Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

December 5, 1997

MEDIA ADVISORY
More Than $200,000 in Seized Audio Equipment To Be Donated to Library of Congress Talking Book Program

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to Oversee Program

WHAT: Presentation and award ceremony of more than $200,000 worth of high-speed duplicating audio equipment to the talking-book program of National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). This equipment was seized in music piracy investigations.

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 4, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Philadelphia Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped 919 Walnut St. Philadelphia

WHO: Representatives from the Library of Congress, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service and regional libraries for the blind and physically handicapped from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

BACKGROUND: The donation of the recording equipment to the talking-book program is made possible through the cooperation of five federal agencies: the Library of Congress, Internal Revenue Service, FBI, U.S. Postal Service and U.S. Attorney's Office. The effort began in 1995 when the RIAA briefed Mary Levering, associate register of the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress, who was told that seized equipment was routinely destroyed. Ms. Levering, who will receive an award along with the RIAA, recognized that the equipment was the same as that used by the talking-book program. An agreement was later reached between the RIAA and NLS for donation of the equipment.

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PR 97-205
12/3/97
ISSN 0731-3527

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