In addition to research performed for the surveys and for the resource list, staff carried out research concerning digital rights management, fair use, and current copyright legislation. The project website details the results of this research.
Furthermore, over the course of the project, staff continued to educate themselves on copyright issues by reading many of the resources discussed above.
5. Data Management
Over the course of the grant period, the project required the development and maintenance of various data management tools. These tools included the Digital Rights Management database and the Digital Asset Management table, detailed below.
a. Digital Rights Management Database
The Digital Rights Management database, developed using Filemaker Pro software, was used to keep track of copyright-holder contact and survey information. The database fields were used to track when permissions were requested and granted, as well as notes on negotiations. Other fields were designed to track survey information; these fields included: type of organization; description of documents owned by the copyright holder; whether the copyright holder has written policies governing rights and permissions; types of access rights permitted by the copyright holder; summaries of actions taken to secure permissions; and time spent to complete the permissions process. These additional fields assisted us in better analyzing the copyright permissions process and informed the workflow guidelines on our project's website.
b. Digital Asset Management Table
A new Digital Asset Management table was developed with the help of BAM/PFA project staff and the Museum Informatics Project staff. Designed to merge information collected in our Digital Rights Management database with our CineFiles database, it gathered all image management and rights data in one place. This table integrated data from our Digital Rights Management database with document identification information and enabled us to migrate data into Sybase and to link copyright and permissions information directly to each document's descriptive metadata; this way we were able to track and manage digital rights and agreements by copyright holder and by document.
6. Website Development and Implementation
At the start of the grant period, we planned to create a detailed final report only. As the project progressed, however, we determined that in addition to a final report, the best way to present our findings would be in the form of a website. In conjunction with BAM/PFA's Digital Media department, we began developing the "Copyright Resources Project" website in April 2004. Throughout 2004, Indexer Susan Wester researched website designs for similar projects, and staff met to outline the various sections, map the site, and discuss implementation. Over the course of the project period, staff prepared texts, tools, biographies, and other content for the website as outlined elsewhere in this report.
By March 2005, the overall website layout and design had been finalized, and content was added in many sections. By July 2005, a first draft of the website was completed. In September 2005, we requested feedback from colleagues with expertise in digital rights management and database design. For the remainder of the year, project staff spent much of their time revising and finalizing all text and graphics for the website, and analyzing and integrating feedback from colleagues and from project attorney Eric Schwartz. At the end of 2005, the final draft of the website text was completed with the assistance of BAM/PFA's editorial and design staff. The bibliography, resource lists and annotated links sections were also completed by year's end.
In January 2006, Website Developer Juveria Aleem updated and verified the site design and functionality, and project staff members checked that all the links worked properly. The website was formally launched on February 6, 2006. The URL for the site is http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/copyright_project/.
The outputs of this project include: statistics compiled from the three separate surveys that were disseminated, completed, and analyzed over the course of the grant period; responses received via surveys and e-mail correspondence regarding the project website; the data presented on the Copyright Resources Project website; and copyright clearance statistics.
As noted above, during the grant period we developed and disseminated three separate surveys for three separate purposes.
a. Survey of Content Providers
The first survey was designed for and sent to content providers with the aim of learning the current policies and practices of individuals and institutions working with copyright protected materials. In June 2003, the copyright survey was finalized and contained seventeen questions. BAM/PFA's digital media staff converted the survey into an interactive form made available over the Internet, which made it easy to compile and tabulate responses in a FileMaker Pro database for later analysis.
Three hundred seventy-nine individuals were e-mailed in July 2003 requesting their participation; additionally, the surveys were made available on various e-mail discussion lists. By November 2003, fifty-six responses had been received and follow up e-mails had been sent to those who had not yet responded. The initial responses represented a very useful cross-section of individuals, and we followed up these responses with phone interviews in order to glean more in-depth information. In March 2004, following the IMLS Web-Wise conference "Sharing Digital Resources," this first survey was sent to an additional fifty-one individuals due to new contacts made at the conference.
