Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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ISSUE BRIEF, Ithaka S+R, October 26, 2016.


Copyright 2016 ITHAKA. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Historically, copyright review has been uncoordinated and has taken place on a modest scale. The Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) changes that. 1 CRMS was supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services over three National Leadership Grants. It was led by the University of Michigan in collaboration with 19 other highly dedicated research libraries. Together, we developed a system to train and coordinate reviewers to assess the copyright status of digitized books held in the HathiTrust Digital Library. Over the course of the three interrelated grants that make up the CRMS project, we developed expertise in managing a large collaborative project.

The project team documented these lessons in a book called Finding the Public Domain: Copyright Review Management System Toolkit.2 The Toolkit shares practical insights gained in this effort in the hope of supporting others interested in copyright review. This brief complements the practical toolkit. It explains the history of CRMS and introduces the basics of the CRMS procedure. It then discusses some of the lessons, successes, surprises, and challenges of the work.