Digital Libraries During and After A Crisis

When: June 4, 2020 at 1:00pm - 2:00pm EDT - This event has passed

About The Program:

Recent years have seen an explosion of demand for digital libraries and digital resources. Disputes over libraries’ licensing and lending of e-books are ongoing, and complicated coalitions among libraries, publishers, authors, and users are fighting over every inch of the e-lending space — most recently over the Internet Archive’s plan to make its library of works digitally available, free, and accessible to all. Does a global pandemic that is accelerating demand and exerting pressure on libraries that may be closed to the public due to shelter-in-place orders affect whether a given use comes within the fair use doctrine? Do these extraordinary times merit, or permit, extraordinary measures? How do we begin to address, let alone resolve, these thorny issues?

The “Digital Libraries” panel brings together some of the most knowledgeable, thoughtful, and thought-provoking authorities in the field to tackle these urgent concerns. We will hear from a leading authors’ representative, librarians at the forefront of e-lending policy and practices, a copyright and technology expert, and the general counsel of one of the most transformative and widely-used digital service providers in higher education. Join us, and help us navigate the evolving world of digital libraries and resource stewardship together!


Kyle K. Courtney
is currently the Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, working out of the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication. He works closely with Harvard Library to establish a culture of shared understanding of copyright issues among Harvard staff, faculty, and students. His work at Harvard also includes a role as the copyright and information policy advisor for HarvardX/edX. His “Copyright First Responders” initiative was profiled in Library Journal in 2013, and he was named a National Academic Library Mover & Shaker in 2015. In 2014, he founded Fair Use Week, now an international celebration sponsored annually by over 100+ universities, libraries, and other institutions. He also currently teaches research sessions at Harvard Law School, training first year law students on the fundamentals of legal research as part of the Legal Research and Writing program. He recently won a Knight Foundation Grant to develop technology for crowdsourcing copyright and fair use decisions.He also maintains a dual appointment at Northeastern University: teaching “Cyberlaw: Privacy, Ethics, and Digital Rights” for the interdisciplinary Information Assurance and Cybersecurity program at the College of Computer and Information Science and teaching both “Legal Research and Writing for LLM’s” and the “Advanced Legal Writing Workshop” at the Northeastern University School of Law. He holds a J.D. with distinction in Intellectual Property Law and an MSLIS. He is a published author and nationally recognized speaker on the topic of copyright, technology, libraries, and the law. His writing has appeared in Politico, Library Journal, and other publications. Kyle’s most recent book is titled MOOC’s and Libraries, published by Rowman & Littlefield, Ltd. His blog is and he can be found on Twitter @KyleKCourtney.

Nancy Kopans is Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of ITHAKA,, a not-for-profit organization that works with the global higher educational community to advance and preserve knowledge and to improve teaching and learning through the use of digital technologies. ITHAKA has launched some of the most transformative and widely used services in higher education: Ithaka S+R, Portico, Artstor, and JSTOR. Kopans is a frequent speaker and has served on a number of industry committees and boards of trustees, including as Chair of the ABA Committee on Database Protection Legislation’s Subcommittee on Protection of U.S. Databases; the Section 108 Study Group; the Century Association Archives Foundation; and the Copyright Society. Kopans received a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A., and M. Phil. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University.

Mary Rasenberger is the Executive Director of the Authors Guild and Authors Guild Foundation. Prior to joining the Guild in November 2014, Mary practiced law for over 25 years in roles that spanned private practice, the government and corporate sector, as a recognized expert in copyright and media law. From 2002 to 2008 Mary worked for the U.S. Copyright Office and Library of Congress as senior policy advisor and program director for the National Digital Preservation Program. Immediately prior to coming to the Guild in late 2014, Mary was a partner at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, and previously Counsel at Skadden Arps, where she counseled and litigated on behalf of publishing, media, entertainment, and internet companies, as well as authors and other creators, in all areas of copyright and related rights. Earlier in her career, Mary worked at other major New York law firms and for a major record company. Mary is a frequent speaker, lecturer and writer on copyright law and authors’ rights. She is on the Council of the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Section; an Advisor to the Executive Committee of the Copyright Society of the USA; a founder of Copyright Awareness Week, and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Law, Copyright. Mary received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in Philosophy from Boston College, and her B.A. from Barnard College.

Bill Rosenblatt is President of GiantSteps Media Technology Strategies, a consulting firm. He is program chair and co-producer of the Copyright and Technology conferences. He is also adjunct faculty in the Music Business program at NYU. GiantSteps’ clients include content providers and digital media technology companies, ranging from early stage startups to multinationals, as well law and public policy entities and investment firms worldwide. Bill has served as an expert witness in several litigations related to copyright and digital media technologies. He has advised public policy entities on digital copyright and technology issues in the United States, Europe, and South Korea. Bill is author of the book Digital Rights Management: Business and Technology (Wiley, 2001), technical books published by O’Reilly Media, and several whitepapers, book chapters and journal articles on digital media and copyright. He has spoken at conferences on five continents and has guest lectured at various universities and law schools. Bill has degrees in computer science from Princeton and the University of Massachusetts, and continuing education in business and finance from NYU, Harvard, and USC. He is a member of the Book Industry Study Group (where he won the Industry Connector Award in 2019), Open Music Initiative, Music Business Association, and Copyright Society of the USA.


Michelle M. Wu is the Law Library Director and Professor of Law at Georgetown Law. Before joining the law faculty in 2010, Professor Wu served as Associate Dean for Information Services, Director of the Law Library, and Professor of Law at Hofstra University School of Law. During her tenure there, she also served as Interim Senior Vice Dean for Academic Affairs. Prior to that appointment, she worked at the The George Washington University Law School and the University of Houston Law Center. While at Houston, she oversaw the disaster recovery processing following Tropical Storm Allison, including projects to renovate the library, rebuild the collection, and restructure services. She has served as chair of the AALS Committee on Libraries and Technology, the chair of ALL-SIS, vice-president of LLSDC and the editor of the CRIVSheet. She teaches, publishes, and speaks in the areas of copyright, intellectual property licensing, and information management.


Bhamati Viswanathan (Moderator) is an independent legal scholar. She was awarded an S.J.D. and an LL.M. by the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A., cum laude, from Williams College. Bhamati has recently written a book entitled Cultivating Copyright: How Creative Industries Can Harness Intellectual Property to Survive the Digital Age (Routledge/Taylor & Francis Press: July 2019). Bhamati is passionate about educating creators and creative industry participants about the value and usefulness of copyright, and she is particularly committed to helping empower artists of color in the U.S. and the developing world. Bhamati is a Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA. She is also a Trustee of the Williams Asian and Asian American Alumni Network. She resides in Boston.




The Copyright Society is a Certified New York State CLE Provider. Program will satisfy 1 NY CLE credit. The intermediate program is transitional and appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Instructions for verifying attendance will be emailed to registrants prior to the program.

Newly admitted attorneys please note: Effective March 11 through June 30, 2020, the New York State CLE Board is permitting newly admitted attorneys to participate in Skills CLE courses in live, nontraditional formats (webconference, teleconference and videoconference) where questions are allowed during the program. The Copyright Society’s Zoom webinar will allow for questions.


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Non-Members: $50
Student Members: Free

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Financial Aid Policy
The Copyright Society provides a limited number of scholarships each year to students, law clerks, unemployed attorneys, and nonprofit and government employees. For information on how to apply, please click here.

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