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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

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.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Copyright for librarians. OpenStax CNX. May 14, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10698/1.2
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