So, what does a policy consist of? In our text, Copyright for Schools, Carol Simpson says that of utmost importance is a statement of a school's intention to abide by copyright laws. (2005) She also mentions the Association for Information Media and Equipment (AIME), which is the "king" of copyright law advocates, publishes an information packet with policy-making tips and guidelines. She notes a few key points that should be included in any institution's policy:
- Intent to abide by the letter and spirit of copyright law.
- Cover all types of materials and media.
- Liability for noncompliance rests with the user.
- The district mandates training for all personnel who might make copies.
- The user must be able to provide justification for use.
- The district appoints a copyright officer. (Simpson 2005)
These are only very skeletal suggestions, and I've even pared down from the information in the text, but it's a good beginning framework for policy. As noted in numbers 3 and 5, heavy responsibility is laid on the end user. It's become more and more evident as I read and research copyright, there is never a time that the words, "but I didn't know" will be acceptable.
I think I'll check on what my library of employment has in the way of copyright policy and if nothing is in place, make some suggestions for beginning one. If there is one, I guess I need to familiarize myself with it!