Special Collections Rights Management
Rights management is a key component in the critical roles, responsibilities, and expectations of research library special collections. Evolving information technologies make it possible for students, faculty, researchers, historians, writers, publishers, scholars, and even copyright administrators to have online access to comprehensive collections of related rare works that have been digitized. In addition to the historical preservation of content, these collections can be a major resource for documented primary sources that benefits scholars by fostering research.
Information management professionals, curators, and archivists have an obligation to implement and maintain effective rights management for their special collections. Archival practice must include a careful review of copyright issues associated with each work and the acquisition of copyright licenses that maximize the full potential of special collections.
We can assist in the identification of copyright issues associated with your archival materials in a broad range of topics, formats, periods, condition, and value. The range of formats associated with historical figures, topics, and institutions includes things such as rare books, articles, interviews, audio and recordings, transcripts, conference proceedings, translations, photographs, digital recordings, as well as unpublished documents, manuscripts, diaries, and letters.
Rights Management Services
Our rights management services start with a careful review of the copyright status of individual works to determine if the primary source has been correctly identified and if the works are in the public domain. This enables us to define the scope of work for your project, which will be presented in a proposal that includes our fee structure.
We frequently must research defunct publishers and companies in an effort to determine if rights have been transferred or the work has been orphaned. Frequently, heirs and estates must be identified and contacted to determine if rights have been transferred or reverted to the author, then to the heirs of the author.
Typical Rights Management Tasks
- manage the copyright clearance process
- detect and clarify ambiguous rights issues and questions
- inform the client about applicable copyright laws, US and abroad
- identify and analyze the client’s copyright clearance needs, priorities, budget, and timeframe
- develop a customized strategy based on the client’s needs, priorities, budget, and timeframe
- allocate the use of our services in accord to the client’s budget
- customize research priorities to meet client’s timeframe
- estimate the amount of time required to resolve copyright issues
- gather information about the client’s intended use of content, desired terms and conditions
- conduct research to identify primary sources
- identify potential rights holders, including heirs and estates
- search for, locate, and contact potential rights holders
- initiate timely follow-up with non-responsive potential rights holders
- evaluate and revise research and permissions request approaches to optimize results
- investigate and perform due diligence for potentially orphaned works
- organize, record, and maintain detailed records of contacts, permissions requests, and results
- document progress on permissions requests
- communicate critical license terms and conditions to the client in a timely fashion
- negotiate permissions fees and terms and conditions on behalf of the client
- critique the client’s attribution approach, when needed, to ensure copyright compliance
Please complete the contact form below to set up an initial conversation about acquiring rights for your special collection.