A common theme throughout the conference, for me, was copyright law and copyright issues facing archives and libraries. These are issues that plague small archives, large archives and every archive in between.
Andy Sellars from the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic. It provided an amazing overview of what copyright is, who it impacts and how it is dealt with by archives all around the world. The workshop was held all day Wednesday, November 18th. The workshop covered everything from the history of copyright law, the first movie that was copyrighted (Fred Ott’s Sneeze), works in Public Domain, through who holds the rights to Pizza Rat.
|Fred Ott's Sneeze 1894|
By the end of the workshop I felt like I had a greater understanding of both the limitations of copyright law and some of the ways that archives can work within the parameters of the current laws. It is still a tough issue and certainly continues to prevent unlimited access to archival holdings without compromising. We also learned about a great resource, Creative Commons, which is a website that provides some education about copyright and provides access to some content that can be accessed.
This conference was a really wonderful experience, it definitely took me out of my comfort zone (I tend to be a little shy), but it allowed me to interact with so many different types of people and learn so much about this amazing industry. As I've been going through this career change I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "That's a job?" "oh, so you'll just be organizing things?" "I didn't know films needed to be preserved," but going to this conference really helped me feel more comfortable and confident with this big career change.