(this challenge was just posted to this blog:
How to Liberate Hillary's Thesis?
We hear a LOT from librarians about the need for open access in a democracy (I concur)...and a lot of complaints about how copyright laws infringe on the right of the public to know. I sympathize with much, but do not concur with all of that bellyaching, BUT,
How about the librarians of the land leading an effort to liberate Hillary Clinton's senior thesis to the public? Here is how it would work: start the sign up in the comments if you wish to join.(At freadom or here)
In the excellent MSNBC article, the author writes:
"Besides being available for reading, but not copying, at the Wellesley archives (on the fourth floor of the library, Monday through Friday), the thesis can be read at your local library â€” one library at a time, that is. A single copy, on microfilm, can be ordered from Wellesley on a 30-day interlibrary loan.
While the traveling copy raises the possibility that someone could check out the microfilm, photocopy it or retype it, and post the text on the Internet, doing so would run the risk of a lawsuit."
The journalist also reported:
The attempt was unnecessary, said a copyright specialist, professor Laura N. Gasaway of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With or without the mark, an unpublished work is protected as soon as it's written, and the protection extends until 70 years after the author's death, Gasaway said. Readers can comment on the thesis, or publish limited quotations from it, but anyone who publishes the text could be liable for statutory damages of up to $150,000.
Of course, it's not clear whether a presidential candidate would want to draw even more attention to her writings on an old radical by suing.
OK, so how about someone, I'm game to begin with, gets a copy of the microfilm, makes a copy of the whole thing, and sends that copy to about 20 different librarians who stand for open inquiry? Then, each of them publishes 5 pages on their own website, which would appear not to violate copyright laws. Then, the public wanting to read the whole thing could click from site to site and read it all.
If the copying of the thesis and sending it to others would leave one open to lawsuit, then the microfilm would have to circulate 20 times to participating players, who would make copies of their own.
A quicker way to do this would be to have 20 librarians and journalist in New England go to Wellsely one after the other and copy their five pages in the archives. Then they can each post that to their own websites.....
Let's Liberate Hillary's Thesis, in the spirit of Alinsky and the core values of librarianship and democracy. Let the PEOPLE into the archives to judge for themselves!