Digital Library Copyright Project

The Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project aims to investigate copyright obstacles faced by libraries and other like-minded organizations in their efforts to realize the full potential of present and future digital library initiatives. Our efforts are concentrated on both the obstacles themselves and the range of possible legal, technological, social, and market-based solutions to overcome them. Among other issues, we are specifically examining challenges with respect to orphan works, library privileges, digital lending, and metadata ownership. We are also examining a full range of possible solutions to some or all of these issues, including private ordering solutions, licensing, legislative reform, or the application of existing doctrines, such as the United States’ fair use provision. We intend to be responsive to new legal developments as they arise and will add other specific issues to our research agenda as needed. Project goals include:

  • Identifying and clarifying the legal issues that must be addressed for digital libraries
  • Bringing together libraries and other key stakeholders to understand concerns, and
  • Developing recommendations for the legal and policy changes necessary to enable digital library initiatives

Research, white papers, conferences, workshops, and information on other project-related outputs and events will be available from this page.


The Berkeley Digital Library Copyright Project is generously supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Principal investigators are Professors Pamela SamuelsonJason Schultz, and Jennifer Urban. The project also draws upon the expertise of others in the Samuelson Clinic and across the Berkeley Law community.

David Hansen is the Project’s Digital Library Fellow, a position created specifically to assist in the project’s research outputs. David Hansen has been hired to fill this position for a two-year term. David joined the Digital Library Copyright Project in September 2011. Before coming to Berkeley, he interned in the Office of Scholarly Communications at Duke University Libraries. While there he worked on numerous open access and library copyright issues. David also worked with the UNC-Chapel Hill Law Library in a number of roles, most recently as their Graduate Assistant—a position designed to help transition library students into the profession of law librarianship. He holds a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, holds a Master of Science in Library Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Library and Information Science, and is a member of the Bar of North Carolina. You can contact him at:

Gwen Hinze is the Project’s International Copyright Fellow, a position created to address the increasingly international nature of digital library copyright issues. From 2002-2012 Gwen served variously as International Director, International IP Director, and Staff Attorney, at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit focused on civil liberties issues in the digital world. At EFF she focused on educating policy-makers about the need for balanced intellectual property regimes that protect creators, promote access to knowledge, foster technological innovation, and empower digital consumers. Gwen has worked in global coalitions with civil society organizations, library organizations, and technology industry groups in international and national policy venues for many years. Before EFF, she practiced at international law firm Allens, and worked for the Australian government in public policy and litigation. Gwen is a member of the State Bar of California and holds honors degrees in law and philosophy from Monash University, Australia. You can contact Gwen at:

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