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Copyright for Librarians is a joint project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society and EIFL, a consortium of libraries from 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. The goal of the project is to provide librarians in developing and transitional countries information concerning copyright law.


Copyright for Librarians is a joint project of the  Berkman Center for Internet&Society  and EIFL, a consortium of libraries from 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. The goal of the project is to provide librarians in developing and transitional countries information concerning copyright law. More specifically, it aspires to inform librarians concerning:

  • copyright law in general
  • the aspects of copyright law that most affect libraries
  • how librarians in the future could most effectively participate in the processes by which copyright law is interpreted and shaped.

How to use this course

The course materials can be used in three different ways. First, they can provide the basis for a self-taught course. A librarian can read the modules in sequence or focus on the modules that address issues that interest him or her.

Second, the course materials can be used in a traditional classroom-based course. In such a setting, the instructor will determine the pace at which the materials are read and will select topics for discussion. The instructor may find useful the Assignments we have included in the modules, but will likely pose additional questions as well.

Third and finally, the materials can be used in a distance-learning course. An instructor will guide the inquiry, but the librarians taking the course will participate remotely through their computers. To assist the instructors in such settings, we have included a discussion tool, originally developed at the Berkman Center, known as the Rotisserie. A manual explaining to instructors how they might use the Rotisserie is available  here . Instructions explaining to students how to sign up for and use the Rotisserie are available  here . This system can be used to facilitate conversations among the students concerning the Assignments we have included in each module. Alternatively, an instructor could identify different questions for discussion.


Not all users will have the time or interest to read all of the materials contained in this curriculum. Recognizing this, we have arranged and marked the materials in ways that should assist instructors and users in deciding how deeply to explore this subject. Specifically, the materials are organized into five levels:

  • Level 1 (appropriate for users who want a basic knowledge of how copyright law affects the work of librarians in developing and transitional countries): Read modules 1, 3-7. (In other words, skip the Introduction and modules 2, 8, and 9.)
  • Level 2 (appropriate for users who are also interested in the theory underlying copyright law and in the international dimensions of copyright law): Read the Introduction and all of the modules.
  • Level 3 (appropriate for use in a one-semester undergraduate course in this subject or for users who wish to obtain an in-depth understanding of the field and to see how legislatures and courts are struggling to refine and apply copyright law): Read all of the modules and, in addition, all of the documents marked with red links.
  • Level 4 (appropriate for use in a graduate-level course in this subject): Read all of the modules and, in addition, all of the documents marked with red and green links.
  • Level 5 (appropriate for a faculty member preparing to teach this subject): Read all of the modules and, in addition, all of the documents marked with red, green, and blue links.

Off-line usage

Some users will find it more convenient to use these materials off-line. They are provided for off-line use in two formats. First, the materials have been packaged as a  ISO  that can be  written to a CD-ROM  and viewed with any browser (such as Chrome , Firefox , Internet Explorer , Opera , Safari , etc). Second, the materials have also been packaged as a  PDF  document that can be  viewed and printed  with any PDF viewer (such as  Adobe AcrobatEvinceGhostScriptPreview , etc).

An effort has been made to include all links to relevant material in both the CD-ROM and printable versions. However, in order to access content that is external to the course materials contained on this site, an internet connection is necessary.


The course materials prepared by the project are licenced under a  Creative Commons Attribution license . Librarians and the public at large are encouraged to use, distribute, translate, modify, and build upon these materials, provided that they give EIFL and the Berkman Center appropriate credit.


This course does not offer legal advice. It provides general information concerning the principles that underlie the copyright system, and it indicates how various concrete problems are resolved in most countries. It cannot, however, provide reliable guidance concerning how a court in a specific country would respond to a specific set of facts. Thus, if you find yourself coming close to any of the legal boundaries described in these materials, you should consult a lawyer in your own jurisdiction.

Help us improve the course

We hope to update and refine these materials periodically. To do so, we need help from users. Please let us know if a piece of information contained in a module is incorrect or out of date. If you have suggestions concerning either the content of the modules or the way in which the content is presented, we are eager to hear them. Finally, librarians are strongly encouraged to let us know how the issues addressed in the modules are handled in their home countries; we will try to include that information in future versions.

You can make these suggestions in either of two ways. First, if you would like your suggestion to be available to the public, please click on the "Discussion" tab at the top of the module page to which your suggestion is relevant. Second, you can simply email us at  cfl-feedback@cyber.law.harvard.edu .

We look forward to your contributions.

The EIFL and Berkman teams

Questions & Answers

Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Berger describes sociologists as concerned with
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Source:  OpenStax, Copyright for librarians. OpenStax CNX. Jun 15, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11329/1.2
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