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ScholarlyCommons

Copyright Considerations

Participating Units Responsibilities
Participating units (schools, departments, centers, and other groups) agree to disseminate information about procedures and policies for ScholarlyCommons — including author responsibilities regarding copyright—as set forth by the Penn Libraries and communicated through correspondence, training sessions, and written documentation. Units will additionally agree to work with Penn Libraries staff to determine appropriate approval workflows to ensure that submitted materials are compliant with any publisher restrictions and/or requirements and that authors of new works are aware of their copyrights in relation to ScholarlyCommons (see subsequent section for more information). Although Penn Libraries staff will help units navigate copyright and publication matters, the units are ultimately responsible for all content they post. ScholarlyCommons may additionally require units to sign a memorandum of understanding or other agreement with ScholarlyCommons as a prerequisite to their participation.
 
Author Responsibilities
Repository contributors are responsible for adhering to the copyright policies of the University of Pennsylvania, which include adherence to federal copyright law. In general, we will assume good faith on the part of Repository contributors, educate our contributors on their rights and responsibilities with respect to copyright, and act quickly to remedy copyright problems if they come up. The Penn Libraries staff does not and will not provide legal advice to participating authors or units.
 
End User Responsibilities  
ScholarlyCommons End Users are responsible for adhering to the copyright policies of the University of Pennsylvania, which include adherence to federal copyright law. End Users are responsible for determining whether a work is protected by copyright, the identity of the copyright holder, and the means for appropriately using the work.

Permission Requests
All permission requests should be directed to the individual authors or the stated holders of copyright. Outside of original Library-created materials, the University of Pennsylvania Libraries claim no proprietary rights over the content of ScholarlyCommons other than those necessary for general platform requirements and functionality, such as allowing the materials to be stored, shared, redistributed, and migrated as needed.
 
ScholarlyCommons Responsibilities
The federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA) places certain legal requirements on database providers when there is a question of copyright infringement. At Penn, questions involving copyright and the DMCA are coordinated by Penn’s Information Systems & Computing (ISC) department.
 
In order to prevent problems with allegations of copyright infringement involving ScholarlyCommons, we will:
•    Make it clear that submissions to ScholarlyCommons should comply with Penn's policies on copyright and applicable copyright laws.
•    Require submitters to ScholarlyCommons to warrant that their submissions do not infringe copyright. (This is part of the submission process.)
•    Require the use of Creative Commons licenses where appropriate for previously unpublished materials for which authors own copyright.

Copyright Infringement  
Generally, discovery of infringement should involve positive evidence of infringement. We should not presume that authors have not obtained special permission to use copyrighted material in their submissions. Nor should we presume that academic research publication violates anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA.
 
In any of the events described below, we will retain all correspondence related to the alleged or apparent infringements:
 
In the event that an interested party makes specific allegations of copyright infringement regarding material posted in ScholarlyCommons, with sufficient information to be substantially in compliance with the DMCA notification requirements (which are given on the ISC page mentioned above), we will:
•    Forward such correspondence to remind authors and unit administrators of their rights and responsibilities concerning copyright and scholarly expression.
•    Contact Penn's designated DMCA copyright agent (currently dmca@isc.upenn.edu)
•    Contact the administrative contact for the unit under which the allegedly infringing material was posted, and the authors of the allegedly infringing material
 
Upon the request of Penn's copyright agent, the unit administrator, or the authors, we will:
•    Disable access to the full text of the allegedly infringing item.
•    Retain the item record and metadata (with a note that the full text is not available at present). At our discretion we may choose to publicize the correspondence alleging infringement.
•    Ensure that the authors and unit administrators are notified of their counter-notification rights under the DMCA.
•    Restore access to the full text if such counter-notification is given.
 
In the event that we discover that specific material in ScholarlyCommons is posted in infringement of copyright, but we have not received actual notice from an interested party as described above, we will:

•    Report our discovery to the administrative contact for the unit under which the allegedly infringing material was posted, and the authors of the allegedly infringing material, including the reasons for our judgment that the item is infringing, and reminding authors and unit administrators of their rights and responsibilities concerning copyright and scholarly expression.
•    Request a warrant confirming that the material is not infringing.
•    If we do not receive one in a reasonable time period, at our discretion disable access to the full text as described above.

 

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