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Examples from Drew
This page shares some examples that showcase the copyright, intellectual property, and ethical considerations of working with digitized material online. These case studies may be helpful in making a determination of how to engage with copyright and your digital projects.
- Digital Exhibit of Contemporary Graphic Novel Works: The curator reached out to each author and publisher using the permissions request form and described the use and purpose of the exhibit, as well as plans for digital archiving. Some items required additional conversations with authors and representatives given the virtual nature of the exhibit and the topics addressing regarding gender, identity, privacy, and the author's artistic integrity. The curator collaborated with the author and publisher on the reworking of this specific permissions arrangement.
- Digital Exhibit of Holocaust Materials and Survivor Testimonies: This digital exhibit was composed of materials and survivor testimonies from a physical exhibit and permission was granted from the curator, the collections' director, and the remaining family members of the survivors. Special attention was paid to the description and cataloging of the items to foreground and contextualize the survivors rather than the perpetrators.
- Digital Collection of 20th Century Magazines: Advertisements from a popular 20th Century Men's magazine were digitized as part of a humanities research project. The project addressed how the magazine represented technology and masculinity. Given the copyright status and the popularity of the magazine, the materials were kept behind a Drew University login and any images that appeared publicly on the website included annotations and scholarly critique.
- Digital Census of Images in 15th Century Book: This project created a comprehensive and accessible census of imagery contained in a 15th century book. While the images and text in the book were in the public domain, specific libraries and collections that supplied images retained rights to the digitized images. In these instances, the textual description of the image was included in the census and a link to the participating library's catalog record.
- Images in Theses and Dissertations, Creative and Scholarly: Because theses and dissertations will be published in the library's institutional repository and linked in the catalog, permission must be obtained for any in-copyright works. If this is not possible, one recommendation is to link out to the digitized image on the web. That way a reader can still view and access the image online, but it is not included within the thesis itself. If the images are on an artist site or museum collection, those links tend to be the most reliable. Use a tool like Permacc to create permanent links to the websites that contain the images. This can be a helpful way to future proof the links in your dissertation against broken links and 404 errors.
- Online Magazines and Literary Publications: Students retain copyright of the content they create (art, texts, translations, audio/video, etc.), unless explicitly licensed through Creative Commons language. Works incorporating other in-copyright materials should consult Fair Use requirements.
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