Melissa Smith Levine

mslevine's picture


Shapiro 4190
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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Director, Copyright Office


Melissa Levine provides guidance on all aspects of copyright policy and practice, helping the University of Michigan community understand copyright.  She is a member of the library's senior management group and serves on the steering committee for the university's Museum Studies program.

Melissa was responsible for the Copyright Review Management System (CRMS) as the principal investigator for this IMLS-supported effort to learn more about the copyright status of books in HathiTrust. The project is documented in a toolkit: Finding the Public Domain. CRMS was awarded the ALA's L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award, the first time a group effort has been recognized with this honor. She is a member the DPLA's small working group to promote global interoperability of metadata through concrete set of right statements, a collaborative initiative of the DPLA and Europeana.


Melissa has extensive experience with copyright matters. At the Smithsonian Institution, Melissa handled licensing and contract negotiations for publishing, product development, electronic rights, audiovisual media, exhibitions, and festivals (1990-96). At the Library of Congress, Melissa was Assistant General Counsel and Legal Advisor to the National Digital Library Project, serving as 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 (1996-2001). 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, worked with the U.S. Copyright Office and other organizations and government agencies on copyright issues, and represented The Library of Congress in inter-agency meetings and initiatives related to copyright and digital libraries.
Melissa also has worked in the arena of museum policy and management having served as the Exhibits and Outreach Librarian at the University of Michigan Library, Acting Director of the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University, Associate Director for Finance and Administration at the Wolfsonian Museum, and Acting Curator of the World Bank’s Art program. She teaches Intellectual Property and Information Law for the University of Michigan School of Information and a course on Museums, Law and Policy for Johns Hopkins University's masters in museum studies program.
Melissa received her undergraduate degree in history and art history from Emory University and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. She is a was selected for the Frye Leadership Institute Class and the Library Senior Fellows Program at UCLA.