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24 Colum.-VLA J.L. & Arts 115 (2000-2001)
Values Conflict in the Digital Environment: Librarians versus Copyright Holders

handle is hein.journals/cjla24 and id is 125 raw text is: Values Conflict in the Digital Environment:

Librarians Versus Copyright Holders
Laura N. Gasaway*
Librarians share many values with creators and publishers of copyrighted works,
but their interests and values sometimes conflict. Additionally, the core values of
each group sometimes conflict with the goals of copyright law. While these
conflicts have existed for centuries, they are escalating in the rapidly expanding
digital environment, and the debate between the two groups is becoming
increasingly acrimonious. Members of both groups often misunderstand copyright
law and engage in overstatement, sometimes fairly gross overstatement.
Librarians and content providers share a great many core values, and work
symbiotically to promote common goals. Without publishers and producers,
librarians would have little to offer their users because there would be no works of
literature, no reference works, no videotapes and no databases. Without librarians,
publishers would lack a valuable resource to make their works available, to
publicize their works, to teach patrons how to use their works, and to preserve their
works for posterity. Librarians, publishers, and producers share many core values
about works of literature, the value of these works, and the importance of
preserving them for future generations. Although librarians and authors often
disagree on issues involving digital media, both parties realize the importance and
value of information to people in the digital age, and both believe that information
should be trustworthy and incorruptible. Both groups believe that publishers play a
valuable role in making available to the public works containing information. The
editorial work, the management of the peer reviewing process, and the distribution
role played by publishers is crucial to the production of quality works, and both
groups believe that publishers should be fairly compensated for these contributions.
Despite sharing many common goals and values, significant disagreement exists
between librarians and content producers and publishers. Librarians tend to view
B.A. 1967, M.L.S. 1968 Texas Woman's University; University of Houston J.D. 1973. Director of
the Law Library and Professor of Law, University of North Carolina. She wishes to thank Wayne A.
Wiegand, Peggy Hoon, Kenneth Crews and L. Ray Patterson for their assistance with this article.
Copyright © 2000 by Laura N. Gasaway. This article is based upon a speech given by Professor
Gasaway at the 2000 Horace S. Manges Lecture, delivered on March 7, 2000 at the Columbia University
School of Law.

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