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Access and Preservation Committee
June 24, 2007

Present: Brad Schaffner (Harvard), Brian Baird (HF Group), Diana Brooking (Washington), Michael Brewer (Arizona), Jackie Byrd (Indiana), Angela Cannon (Library of Congress), Tatyana Chubaryan (Texas A&M), Inna Gudanets (Stanford), Sandra Levy (Chicago), Terri Miller (Michigan State), Kimberly Peach (Library of Congress), Liladhar Pendse (UCLA), Janice Pilch (Illinois), Emily Ray (Yale), Kay Sinnema (Library of Congress), Masha Stepanova (Miami), Andy Spencer (Wisconsin)

Minutes: Minutes of the meeting of the Seattle Midwinter 2007 conference were approved as submitted.

Status of the Section 108 Copyright Law Revision: Janice Pilch reported on progress of the Section 108 copyright law revision. Amendments to the law, if enacted, could have a significant impact on the future of library and archival preservation, digitization initiatives, and library and user access to digital works.

The Section 108 Study Group, sponsored by the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) and the U.S. Copyright Office, convened in April 2005 to examine Section 108 and to consider possible changes to meet the needs of cultural institutions in the digital environment. The 19-member Study Group is made up of experts in copyright law, nearly evenly divided between representatives of the copyright industries and those of libraries, archives and museums. The Study Group has met bimonthly and has actively solicited input from content industry representatives and from the library and archival communities by requesting written comments and by conducting public roundtables to help in its deliberations. Roundtables were held on March 8, 2006 in Los Angeles, March 16, 2006 in Washington, DC, and on January 31, 2007 in Chicago.

Later this year the Section 108 Study Group will submit its recommendations to the Register of Copyrights. The recommendations of the Section 108 Study Group will be considered by the Register of Copyrights who will draft proposals for legislation or possibly hold hearings or further roundtables. Eventually amendment language might be submitted to Congress.

Janice reported on the four topics addressed in written comments and discussions in spring 2006, summarizing the views expressed by representatives from the content industries and by the library and archival communities:

  1. Eligibility for the section 108 exceptions, relating to section 108(a);
  2. Amendments to the preservation and replacement exceptions in sections 108(b) and (c), including amendments to the 3-copy limit, the 108(c) triggers, the separate treatment of unpublished works, and off-premises access restrictions;
  3. The proposal for a new exception to permit the creation of preservation-only/restricted access copies in limited circumstances;
  4. The proposal for a new exception to permit capture of websites and other online content.

In a white paper drafted in November 2006, ALA and ARL recommended caution in revising Section 108. Suggestions were to eliminate the three-copy limit and replace it with the proposed language "a limited number of copies as reasonably necessary for the permitted purpose;" and to enable remote access to digital replacement copies with minimal restrictions.

Janice then discussed the second phase of discussions, involving submission of written comments from interested parties and a roundtable discussion held in Chicago on January 31, 2007. She summarized the views of content industry representatives, and representatives of the library and archival communities addressing the following issues:

  1. Library copies for users, including interlibrary loan and direct use copies;
  2. Amendments to section 108(i), which excludes certain non-text-based works from application of sections 108(d) and (e): musical works; pictorial, graphic and sculptural works; motion pictures and other audiovisual works other than audiovisual works dealing with news;
  3. Limitations on access to electronic works, including a discussion of licensing of digital works.

In a white paper drafted in February 2007, ALA and ARL recommended that subsection 108(i) be eliminated; that temporary and incidental copies be permitted through use of language such as "such copies as reasonably necessary;" and that any amendment retain the flexibility that permits libraries and archives to provide effective service to their users.

The recommendations of the Section 108 Study Group are expected by November 2007. Federal Register notices, background documents, lists of public roundtable participants, transcripts of the roundtables, and sets of written comments submitted by interested parties are on the website of the Section 108 Study Group at

Submitted by Jackie Byrd

Last updated July 27, 2007