New eCourse decodes the mysteries of digital licensing

Contact: Jill Davis

ALA Editions

800-545-2433 ext. 5418


For Immediate Release

March 9, 2010

ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association, announces its first eCourse “
Digital Licensing Online,” by Lesley Ellen Harris--an entirely self-directed, self-paced continuing education course that uses an online interface.

The digital revolution has resulted in an important, and sometimes daunting, change in the way libraries and other organizations procure, access and store information available for internal use and for use by researchers. Librarians have become negotiators and interpreters of legal agreements. To help them fulfill these important new roles, renowned copyright expert Lesley Ellen Harris has adapted her popular ALA Editions book “
Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians” into this eCourse, designed to teach librarians how to read and understand a contract as well as how to negotiate with vendors. Among the many topics addressed are

  • industry standards in licensing
  • determining when a licensing policy is necessary
  • key dimensions of licensing agreements
  • legal concepts in licensing agreements
  • step-by-step analysis of the main clauses in a digital licensing agreement

The course includes short quizzes at the end of each of the 27 modules. Each module is designed to take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Additional resources include sample agreements, an assortment of boiler plate clauses, and links to helpful Web sites.

Harris is a copyright, licensing, and digital property lawyer who consults on legal, business, policy, and strategic issues in the publishing, entertainment, Internet and information industries. Since 1991 her practice has served a broad range of clients, and she frequently works with libraries, archives, museums and educational institutions. She often speaks at conferences and teaches in-person and online courses on copyright and licensing. Harris began her career in copyright in 1984 working with a lobbying group interested in revising Canada’s copyright laws. From 1987 to 1991 she was senior copyright officer with the Canadian government, in which capacity she helped revise the country’s copyright laws. Harris is the author of the books “Digital Property: Currency of the 21st Century,” “Canadian Copyright Law,” “Licensing Digital Content: A Practical Guide for Librarians,” and numerous articles. Since 1997 she has been the editor of
The Copyright and New Media Law Newsletter. She maintains the website and the blog
Copyright Questions & Answers.

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ALA Editions develops resources for the library and information services community. Tens of thousands of librarians are helped and supported professionally each year by 30 or more new and revised titles. ALA authors are leaders across their fields, and their books are distributed and valued worldwide.

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