Taking the Confusion Out of Copyright in an Internet Age

Abstract: Badertscher and Reese acknowledge the complexity of copyright, both because of different U.S. and international laws and because of the introduction of electronic content.

They urge attention to permission and citation when using online reports, studies and articles, as well as other forms of electronic texts.

They note gray areas in copyright law:

  • converting analog to digital format,
  • linking,
  • third-party data from the web, and
  • content with no copyright mark.

They conclude by giving tips for special librarians on how to keep up with changing copyright law.


Given their audience of special librarians, I understand why Badertscher and Reese emphasize copyright compliance: risk management is often key in the special library setting.

However, it just seems absurd to worry about linking as copyright infringement. Linking is a major way of connecting the glut of information on the web and is a great marketing tool, as well.

I was intrigued by the RAND corporation mention, as a source of immense free research.

Badertscher, E., & Reese, K. (2008). Taking the Confusion Out of Copyright in an Internet Age. Information Outlook, 12(6). Retrieved October 12, 2008, from http://www.sla.org/io/2008/06/557.cfm.