Open Letter from ASERL, BLC, GWLA, TRLN, and WRLC to commemorate Open Access Week 2013
From: John Burger (jburgeraserl.org)
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 11:00:50 -0700 (PDT)
Colleagues:

The libraries of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), 
the Boston Library Consortium (BLC), the Greater Western Library Alliance 
(GWLA), the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), and the Washington 
Research Library Consortium (WRLC) are pleased to kick-off the start of "Open 
Access Week 2013" with this Open Letter to our members, colleagues, and 
friends.  Together we represent 62 research libraries across much of the US.  
It is our pleasure to work together to support the development of open access 
publishing models and the fair use of copyrighted content.  

To support our members' ongoing interests in these areas, we are sponsoring a 
series of jointly-hosted webinars to explore and describe the current world of 
copyright, fair use, and open access.  The first session will be "Copyright and 
Fair Use 101," hosted by ASERL and TRLN on November 13, 2013.  These sessions 
are free and open to the public.  Details can be found at http://bit.ly/1fFKVNu 
 

Additional webinars hosted by other research library consortia are under 
development.  Information about future webinars will be posted on each of our 
organizations' websites as it becomes available.

On behalf of my colleagues, our thanks for supporting Open Access Week 2013.

--jeb
 
John Burger, Executive Director
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL)

Susan Stearns, Executive Director
Boston Library Consortium
sstearns [at] blc.org 

Joni Blake, Executive Director
Greater Western Library Alliance        
joni [at] gwla.org 
 
Mona Couts, Executive Director
Triangle Research Libraries Network
mona [at] trln.org 
 
Mark Jacobs, Executive Director
Washington Research Library Consortium
jacobs [at] wrlc.org   
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An Open Letter in Observance of Open Access Week 2013

October 18, 2013

To our members, colleagues, and friends:

The libraries of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries, the Boston 
Library Consortium, the Greater Western Library Alliance, the Triangle Research 
Libraries Network, and the Washington Research Library Consortium, collectively 
representing 62 research libraries, believe it is crucial that our libraries 
and universities, and the faculty and students they serve, have access to 
balanced information about open access publishing, the fair use of copyrighted 
materials, and emerging forms of scholarly communication. We believe that it is 
vital that content creators, content users, and libraries work together to find 
common ground to ensure that copyright "promote[s] progress in science and the 
useful arts" while at the same time providing reasonable compensation for the 
intellectual efforts expended to create that content. 

We affirm that the principles of fair use are necessary to education and 
scholarship and that those principles provide a critical balance to the needs 
of rights holders.  As advocates for effective library services, our members 
engage with faculty, students, and researchers to ensure they understand these 
principles and have ready access to the content they need.

Many libraries use the services of the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to 
manage payment of copyright royalties.  While the CCC is a useful tool, we want 
our members to be aware that, although founded in 1978 as a non-profit tax 
exempt organization, CCC was stripped of its federal tax exempt designation in 
1982. The U.S. Tax Court ruled the CCC had no "interests of any substance 
beyond the creation of a device to protect their copyright ownership and 
collect license fees."   We believe the CCC's continued marketing of itself 
today as "founded as a nonprofit organization" ignores the loss of its federal 
tax exempt status thirty years ago and is misleading as to its current business 
model.  

Moreover, the CCC is financially supporting a large portion of the lawsuit 
against our colleagues at Georgia State University, which our organizations 
find wholly objectionable.  Our organizations are also dismayed at the recent 
marketing campaign by the CCC in the Chronicle of Higher Education, including 
links to "educational videos" available from CCC's website which we believe 
provide incomplete and inaccurate information about the balance of copyright 
and fair use.  We believe the CCC's business model and its support of 
litigation against common library practices prevent it from providing impartial 
information about copyright and fair use.  We urge our members to consider the 
CCC's business model and practices when deciding on a method for managing 
copyright payments in the future.

In observance of Open Access Week 2013 and our longstanding support for open 
access and fair use, our organizations are partnering to create a series of 
webinars for our members that will examine the rapidly-evolving nature of 
intellectual property.  Our goal is to ensure our librarians, faculty and 
staffs are well-informed on the rights and responsibilities of open access, 
copyright, and fair use. These webinars will be freely available to our 
members, starting with "Copyright and Fair Use 101" on November 13 - see 
www.aserl.org for more information.  Additional webinars focusing on various 
facets of copyright, fair use, open access, and their impacts on library 
services will be scheduled for the remainder of the 2013-14 academic year.

We join colleagues around the world in celebrating Open Access Week!  With our 
thanks for your support of our programming,

John Burger, Executive Director
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries
jburger [at] aserl.org  

Susan Stearns, Executive Director
Boston Library Consortium
sstearns [at] blc.org 

Joni Blake, Executive Director
Greater Western Library Alliance
joni [at] gwla.org  

Mona Couts, Executive Director
Triangle Research Libraries Network
mona [at] trln.org  

Mark Jacobs, Executive Director
Washington Research Library Consortium
jacobs [at] wrlc.org   


About ASERL (www.aserl.org):   Founded in 1956, the Association of Southeastern 
Research Libraries (ASERL) serves 38 research institutions in 11 states.  ASERL 
operates numerous projects designed to foster a high standard of library 
excellence through inter-institutional resource sharing and other collaborative 
efforts.  

About the BLC (www.blc.org):  The Boston Library Consortium, an association of 
17 academic and research libraries located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
New Hampshire, is dedicated to sharing human and information resources to 
advance the research and learning of its constituency.

About GWLA (www.gwla.org):  The Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) is a 
consortium of 33 research libraries collaborating across 17 central and western 
states. GWLA is a dynamic, effective, project-oriented consortium, nationally 
recognized as a leader in the transformation of scholarly communication, and a 
facilitator in the application of new information technologies. 

About TRLN (www.trln.org):  Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) is a 
collaborative organization of Duke University, North Carolina Central 
University, North Carolina State University, and The University of North 
Carolina at Chapel Hill, the purpose of which is to marshal the financial, 
human, and information resources of their research libraries through 
cooperative efforts in order to create a rich and unparalleled knowledge 
environment that furthers the universities' teaching, research, and service 
missions. 

About WRLC (www.wrlc.org):  The Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) 
was established in 1987 to support and enhance the library and information 
services of universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Today, the 
WRLC enables the success of learning and scholarship among its nine partner 
universities by creating coordinated collections, creating a robust 
infrastructure for discovery and access, ensuring the long-term preservation of 
physical and digital information resources and sharing expertise. 


Attachment: OA Week Open Letter 2013 ASERL BLC GWLA TRLN WRLC.pdf
Description: OA Week Open Letter 2013 ASERL BLC GWLA TRLN WRLC.pdf

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