Kenneth Crews joined Columbia University in January 2008 as founding director of the Copyright Advisory Office (CAO). For more than twenty years, Dr. Crews has focused much of his research, policymaking, and teaching on copyright issues. He has published widely on the topic, and he is a frequent speaker at universities and meetings throughout the world. In 2008 he completed a study for the World Intellectual Property Organization (an agency of the United Nations), analyzing copyright statutes applicable to libraries in the laws of more than 150 countries.
Dr. Crews came to Columbia from Indiana University. Beginning in 1994, he was director of the nationâ€™s first university-based copyright office, located on the IUPUI campus of Indiana University. At Indiana he also held a named professorship in the Robert H. McKinney School of Law of Indiana University, with a joint appointment in the IU School of Library and Information Science.
He has been a leader on providing a better understanding of the relationship of copyright law to the needs of higher education. His first copyright book, Copyright, Fair Use, and the Challenge for Universities: Promoting the Progress of Higher Education, was published by the University of Chicago Press in October 1993, and it reevaluated understandings of copyright and policymaking at universities. A more recent book, Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators (new third edition, 2012), has been widely received as an insightful and practical source for understanding copyright law. Crews has been an invited speaker on college and university campuses and at conferences in 41 U.S. states and on five continents. He has participated in many governmental commissions and task forces addressing copyright issues.
Dr. Crews brings a variety of academic and professional experiences to his duties at the University. He earned his undergraduate degree in history from Northwestern University and received his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He practiced general business and corporate law in Los Angeles from 1980 to 1990, primarily for the entertainment industry. During those years, Crews returned to graduate school and he earned his M.L.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UCLAâ€™s School of Library and Information Science.