Name: Kenny Crews
Title: Director, Copyright Advisory Office
Subject specialities: Copyright and related issues as they are important to the work of libraries and universities.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org or just drop by if you see the door open in Butler Library, room 507.
Library: Columbia Copyright Advisory Office (CAO)
@ Columbia since: 2008
Education info: My family taught me how to fend for myself and fight for whatever I am going to get. Years of sparring over the law have taught me how to endure blows and try to be diplomatic. I also went to college. I studied history at Northwestern University, law at Washington University, and I earned a Master’s and a Ph.D. at UCLA in library and information science.
About me: I’m a copyright lawyer and librarian, working with Columbia University Libraries. The CAO has a central mission to address, in a creative and constructive manner, the relationship between copyright law and the work of the university in order to best promote research, teaching, library services, and community involvement.
I like to work hard and have adventures in travel and ideas whenever I can. I like rock and roll and Broadway musicals. I am married to Elizabeth Crews, and we have two grown children and a little fluffy dog. I like to learn more about my colleagues, so please feel free to introduce yourself. I also recently completed the manuscript for the third edition of my book, Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions. It should be available in early 2011.
What’s new: Each day in copyright brings a steady flow of new things, and I find the change and dynamism of the work to be exciting. Here is a brief list of some things on my desk right now:
- Meetings and communications around the University to encourage open access of scholarly works.
- Reviews and recommendations about publication agreements.
- National initiative to include “author rights” language in agreements for the acquisition of journal databases.
- Supreme Court ruling this week affecting the importation of foreign copyrighted works.
- Copyright bill that actually made its way through the lame-duck Congress and was signed by the President.
- Meeting about the digitization and access to sound recordings.
- Meeting about digitization of maps.
- Proposed language for a possible international treaty on copyright law for libraries and education.
- Court ruling from the Netherlands that affects access to and downloading of materials there from the internet.
- Inquiry about the lawfulness of a work of art that is actually made up of lines of computer code that is executable (I am not kidding).
- Wondering if the court will rule today on the Google Books settlement and what that ruling might mean for us.
Personal favorite: I refer regularly to some of the extensive treatises on copyright law, especially Nimmer on Copyright. For more provocative thinking, I have enjoyed The Soul of Creativity by Roberta Rosenthal Kwall and The Public Domain by James Boyle.
Recommended resources: If you have questions about fair use, permissions, publication agreements, the duration of copyright, and more, try the CAO website: www.copyright.columbia.edu. I am always happy when people have taken a look at the materials on the website before asking the a question. I welcome your comments!
I also refer frequently to the website of the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov). It provides easy access to informative "circulars" about copyright issues as well as the current Copyright Act, historical materials, and a trove of background materials about the latest developments in the law.