A Guide to Oral History and the Law

A Guide to Oral History and the Law

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The Oral History Association published the first edition of Oral History and the Law as a 24-page pamphlet in 1986; a second edition (53 pp.) in 1993; and a third edition (93 pp.) in 2002. The need for an expanded, book-length treatment is evident, not because of an upsurge in litigation, but because of the vast expansion in the practice of oral history and the new ways in which interviews are being utlized. Like any growth industry in America, oral history is inevitably intertwined with the legal system from prevention through litigation. This book covers legal release agreements; protecting sealed interviews and anonymous interviews from courtroom disclosure; defamation; copyright; the Internet; Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), oral history as evidence; the duty to report a crime; and teaching considerations. It also includes examples of best practices and legal precautions, using case studies to illustrate each point.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 20.32mm | 272.15g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 4th New ed.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195365976
  • 9780195365979

Review quote

[A] lively and accessible guide. Hector MacQueen, Oral History
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About John A. Neuenschwander

John Neuenschwander is Professor of history at Carthage College, municipal judge for the City of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and site visitor for the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs.
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Table of contents

CHAPTER 1: A CASE STUDY ; CHAPTER 2: LEGAL RELEASE ARGUMENTS ; Drafting Legal Release Agreement ; Deed of Gift Agreements ; Contractual Agreements ; Prefatory Language ; Future Use Clauses ; Transfer of Copyright ; Non-exclusive Licenses for Interviewees ; Restricting, Sealing, and Masking Identity ; Warranty Clauses ; Indemnity Clauses ; Right of Publicity Clauses ; Legal Release Agreements for Interviewers ; IRB Modified Agreements ; Legal Release Agreement for K-12 Projects ; Explaining Legal Release Agreements ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 3: COMPELLED RELEASE OF INTERVIEWS: SUBPOENAS AND ; FOIA REQUESTS ; Oral History as Evidence ; Oral History and Discovery ; Three Illustrative Cases ; Is there a Scholar's Privilege? ; Is there an Archival Privilege? ; Informing Interviewees that Restrictions are Not ; ABSOLUTES ; Certificates of Confidentiality ; Admissibility by Statute ; Special Hearings and Proceedings ; Freedom of Information Requests ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 4: DEFAMATION ; Republishers Beware ; The Elements of Defamation ; The Dead Cannot be Defamed ; Statute of Limitations ; Organizations also have Reputations ; Public Figures Bear a Heavier Burden ; Negligence vs. Actual Malice ; Limited-Purpose Public Figures ; Once a Public Figure Always a Public Figure ; Pure Opinion is Not Defamatory, But ; The Major Categories of Defamation ; Professional Competency a Special Concern ; Suggestions for Avoiding Defamation Lawsuits ; CHAPTER 5: PRIVACY ISSUES: THE STEALTH TORTS ; False Light ; False Light vs. Defamation ; Common False Light Claims ; Docudramas and Photographs ; Possible Links to Oral History ; Public Disclosure of Private Facts ; Disclosure of Private Facts in Public Records ; Passage of Time and Public Figures ; Possible Links to Oral History ; Right of Publicity ; Possible Links to Oral History ; Do the Dead have a Right to Privacy? ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 6: COPYRIGHT ; Copyright in Nonfiction Works ; Copyright Protection of Oral History: A Case Study ; Using Nonfiction to Create Fiction ; Ownership ; Joint Works ; Works-Made-For-Hire ; The Five Exclusive Rights of Copyright ; Length of Copyright Protection ; Licenses and Transfers ; Fair Use of Interviews? ; Suggestions for Analyzing Potential Infringement ; Pre-Lawsuit Responses to Possible Infringement ; To Sue or Not to Sue? ; Registration Status is Critical ; Selective Registration ; The Orphan Interview Problem ; Resources of the U.S. Copyright Office ; Copyright and the Federal Government ; Copyright Protection Elsewhere in the World ; How to Dispense with Copyright ; CHAPTER 7: ORAL HISTORY ON THE INTERNET ; Legal Authority to Upload ; Copyright and the Internet ; Defamation Online ; Protecting Copyright Online ; Click-Wrap Agreement Web sites ; Notice Only Web sites ; Free Access Web sites ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 8: INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS AND ORAL HISTORY ; Origins and Applications ; Trying to Redefine Research ; The IRB Mindset ; The Best Approaches to the IRB ; Conclusion ; CHAPTER 9: IS THERE A DUTY TO REPORT A CRIME? ; Societal v. Legal Expectations ; Federal Misprision of Felony ; State Misprision of Felon ; Confession vs. Accusation ; No Legal Duty ; Professional Ethics ; Personal Ethics ; CONCLUSION ; APPENDIX 1: SAMPLE LEGAL RELEASE AGREEMENTS ; 1. Deed of Gift ; 2. Deed of Gift with Restrictions ; 3. Contractual Agreement ; 4. Contractual Agreement with Restrictions ; 5. Deed of Gift: Volunteer Interviewer ; 6. Deed of Gift: Independent Researcher ; 7. Deed of Gift: Interviewer as Joint Author ; 8. Deed of Gift: Next of Kin ; 9. IRB Consent Form ; 10. IRB Consent Form & Deed of Gift ; 11. Permission to Use: Middle & High School ; 12. Work Made For Hire Agreement ; 13. Assignment of Copyright in a Work Intended as a ; WORK MADE FOR HIRE AGREEMENT ; APPENDIX 2: PRINCIPLES AND STANDARDS AND EVALUATION ; GUIDELINES OF THE ORAL HISTORY ASSOCIATION ; Suggestions for Further Reading ; Recommended Web Sites ; Index
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14 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 36% (5)
4 43% (6)
3 14% (2)
2 7% (1)
1 0% (0)
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