Help! I’m an Accidental Government Information Librarian presents ... State Government Information and the copyright conundrum

The Government Resources Section of the North Carolina Library Association welcomes you to a series of webinars designed to help us increase our familiarity with government information. All are welcome because government information wants to be free.

Figuring out whether state government documents are copyrighted is a tricky question. Copyright law has significant impact on the work libraries, digital repositories, and even state agencies, with regards to digitizing and web archiving state government information.

Free State Government Information (FSGI) has been steadily working to raise awareness and find pathways forward for policy change with regards to the copyright issue of state government publications.

This presentation will cover:

  • who we are and why we are tackling copyright issues with state government
  • specific state government information projects that academic, state, and digital libraries are engaged in that are impacted by copyright
  • a way forward to address copyright policy in the states: Kyle Courtney’s 50 state survey of copyright policies, State Copyright Resource Center


Bernadette Bartlett is the Michigan Documents Librarian at the Library of Michigan and often am approached by coworkers, fellow state employees and members of the public with questions about copyright and Michigan state government information. She’s currently working on compiling a historical record of how the State of Michigan has addressed copyright of state government information in law, rule and policy and she contributes to discussions and planning within the library as they relate to copyright.

Kyle K. Courtney is the Copyright Advisor at Harvard University, working out of the Office for Scholarly Communication. Kyle created the Copyright First Responder network for Harvard, which is a team of copyright trained librarians that help establish a culture of shared understanding of copyright law among faculty, students, and staff in support of pedagogy, research, and innovation. His work at Harvard also includes a role as the Information Policy Advisor for the edX/HarvardX online classes. He is a published author and nationally recognized speaker on the topic of copyright, technology, and the law. His blog is at“> and he can be found on Twitter @KyleKCourtney.

Kristina Eden coordinates the work of over 50 copyright reviewers on the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) which is an IMLS funded project to determine the copyright status of digitized books. Where legally permissible, they work with HathiTrust Digital Library ( to open public domain works, including state documents, and make them available to online users.

Kris Kasianovitz is the State, Local and International Government Information Librarian at the Stanford University Library. She’s worked with state and local government for a number of years and has repeatedly dealt with the copyright issue of these materials, especially when it comes to digitization and web archiving for researchers.

We will meet together for Session #57, online on April 25 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Please sign up here:

Technical requirements: We will be using WebEx for the webinar. After you RSVP, we will send you a link that you can use to test the software. If you have any questions, please contact Lynda Kellam (lmkellam [at] uncg [dot] edu).

The session will be recorded and made available after the live session, linked from the NCLA GRS web page (

Monday, April 25, 2016 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm