Director, Copyright Office
University of Michigan
Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the primary source of federal funding for our nation’s museums, libraries, and archives. The agency plays a pivotal role in supporting the delivery of museum, library, and information services through both domestic and international networks. In addition to providing funding through its grant programs for a wide variety of learning, community engagement, collections care, and other innovative projects, IMLS conducts and publishes research reports, studies trends, and convenes dialogues with community stakeholders. IMLS is currently exploring how museums and libraries have navigated copyright and other related issues associated with cross-border projects and developed resources and tools to support other institutions in addressing similar issues. In the fall of 2019, IMLS convened experts to explore tools and resources for projects that involve the cross-border digital exchange of museum, library, and archives content (collections) and data. The discussion revealed that while international collaboration is a new norm, gaps in copyright exceptions and limitations can generate unnecessary difficulties, confusion, and frustration. In this briefing, we will discuss what we learned, how the absence or misalignment of global exceptions to copyright (like US fair use or library exceptions) may affect today’s scholarship and delivery of services, and recommendations from the meeting.