Managing Intellectual Property in Digital Libraries and Copyright Challenges

Managing Intellectual Property in Digital Libraries and Copyright Challenges

Monicah Jemeli Chemulwo (St. Paul's University, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3093-0.ch009
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Digital technology gives libraries an excellent opportunity to improve their services. It also provides new ways of preserving and disseminating library collections. But the different stages of digitization of the materials in libraries involve many copyright issues. This leads to myriad legal and practical challenges such as locating the owner of copyright. Librarians need to take note of these problems and explore possible solutions. The chapter explores types of intellectual property and their characteristics, legal challenges for digital libraries, legislative responses to the challenges, copyright and fair use, digital library and copyright as well as copyright challenges and recommendations.
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Intellectual property refers to the product of a person's imagination and creativity and the rights of these people to control the use of their products (Kallinikou, Marinos Papadopoulos, Kaponi, & Strakantouna, 1993). Intellectual property can be bought, sold, exchanged and licensed to other people or organizations by the intellectual property holder (Sahoo & Rao, 2003). Intellectual property is insubstantial and is not linked to the tangible artistic, dramatic or musical work which may have resulted from it (Muir, 2006). For example: a book is actual property and can change hands without affecting the intellectual property (in this case copyright) of the artist. Intellectual property is protected by intellectual property law and there are six major types of intellectual property law: copyright, patents, designs, trademarks, circuit layouts and new plant varieties; however, confidential information, the duty of fidelity, trade secrets, confidentiality and moral rights are also included (Sahoo & Rao, 2003).

We are living in the age of sophisticated and abundant of information and knowledge is dominating in this age. The one who best practices the knowledge application leads the race and now, the countries strength is assessed by its Intellectual Property management rather than its economic power (Cleveland, 1998). Managing Intellectual Property in digital is gaining more importance as equal to protecting natural resources (Pantalony, n.d.). Till now, academic institutes as a whole and faculty in specific are engaged in training activities and the attention diverted to manage its intellectual properties (Kallinikou et al., 1993). Many higher learning institutions and universities started generating revenue through managing the Intellectual properties and also they brought in strict governance to monitor the IP (Khan & Makhdumi, 2008). Many academic libraries in developing countries, do not fully understand the value and importance of managing its intellectual properties for the counties future prosperity (Rosati, n.d.). Very few research institutes are involved in developing and management of their institutions knowledge assets (Sahoo & Rao, 2003).

Libraries especially academic libraries in the developing countries are on cross roads and they are confused on whether to support the IP management so as to generate the income of the authors or support the open access drive where the knowledge is made available to everyone without any commercial implications (Kumar, 2009). There is an immediate requirement for developing countries’ universities to take any one route so as to protect the interest of knowledge custodians (Calhoun, 2013). If they take first approach though the receiver has to pay for the usage, the contributor also will get benefit out of it (Panezi, 2014). If they take second route both receiver and contributor need not have any commercials in their transactions.

Digital libraries are electronic equivalents to paper collections of records and it is an organized collection of electronic information disseminated to a designated community through network technologies providing easy access to data (Greenstein, 2000). Provided that a global secure network can be established, digital libraries hold the potential of vastly simplifying the process of providing access to timely and complete collections of intellectual property records maintained by other intellectual property offices (Rosati, n.d.). Digital libraries, accordingly, present an attractive alternative to the paper-based collections maintained today by most intellectual property offices (Pantalony, n.d.).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Fair Use: The law that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder.

Legislation: The process through which statutes are enacted by a legislative body that is established and empowered to do so.

Copyright: The exclusive legal right given to an originator to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material and to authorize others to do the same.

Trade Mark: A word, phrase, symbol or design, or a combination of words, phrases, symbols or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods of one party from those of others.

Trade Secret: A secret device or technique used by a company in manufacturing its products.

Digital Library: A collection of documents in organized electronic form, available on the Internet or on compact-disk read-only memory disks.

Digital Rights Management: An approach to copyright protection for digital media.

Intellectual Property: Creations of the mind such as inventions, literary, artistic works, designs, symbols, names and images used in business.

Digitization: The process of converting data or information from analog into a digital format.

Patent: A government authority conferring a right for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using or selling an invention.

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