The University of Texas at Austin and the Libraries Copyright Center Streamline Teaching, Research Permissions

The University of Texas at Austin is joining 29 other universities participating in the Copyright Clearance Center's burgeoning Annual License program, which will provide the rights to use a repertoire of resource materials for a range of research and teaching purposes for students, faculty and researchers.

Through the university's agreement with the Copyright Clearance Center (CCC), materials can be delivered to students and faculty through the course management system through electronic reserves and departmental and personal Web sites while permissions are handled comprehensively, rather than item-by-item.

To comply with current copyright law, the university and area copy centers are required to analyze lists of materials submitted by faculty for distribution to students to determine if those materials are subject to permissions requirements. In the case that materials are copyright restricted, the university or copy center is required to pay for rights of use on a per item basis with costs being passed on to students. As resources have shifted from inhabiting a primarily paper-based, centrally located medium to a digitally networked environment, required reading materials once provided in the form of paper coursepacks are increasingly provided electronically to students.

Through subscription to the new Annual License that provides blanket permissions coverage for an array of materials, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas Libraries staff resources previously needed to address compliance with copyright law can be refocused on streamlining workflow and concentrating on resource development. Costs formerly associated with copyright and permissions compliance on a per item basis will now--for a large percentage of materials--be included as part of the annual contract with CCC.

The Libraries provide millions of dollars worth of valuable licensed digital resources for its patrons, and the addition of a large parcel of materials unburdened by permissions requirements will complement and enhance existing resources. Coupled with the ever-increasing amount of material made available freely over the Web and reliance on the copyright law's fair use provision, the CCC Annual License will help the Libraries and university effectively manage risk of copyright infringement on campus without interfering with teaching and research central to The University of Texas at Austin's mission.

"CCC's license allows us to address workflow efficiencies in a high volume operation," said Fred Heath, vice provost and director of the University of Texas Libraries. "It enables us to effectively address the broad spectrum of copyright issues while enabling our faculty to concentrate on classroom instruction."