Information Preservation Alliance members to address the challenges of born-digital legal information shared by the Virginia and Maryland State Law Libraries, Georgetown University Law Library, and Harvard University Law Library: The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group (slides).

RSVP for the upcoming Access to Justice Event!

LLAM is collaborating with LLSDC to bring you this event!  Please see below for RSVP information.

LSDC Access to Justice Committee is pleased to hold its first event!
When:       December 9, 2014
Where:      Public Defender Service for DC
                  633 Indiana Ave NW, 2nd floor
Time:         12 noon to 1:30 pm

Please join the Access to Justice Committee as we welcome our speaker, Emily Feltren, AALL’s Director of Government Relations, to our first event. Emily will be discussing what is happening with A2J initiatives at the National Level and other Law Library Chapters around the country.

Lunch will be provided.

Hope you can join us!

RSVP to Laura Moorer, Esq
Legal Reference Specialist
Public Defender Service for DC
633 Indiana Ave NW
Washington DC 20004
f 202-824-2174

Save the Date for these Upcoming LLAM Events!

LLAM’s Vice President and Chair of the Programs Committee, James Durham, has put together an exciting list of events for the next 6 months.  Please check out the list below and mark your calendar so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
If you have any questions or would like more information, please forward your inquiries to LLAMNewsMD.

  • Monday, December 15th from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: LLAM’s Holiday Party & Silent Auction will be held at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Registration information will be announced soon.
  • Thursday, January 22, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.: LLAM Brownbag Lunch Lecture at the University of Baltimore School of Law. Professor Fred B. Brown will speak on business organizations and taxation.
  • February, 2015 (Date and time TBD): MLA Legislative Day A tentative lecture at Anne Arundel County Public Law Library will cover the topic of U.S. government documents.
  • March, 2015 (Date and Time TBD) LLAM Brownbag Lunch Lecture at Venable, LLC in Baltimore. Steve Anderson will speak on copyright issues in law libraries.
  • Saturday, April 25, 2015, All Day: LLAM Service Project with “Rebuilding Together Baltimore”  Contact Sara Thomas for more information on participating.
  • Saturday, May 2, 2015: LLAM Spring Fling will be held at the Homewood House Museum on the Johns Hopkins University Campus in Baltimore.  A private tour for members will held at 1:00 p.m., followed by a tea in the home’s wine cellar at 2:00 p.m. Registration information will be announced closer to the date in the Spring.