On August 12, the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication published a comprehensive literature review detailing strategies for digitizing copyright-protected works for which rights holders cannot be found or contacted—colloquially called “orphan works.” This 112-page peer-reviewed report, “Digitizing Orphan Works: Legal Strategies to Reduce Risks for Open Access to Copyrighted Orphan Works,” is the culmination of the 2015–16 Orphan-Works Project at Harvard.
Black Elk Speaks has been published by three different publishers in the U.S. The rarity that this movement creates is the availability of different editions of the book from different publishers. That is, there is a semblance of competition in the publishing of Black Elk Speaks. This anomaly brings into relief the normal effects of the copyright monopoly. It offers an opportunity to reflect on what alternatives to the strict publishing monopoly might look like.
AUTHORS AND LIBRARIANS USED TO GET ALONG— and many still do. Every author I’ve heard speaking to a crowd of librarians tells fond stories about the childhood librarian who saved them and the worlds of possibility the local library opened up to them. They laud librarians for being the first to take up their book and for giving it both a push to library users and a home long past its bookstore shelf life. They organize to raise money for libraries, like Karin Slaughter and others.