December 14, 2006 Library of Congress and U.S. Copyright Office Issue Notice of Public Roundtable on Exceptions in Copyright Law for Libraries and Archives
Section 108 Study Group Roundtable in Chicago Is Seeking Public Comment
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
The U.S. Copyright Office and the Office of Strategic Initiatives of the Library of Congress have placed a notice in the Federal Register titled “Notice of a Public Roundtable with Request for Comments.” A copy of the notice and additional information can be found at www.loc.gov/section108/.
The public roundtable is part of the work of the Section 108 Study Group, which is charged with making recommendations on the exceptions and limitations applicable to libraries and archives under section 108 of the Copyright Act, especially as section 108 affects libraries’ use of digital media.
The roundtable discussion will be held in Chicago on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2007, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. CST, at DePaul University College of Law, Lewis Building, 10th Floor, Room 1001, 25 E. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604.
The notice details how to make a request to participate in the roundtable; requests must be received by 5 p.m. EST, Friday, Jan. 12, 2007. The notice also provides information on how interested parties can submit written comments on the issues presented in the notice. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. EST, Friday, March 9, 2007.
The Chicago event will be the Study Group’s third public roundtable. Previous roundtables were held in March 2006 in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Transcripts from those meetings can be viewed at http://www.loc.gov/section108/roundtables.html.
The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) (www.digitalpreservation.gov) and the U.S. Copyright Office (www.copyright.gov), both part of the Library of Congress, are sponsoring the Section 108 Study Group, whose mission is to study how section 108 of the Copyright Act may need to be amended to address the issues and concerns of libraries and archives, as well as of creators and other copyright holders, when dealing with digital media. The group will provide findings and recommendations on how to revise the copyright law in order to ensure an appropriate balance among the interests of creators and other copyright holders, libraries and archives in a manner that best serves the national interest. The findings and recommendations will be submitted by mid-2007 to the Librarian of Congress.
Digital technologies are radically transforming how copyrighted works are created and disseminated, and also how libraries and archives preserve and make those works available. Cultural heritage institutions, in carrying forward their missions, have begun to acquire and incorporate large quantities of “born digital” works (those created in digital form) into their holdings to ensure the continuing availability of those works to future generations. Yet it has been observed that section 108 of the Copyright Act – which provides limited exceptions for libraries and archives – does not adequately address many of the issues unique to digital media, either from the perspective of rights owners or libraries and archives.
The Library anticipates that the collective expertise of this independent group will provide a better understanding of the issues and balanced, solid recommendations for revisions to section 108.
NDIIPP is a national program focusing on the collection and preservation of important at-risk digital materials, so the Study Group’s recommendations will be helpful to NDIIPP and other digital-preservation initiatives as they fulfill their missions. The Library is leading NDIIPP at the request of the U.S. Congress, which passed legislation in 2000 establishing the program. A key NDIIPP goal is to form a nationwide network of partners to collect and preserve digital information that will be important to scholars, researchers and lifelong learners now and in the future.