Working with Copyright–Protected Materials in a Digital Environment




Follow-Up Telephone Interview Questions

Name and Title:


Who handles your copyright clearance function? What are their job qualifications?

What items do you consider to be in the public domain, and why? i.e. What guidelines do you follow to determine whether something is currently copyright-protected? May we have a copy of those guidelines?

How do you identify copyright holders?

Do you run across situations where the document source is ambiguous? What is your procedure in this case? Do you open or close access?

How do you treat items with no source information on them?

What is your procedure for finding the contact information for copyright holders? Sources you find helpful?

How do you solicit copyright clearance, and if by mail, could you share examples of the materials in the package you send out?

Have you found that certain solicitation techniques produce better results overall, or do your techniques vary somewhat depending on what type and/or size of entity you are soliciting permission from?

How do you organize/store/track:

Contact information for Copyright Holders:

Information on whether solicited / Information on whether responded:

Responses/data obtained:

Would you be willing to share a written description of your tracking/storage system(s)?

Is there any follow-up if no response received? After how long? What kind of follow-up?

Have you based your copyright clearance policies upon the guidelines/requirements of your institution's legal advisors, or have your policies and procedures developed and evolved more internally in your department or area as the need for them arose?

Has your organization ever received any complaints or been involved in any real or potential legal action by copyright holders who feel there had been an infringement as a result of material you have made available?

If their questionnaire indicated that there were areas in which they were not satisfied, address those areas and ask: What information/materials might be helpful to you in that regard?

What workshops, sessions, or websites have you found helpful in your work?

What percentage of your time would you estimate is spent working on copyright clearance matters?

Do you know of any other organizations who are dealing with copyrighted materials that it might be helpful for us to contact?