In total, we received sixty responses to our survey. The great majority of respondents were from nonprofit academic institutions, museums, and libraries, involved with digitizing a wide range of materials. We discovered that the majority of respondents had completed less than 50% of their planned digitization, and almost all were working with large collections numbering more than 100,000 items.
We conducted eight follow-up telephone interviews. Several of the phone interviewees mentioned the legal precedent established in the Kelly v. Arriba Soft case that allows the display of thumbnail images under fair use. Therefore, many institutions digitizing art images display thumbnails to the general public without clearing the rights. In general, we found that those institutions grappling with securing permissions agree that it is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, and therefore, they must allocate adequate time and resources to imaging projects that involve working with protected materials.
The survey and interview responses helped to shape the next steps of our project by identifying methods currently used in handling copyright-protected materials, and providing insight into the effectiveness of those methods. These responses were very useful to us in developing our approach to contacting copyright holders. The responses also assisted us in learning what types of guidelines the users would find most helpful. Survey respondents indicated that information on permissions procedures and digital rights management guidelines were of highest interest to them. This information guided our research and selection of resources made available on the Copyright Resources Project website. Complete survey results are attached, and are also available on the website.
b. Survey of Copyright Holders
The second survey was designed for copyright holders; our goals were to learn of their permissions requirements, in addition to requesting permissions from them for items currently indexed in the CineFiles database. Beginning in November 2002, Copyright Permissions Analyst Stephanie Boris worked to research contact information for the copyright holders. By April 2003, Ms. Boris had verified and added contact information for 841 of the publishers owning copyrights to documents held in the CineFiles database. Ms. Boris also identified defunct organizations and companies and tracked down whether rights had been transferred to other organizations.
Through the fall of 2003, Ms. Boris continued to research and confirm contact information for copyright holders. In January 2004, we began surveying the copyright holders regarding their policies. The survey questions were crafted to inform us both on current policies and to inform us on how to improve our own permissions procedures using PFA's CineFiles database as a testbed. We believed that sending a written survey would not be effective, so the copyright holders were telephoned. Our copyright permissions analyst recorded the interviews and kept detailed written accounts of her process and of the copyright holders' responses.
Over the course of this survey, we successfully interviewed 265 copyright holders whose materials are represented in the Pacific Film Archive's CineFiles database of film documentation. Eight-five percent of the respondents were either for-profit organizations or were freelance writers. We found that of these copyright holders, only 16% had a written copyright permission policy. Eighty-three percent of the respondents had no infrastructure in place for archiving or retrieving their copyrighted material. Most organizations we surveyed still handled copyright permission on a case-by-case basis, which allowed them greater flexibility and control in the use of their materials. Unfortunately, however, this means that the effort to identify, locate, and negotiate with copyright holders remains the burden of content providers. Although, at present, traditional copyright clearance methods still offer the best outcome, the rapid speed of technological change and the major improvements in digital rights management on the horizon may well spur future change.
c. Survey of Website Users
The Copyright Resources Project website was designed to share the results of PFA's IMLS-funded research into working with copyright-protected materials in a digital environment, and to provide guidelines and resources for our colleagues. So that we may gather feedback about our website, we have posted a survey on the Copyright Resources Project homepage which asks users to comment on the site's design, functionality and information. We will continue to make revisions based on that feedback.
When the website was launched in February 2006, we e-mailed the request for feedback to 430 individuals. We also posted the request on the Imagelib, Museum Computer Network, and AMIA e-mail discussion lists. To date, we have received twenty responses to the online survey, as well as six additional e-mails commenting on the website. Although the number of responses received was smaller than we had hoped, overall the comments were very positive. We will continue to gather comments and update the bibliography and links sections beyond the grant period.
2. Copyright Resources Project Website
A major output of this project is the Copyright Resources Project website (http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/copyright_project/). The site offers information regarding the research conducted for this grant project, including our methodology, our research activities, and our outcomes, including surveys and results. A "copyright toolbox" has also been built and is offered on the website; this toolbox provides copyright clearance advice, strategies, and procedures; case studies; digital rights management guidelines; information on copyright law; annotated links to copyright resources; and an annotated bibliography.
