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Updated 10:00 AM June 8, 2009

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U-M Library appoints Levine as lead copyright officer

Melissa Levine has been appointed lead copyright officer for the U-M Library. She assumed the newly created role May 1.

As lead copyright officer, Levine will develop copyright policy for the library and work closely with a number of important U-M Library collections and scholarly communication initiatives.

"Melissa brings an excellent blend of experience, education, and understanding of the copyright issues that make this position so critical to the library," says Paul N. Courant, university librarian and dean of libraries.

After receiving her law degree from the University of Miami, Levine worked for the Smithsonian Institution, where she handled licensing and contract negotiations for publishing, product development, electronic rights, audio visual media, exhibitions and festivals.

While at the Library of Congress, she served as assistant general counsel and legal adviser to the National Digital Library Project. She was counsel to a $60 million program focused on digital preservation and Internet access to American history primary materials in print, text, image, music, sound recordings and film media. She developed copyright and other rights and permissions policies for worldwide dissemination of collections online, advised senior management on intellectual property and interrelated business and strategic issues.

She also worked with the U.S. Copyright Office and other organizations and government agencies on copyright issues, and represented the Library of Congress in interagency meetings and initiatives related to copyright and digital libraries.

Levine will work closely with U-M Library collections and scholarly communication initiatives, including the library's ongoing partnership with Google Book Search, the Hathi Trust Digital Library (; Deep Blue, the U-M institutional repository (; the Scholarly Publishing Office (; the Copyright Review Management System, which identifies works for which copyrights have expired so their digital facsimiles can be made publicly available; and natural language processing initiatives.

She also will provide guidance on the copyright aspects of the library's scholarly communications and digital collections initiatives, on copyright use in classroom teaching and technology, online courses, distance education, and electronic course reserves, and will provide regular educational workshops on such issues.

Levine will work with the Office of the General Counsel as a resource on fair use and other copyright issues, educating faculty, staff, and students about copyright through workshops, Web sites and consultations, and will help members of the campus community to understand and apply fair use and other copyright principles.

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