Answered By: Library West
Last Updated: Oct 29, 2014     Views: 51

This project raises two categories of questions: intellectual property rights and privacy rights.

Intellectual Property Rights ā€“ copyright belongs to the interviewer and recorder (it is presumed that the interviewee has consented to the recording and the sharing of the content in the absence of an agreement to the contrary). Depending on when these recordings were made, it is possible that the recordings have already passed into the public domain. With a properly drafted and executed deed of gift granting the University the right to digitize and disseminate the recordings, there would be no copyright concerns with our digitizing these tapes.

Privacy Rights ā€“ any privacy rights that the interviewee had terminated when she passed away. Privacy rights, unlike intellectual property rights, are not inheritable by her heirs or estate. However, when considering oral histories (which is how Iā€™m classifying these interviews) it is important to be mindful of possible sensitive information that may be in the interview ā€“ and what is our obligation ethically or morally with respect to that potentially sensitive information. This is an issue that frequently comes up when digitizing oral histories and making them publicly available online. The Best Practices of the Oral History Association may be instructive.

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