The Idiot's Guide to Copyright

The following document was prepared and presented by Elizabeth Delfs, Director, Contracts & Counsel, Pearson Education, Inc. as part of a presentation titled “When Copyright Law Meets Accessibility Law: A Non-Fiction Account” at a meeting of The Greater Boston Rights and Permissions Group which took place on November 7th, 2003. The specific goal of the meeting was to disseminate information about the legal and practical implications regarding copyright as it applies to providing accessible textbooks to students with print disabilities.

I felt, however, that the information provided below was one of the most coherent, concise, and ultimately valuable discussions of what is a very murky subject, and, in light of its implications for providing access to print for the disabled in both hard copy and electronic form, I am posting it to the Blind Bookworm Web site.

The author, Elizabeth Delfs, has given her verbal permission to circulate the information and the document itself publicly.

I. Goals A) Appreciate the Knowns, the Unknowns, the Complexities and the Risks when Copyright Law Meets Accessibility Laws. B) Bridge the Gap Between User Expectations and Publisher Obligations C) Create a Practical Roadmap for Initiating or Responding to Requests for Accessible Products D) Planning for the Next Wave II. The Three Strands 1) Legal Strand . Accessibility Legislation for K-12 and Postsecondary . Copyright Law and Exemptions. . Federal Disability Rights Laws 2) Practice Strand . Applying the law to the real world . The emerging importance of Section 508 and Non Print Products 3) Insightful Strand . Windows on the Worlds of Users, Publishers, and Disability Service Providers 1. Outline - Legal Segment How High Can You Count? A quick tally of the accessibility laws impacting the sale of one Product 2. The 300 Ib. Gorilla Quartet: Contract law, Copyright Law, the ADA, and the IDEA 3. The Legal Solar System Planets: Higher Ed and K-12. Moons: Print and Non Print 4. The 5-Minute Version of 500 years of copyright law . 1662 - Licensing Act (Piracy) . 1710 - Statute of Ann (Author as Owner and Term of Copyright) . 1776 - U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 . 1976 - The Copyright Act (Exclusive Rights, Electronic Rights, Reproduction, Distribution, Doctrine of First Sale) . Exemptions: Fair Use, Chafee Amendment. . Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) . Exemption to DMCA Prohibition on Circumventing Rights Management Technology 5. The Publishing Industry's Axis of Anxiety: Rights, Distribution, and Numbers of Users 6. The 5-minute version of 30 years of legislating the rights to equal access for children and adults with disabilities. Section 504 The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) The Individual With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 7. Focus on The Chafee Amendment: Limitations, Eligibility, Authorized Entities) 8. Requests for Accessible Products: A Practical Roadmap Find Your Planet (Higher Ed or K-12) Find Your Moon (Print or non Print) Find Your State Clear Those Rights Providing the File: Would Excuse vs. Could Excuse No Excuse The Format: Negotiated Fallback Required Relief for K-12: Recommendations of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards Report The Delivery: Where When What About Depositories? The Cost Assurances for Publishers 9. Summary: What We Know What We Don't Know 10. Planning For the Next Wave Accessibility for Students with Print Impairments: Legal & Practical Considerations for Publishers SPEAKER BIO Elizabeth Delfs,ESQ. Director, Contracts and Counsel Pearson Education Ms. Delfs is Counsel and Director of Contracts for Pearson Education, Inc. Prior to her current position, she was the Director of Book Acquisitions for American Lawyer Media and taught legal writing and oral advocacy at New York Law School. Before moving to the New York area in 1996, Ms. Delfs practiced law in Boston and Cambridge, where she specialized in tenants' rights, family law, and special education law. She is a graduate of the New England School of Law, where she was elected to serve as Managing Editor of the New England Law Review. Her analysis of gender bias in the legal system was published by Rutgers University Law School while she was in her third year of law school. Prior to her legal career, Ms. Delfs was a pioneer in the development and establishment of postsecondary accommodations for college students in higher education. Her first position was at Northeastern University, where she worked to establish one of the first programs in the nation for college students with disabilities. She earned a Masters Degree in Education and Rehabilitation Counseling from Northeastern University and held faculty appointments at Massachusetts Bay Community College and Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts. Her area of expertise was in the academic and social adjustment of college students with learning disabilities. Ms. Delfs has authored numerous articles and presentations on the topic of higher education and disability. She was the founding editor of the Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability- the first refereed journal of what is now known as the Association of Higher Education and Disability -, and the Managing Editor of the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Public Policy. More recently, she organized and moderated a panel of lawyers, publishers and agents to discuss new trends in Publishing Law that was broadcast by C-SPAN BookSpan.

Last updated December 16 2003