Re: Tasini: was RE: Do you still keep subscription of microfilms of New York Times and Wall Street J. ? Belvadi, Melissa 15 Nov 2006 16:02 UTC

I was under the impression that immediately after the Tasini decision,
or even a few years before it, the newspapers all changed their standard
contract with freelancers to include rights to republish in databases,
so that the only content affected would be the older content under the
earlier versions of the contracts. If anyone has more specific
information about this, that would be very helpful. If my impression is
true, Tasini would not affect decisions to cancel forward-going
microfilm subscriptions, but only the decision to retain your microfilm
Of course, there is other content in the newspapers that has never been
in the databases, such as obituaries, advertisements, classified, stock
tables, etc. that may have value for some researchers.
We at Maryville continue our microfilm for the NYT and WSJ for that
reason, even though we have the full text of both (NYT via LexisNexis
Academic, WSJ via Proquest).

Melissa Belvadi
Systems and Services Librarian
Maryville University Library
650 Maryville University Drive, St. Louis, MO 63141
Fax: 314-529-9941

-----Original Message-----
From: SERIALST: Serials in Libraries Discussion Forum
[mailto:SERIALST@LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Anne P. Benham
Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 3:29 PM
Subject: Re: [SERIALST] Do you still keep subscription of microfilms of
New York Times and Wall Street J. ?

The reason that online newspaper databases such as Lexis/Nexis and
Proquest Historical Newspapers lack some images and content that are
still available in the microfilm of the New York Times has to do with
the Supreme Court Tasini Decision which ruled that publishers who allow
works by freelance employees to be included in online databases would be
guilty of violating the copyright of the freelancers.  [See comments of
Richard Wiggins (excerpted below)  at]

"The National Writers Union and its supporters enjoyed a brief period of
euphoria after the Supreme Court ruled in the case of New York Times Co.
Tasini.  Tasini et al hoped that through litigation they could win
retrospective payments for freelancers who had written for the Times and
various other publishers.  But the euphoria was fleeting: the Times,
having learned that their use of freelancers' works in online databases
such as LexisNexis violated the copyright of the authors, ordered
databases to remove the freelancers' works from the archives."

Anne Benham
Alderman Library
University of Virginia