Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ball State University Libraries' Copyright Conference Draws Large, National Gathering

On Wednesday, April 12, 2006, librarians, technologists, lawyers, administrators, and media specialists from Indiana and eight surrounding states visited the Ball State campus for a one-day conference entitled, “Copyright Challenges and Opportunities.”

Hosted by the University Libraries and chaired by Dr. Fritz Dolak, Manager of the University Copyright Center, more than 125 individuals gained insights on a variety of intellectual property topics such as orphan works, digital licensing, the Top 10 digital legal issues facing educational institutions, Fair Use, and more.

Dr. O’Neal Smitherman, Ball State University’s Vice President for Information Technology and Executive Assistant to the President, welcomed attendees and set the conference’s tone and agenda. In his comments, he highlighted our need to understand the importance of owner’s intellectual property rights as well as those of the users of intellectual property in the Digital Age.

Diane Norton, Wabash College’s Music Librarian, commented that the conference was “…truly one of the most well-organized, interesting, and informative conferences I have ever attended. Your speakers were stellar and explored a lot of material.” Diane will use the new information she gained from the conference to develop standard intellectual property guidelines for faculty at Wabash College.

The nationally-known speakers were Jule Sigall, J.D., Associate Register for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington, D.C., Dr. Kenneth Crews, J.D., from Indiana University, Dwayne Buttler, J.D., from the University of Louisville, Kevin Smith , J.D., from Duke University, and Michelle Cooper, J.D., from the Indianapolis law firm of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP.

At the close of the conference, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions from a panel of four intellectual property lawyers in an open microphone, open forum session. Barry Umansky, J.D., a professor in the Department of Telecommunications at BSU and representing Ball State University’s Digital Policy Institute, moderated the panel.

For more information, contact Dr. Fritz Dolak, University Libraries’ Copyright and Intellectual Property Manager and Special Assistant to the Dean, University Copyright Center,, (765) 285-5330.


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