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Nadia and Angela have identified works that Angela wishes to use that are copyrighted and not in the public domain. They need to get permission from the rightsholders for uses that are not covered by exceptions and limitations.

First, they have to identify the copyright holders. Original authors may have licensed or transferred rights to a publisher or a collecting society, or the creation may be a work-for-hire. For the reasons explored in  Module 3 , other persons' rights may also be involved, such as music performers, or persons depicted in photographs (who are protected by the right of publicity against certain uses of their image), in addition to the photographer or entity who owns the copyright. When the contact information for the copyright holder is not available on the work, it might be possible to locate the holder though national copyright offices or collective rights organizations.

Once they have identified and located the rightsholders, Nadia and Angela will request permission to use the works. While a first contact by email or phone can be useful to explain the use they are considering, they will likely be required to follow up with a request in writing that describes accurately the copyrighted work (title, author, copyright holder, URL), the purpose of the use (a description of the use in the course pack), and the conditions of the permission that have been discussed (for a small fee, for free, etc.). If the decide to seek a broad license to a database containing the works at issue, they should carefully review the guidelines for the negotiation of such licenses set forth in this module.

Finally, if they are unable to identify the owners of the copyrights in some of the materials, they should consult their country's copyright law to ascertain whether it contains a provision dealing with "orphan works."

Additional resources

A brief overview of collective licensing systems by WIPO can be found in  “Collective Management of Copyrights and Related Rights” .

A much more in-depth analysis of voluntary collective rights organizations may be found in Robert Merges,  "Contracting Into Liability Rules: Intellectual Property Rights and Collective Rights Organizations ," 84 Calif. L. Rev.1293 (1996).

A thorough examination of collective licensing organizations in Europe is  KEA Study- Collective Management of Rights in Europe: A Quest for Efficiency  (2006).

Favorable discussions of compulsory collective licensing, particularly as a solution to the problem of peer-to-peer filesharing of copyrighted works, may be found in Neil Netanel,  "Impose a Noncommercial Use Levy to Allow Free Peer-to-Peer File Sharing,"  17 Harvard Journal of Law&Technology 1 (2003), and William Fisher,  Promises to Keep: Technology, Law, and the Future of Entertainment  (2004). Much more skeptical views are expressed in Robert Merges,  "Compulsory Licensing vs. the Three "Golden Oldies" Property Rights, Contracts, and Markets"  (Cato Policy Analysis No. 508, Jan. 15, 2004).

A thoughtful analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of collective licensing systems in Japan is Salil K. Mehra,  "The iPod Tax: Why the Digital Copyright System of American Law Professors' Dreams Failed in Japan,"  79 U. Colo. L. Rev. 421 (2008).

A crucial guide for librarians seeking to navigate these waters is  Emanuella Giavarra, "Licensing Digital Resources: How to Avoid the Legal Pitfalls.


The following judicial opinions explore and apply some of the principles discussed in this module:

UK: Grisbrook v. MGN Limited, High Court Chancery Division (High Court Chancery Division)  (Implied licenses)

Case C-169/05, Uradex SCRL v. Union Professionnelle de la Radio and de la Télédistribution (RTD) and Société Intercommunale pour la Diffusion de la Télévision (BRUTELE)  (Collecting Societies – Neighboring Rights)

France: Decision of the French Constitutional Council no. 2006-540 DC of 27 July 2006  (Digital Rights Management)

Davidson v. Jung, 422 F.3d 630 (8th Cir. 2005)  (Technological Protection Measures)

UK: Gilham v. R, Court of Appeal of England and Wales (Court of Appeal of England and Wales), 2009  (Technological Protection Measures)

Case C-275/06, Productores de Música de España (Promusicae) v. Telefónica de España SAU  (obligations of service providers)

Assignment and discussion questions


1. Understand a license

Select a license governing access to electronic resources in your library or find the standard terms of a publisher online. Read the use rights described in the license, and explain whether, to what extent, and under which conditions it covers the following actions:

  • reproduction by the patrons;
  • reproduction by the librarians;
  • downloading by the patrons;
  • interlibrary loan of a printed copy;
  • interlibrary loan of a digital version;
  • publication in an electronic reserve or a course pack;
  • rights when reusing resources: translation, compilation, indexing, abstract, data-mining, etc.; and
  • other uses that you may define.

2. Collecting societies

What collecting societies, copyright clearing houses, copyright offices, or other entities collectively managing rights are operating in your country? For each of them, provide the name of the society, the website if any, and the type of media or works covered. Read the applicable statutes or bylaws. Explain what rights are managed, if members must transfer all of their rights to the organization or may only license some of them, and if it is a voluntary or a compulsory system.

3. Orphan works

Which of the systems currently used by a few countries to facilitate use of orphan works is best? What system would be even better?

Discussion question(s)

Comment on the answers of your colleagues to question 1, and select the most favorable terms and licenses among those which have been analyzed.


This module was created by  David Scott  and  Emily Cox . It was then edited by a team including  Sebastian DiazWilliam FisherUrs GasserAdam HollandKimberley IsbellPeter JasziColin MaclayAndrew Moshirnia , and  Chris Peterson .

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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