3. Copyright Clearance
Another major output of this project was receiving copyright permissions for an increased number of documents currently indexed on the CineFiles database. During the grant period, project staff researched or verified contact information for 935 copyright holders who were referenced as publication sources in the CineFiles database. Of this number, we determined that 126 were defunct or could not be located and forty-eight had merged or had been superceded by another entity. As of June 2006, Copyright Permissions Analyst Stephanie Boris initiated contacts with 604 copyright holders, after first determining through research and numerous phone referrals which individual had authority to grant permission for that organization. Early in the project, we determined that simply sending a letter or e-mail to an organization was not highly effective. We therefore set out to identify an individual authorized to grant permissions and persisted by contacting them by phone to explain our project and request permission. The process was quite labor intensive, but did help to improve our success in bringing our request to the appropriate person.
After completing negotiations by phone, Ms. Boris sent permissions request forms to 431 entities; received signed permissions packets from 273; and received permission to link to documents freely available on the publishers' websites from fourteen more.
Although it is legal to link to material on publishers' websites without express permission, as a courtesy we requested permission to link from large copyright holders such as major newspapers. We have ongoing negotiations with over eighty copyright holders who have agreed to give permission verbally, but have not yet returned a signed form. In addition to the 21,698 documents these permissions have allowed us to open, we have also opened access to 3,251 documents that appear to be in the public domain. We have placed a statement on the website encouraging copyright holders to contact us directly if they believe materials are being displayed without their permission, in which case we will remove the documents in question.
David Pierce, a copyright researcher currently consulting with the Library of Congress, commented, "I was extremely impressed with the list of clearances. That grant money was well spent!"
At the outset of the project, anticipated outcomes were:
1. To help digital library professionals improve their rights clearance procedures;
2. To encourage more institutions to undertake imaging projects that include copyright-protected materials;
3. To increase copyright holders' cooperation with such digital initiatives;
4. To greatly increase the number of documents freely available via PFA's CineFiles database; and,
5. To provide a valuable and useful film documentation resource for the public, enabling them to increase their knowledge of film history.
The first two outcomes have been addressed through the Copyright Resources Project website. Responses to our copyright website survey , and statistics on the use of the copyright website, helped to inform us of the success of the website in achieving these outcomes.
The last three outcomes are supported by our efforts to survey copyright holders, to negotiate permissions with copyright holders, and to continually increase the number of documents that are freely available to researchers. Documentation reporting on these outcomes consists of: the CineFiles website use statistics; data on the number of permissions negotiated (see outputs section); and the CineFiles database statistics.
1. Responses to Copyright Resources Project Website
In order to evaluate our first two anticipated outcomes, we asked previous survey recipients for feedback regarding the website's content, clarity, usefulness and relevance. We also announced the website and the survey on the following e-mail discussion lists: Imagelib, Museum Computer Network, and Association of Moving Image Archivists. Although the number of respondents was small, we were pleased that most survey respondents found the information useful. Over 60% said the information would encourage them to tackle digitization projects dealing with copyrighted materials, and all said they would recommend the site to colleagues. Some found the level of detail very helpful, though a few found it too wordy. The survey will continue to be available on the website; we will incorporate suggestions as appropriate beyond the grant period.
In addition to survey responses, we received a number of e-mails commenting on the copyright website. The e-mailed comments were all very positive and helpful, and many included suggestions for citations to add to the bibliography and annotated links sections. Some comments were:
"I've seen and admired your site and project."
"I keep trying to find time to really dig into your site. I've only had a chance to glance at it, but my initial reaction is: wow! You've done a superb job. I am terribly jealous—you've done what I've always dreamed of doing, either through my museum or through the Museum Computer Network."
"Color me impressed, Nancy! I'm loving this!"
"Very nice site. By the way, the 2006 second edition of Kenneth Crewes's book is now available."
2. Copyright Clearances
The number of permissions negotiated during the grant period, and the number of documents we can now freely display, measure our success in reaching our third and fourth anticipated outcomes: to increase copyright holders' cooperation with such digital initiatives, and to greatly increase the number of documents freely available via CineFiles.
