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New Copyright and Information Policy Position Offers Insight, Assistance

March 20, 2024
Megan Bean

Libraries have long given rise to complex questions about the duration and extent of copyright protection and the nuances of fair use. These questions have become even thornier with the digitization of dissertations, scholarly publications, and library special collections. Libraries must now negotiate the terms of complex licensing agreements with online publisher vendors, while championing open access. Our new Copyright and Information Policy Professor of Practice position addresses these needs.

In addition to serving the internal needs of the MSU Libraries, Professor Megan Bean looks forward to raising general awareness of copyright law across the university community.

Copyright is having quite the high-publicity global moment, thanks to developments in AI large language models and the ever-shifting academic publishing industry. This flux has relevance across our campus and the Library can serve as an ideal venue for hosting periodic panels and discussions about the hottest issues in copyright law, Bean said. “We plan to roll these out over the coming years.”

Bean is already bringing her expertise to the broader community via targeted class visits and customized workshops. As a guest lecturer in undergraduate classes, she prioritizes assisting courses where students are readying to embark on careers dependent on navigating the quirks of copyright law. Her other campus workshops focus on reaching faculty and graduate students with information about the most pertinent copyright issues in academia: navigating academic author’s rights and agreements with publishers, Creative Commons licenses, the permissions process, and understanding key tenets such as fair use and the public domain.

To begin planning a custom workshop for your department, group, or class, just reach out to Bean via email ( She stresses that these workshops are best served with specific examples of real-life copyright conundrums. To that end, if you are bumping into a copyright or licensing question of your own, please share it with Bean. If you are a campus author and would like a consultation about the terms of a specific publication agreement, be sure to reach out well in advance of any submission deadlines. Note that Bean’s Professor of Practice position is a nine-month appointment, so prompt email responses are most likely during the regular school year.

As always, our Copyright and Information Policy Specialist can provide legal information, but not legal advice.