Commissioned for and sponsored by the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Library of Congress
June M. Besek
(1/03, 21 pp.) $15
The collection and long-term preservation of digital content pose challenges to the intellectual property regime within which libraries and archives are accustomed to working. How to achieve an appropriate balance between copyright owners and users is a topic of ongoing debate in legal and policy circles. This paper describes copyright rights and exceptions and highlights issues potentially involved in the creation of a nonprofit digital archive. The paper is necessarily very general, since many decisions concerning the proposed archive’s scope and operation have not yet been made. The purpose of an archive (e.g., to ensure preservation or to provide an easy and convenient means of access), its subject matter, and the manner in which it will acquire copies, as well as who will have access to the archive, from where, and under what conditions, are all factors critical to determining the copyright implications for works to be included in it. The goal of this paper is to provide basic information about the copyright law for those developing such an archive and thereby enable them to recognize areas in which it could impinge on copyright rights and to plan accordingly.