Documentation reporting on these outcomes consists of the data on numbers of permissions negotiated, and the CineFiles database content statistics.
During the grant period, we successfully negotiated permissions with 273 copyright holders who have returned written permission forms. An additional eighty copyright holders have verbally agreed to give permission, but have not yet returned forms. Even though a verbal agreement is adequate according to legal counsel, we made the decision to wait until we receive permission in writing before displaying documents to ensure clarity.
Many publishers whose materials are indexed in CineFiles hold copyright to hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of documents; therefore, permissions from these publishers have enabled us to display 21,698 documents to date. The number of documents we can display continues to increase as we receive additional permission forms. Including public domain materials, a total of 24,949 documents are presently freely displayed via CineFiles. An additional 3,011 documents are linked directly to the texts on the copyright holders' websites.
Although we were successful in receiving permissions from a variety of publication sources, project staff had hoped that the new methodology developed as part of this project would yield even greater success. Our new methodology included making contact via the telephone rather than by mail; discussing rights management options such as watermarking or tethering; and encouraging copyright holders to participate by making them aware of other publishers who had signed on. Unfortunately, we still encountered a fair amount of resistance, particularly among larger publishers. Larger publishers often had specific fee recovery policies in place, or made materials available only via subscription databases. Many larger publishing entities worried that providing free online access could be financially detrimental, even though our survey of copyright holders found that 83% of the material in question was not otherwise available online. It often took repeated negotiation attempts before we received signed forms, perhaps because of the relative lack of importance copyright holders gave to our project.
3. CineFiles Database and Access Statistics
By increasing the content and improving access to the documents available in CineFiles we have accomplished our final outcome: to provide a valuable and useful film documentation resource for the public, enabling them to increase their knowledge of film history. Documentation reporting on this outcome includes information on database holdings, as well as web use statistics.
The CineFiles database currently holds nearly 41,000 documents (97,000 page images) describing over 8,500 films. In addition, the database has authority records for 30,015 films, 23,580 personal names, 6,736 corporate names, and 14,364 controlled subject and genre terms. As funding permits, we will continue to add new materials, concentrating on documentation about films made by major international directors and works of particular relevance to humanities and social science scholarship. We hope to continue building this resource to steadily improve its value to film scholars and enthusiasts everywhere.
The CineFiles database is currently accessed 15,000 times per month on average, which represents a 40% increase since the beginning of the grant period; this result stands well above the 25% increase we were aiming for when developing our outcome-based evaluation plan in 2002. We are pleased to have achieved such a strong outcome of providing a valuable and useful film documentation resource.
E. OTHER RESULTS OF PROJECT ACTIVITIES
This project had great value beyond its anticipated outcomes. Staff involved in the project gained in-depth knowledge of copyright legislation and experience in negotiating clearances, and have shared this knowledge with others in our institution as well as with researchers using our library facilities. This has extended well beyond the scope of online image databases. For example, we can now better direct researchers seeking permissions to use film stills or other documents to illustrate publications, or to track rights to films or videos. We also used knowledge we gained by designing and revising permissions procedures to improve our own institution's copyright policies. For example, this knowledge was helpful in revising the release form we use for all BAM/PFA guest speakers and performers. In addition to requesting permission to provide access to recordings of talks or performances on our premises, we now offer guest speakers a variety of release options, including making the recordings available over intranets or the Internet.
We greatly appreciate the opportunity IMLS gave us to delve deeply into the challenges of working with copyright-protected materials in a digital environment. We found the experience demanding, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding, both because of the expanded access we can now provide CineFiles database users and the copyright information we are sharing through the Copyright Resources Project website.
Our research and project results have already had an impact at our own institution, as well as at other institutions involved in digital rights projects. This impact will grow as more individuals and institutions consult our Copyright Resources Project website and find answers to their copyright questions. We are grateful to the IMLS for supporting and encouraging our research into the myriad issues concerning copyright.