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4. Long-Term National Strategies

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Preservation of the nation’s recorded sound heritage is too great a responsibility for any one institution. Since the nineteenth century, an ever-expanding array of sound recording formats and genres have been produced and disseminated by diverse groups. Preserving these recordings will require coordinated efforts by libraries, archives, corporations, and private individuals. The collection and preservation of born-digital recordings, which require a high level of management and technical infrastructure, present particular challenges. Funding for audio preservation and access initiatives is scarce. These challenges require a well-organized national effort on the part of all stakeholders to achieve success. Leadership by the Library of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board will be instrumental in coordinating an effective national preservation program.

Recommendation 4.1:
The National Recording Preservation Board

Charge the National Recording Preservation Board with providing assistance to the Library of Congress in coordinating and implementing national sound preservation efforts, and in advancing public awareness of the national program.

The Librarian of Congress established the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress in accordance with a directive in the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. The law identified the following as the Board’s responsibilities: reviewing and recommending nominations for the National Recording Registry, conducting a study on sound recording preservation and restoration, and issuing a report based on the study. With the publication of The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States in August 2010, the latter responsibilities of the Board were achieved.

The Librarian of Congress also was tasked by the National Recording Preservation Act to consult with the Board to “implement a comprehensive national sound recording preservation program, in conjunction with other sound recording archivists, educators and historians, copyright owners, recording industry representatives, and others involved in activities related to sound recording preservation, and taking into account studies conducted by the Board.”70 The Board’s expanded role as a consulting and implementing body for the Library of Congress will include the following tasks:

  • Assist in the expansion of sound recording preservation programs in institutions throughout the United States.
  • Promote greater public access to historically, culturally, and aesthetically significant sound recordings.
  • Assist in the development of a coordinated national sound recordings acquisitions and collections policy.
  • Advance educational and professional training goals in the field of audio preservation.
  • Disseminate reliable information about sound recording preservation to archivists, audio preservation specialists, educators, and the public.
  • Promote public awareness of the need for preserving the nation’s recorded sound heritage.
  • Encourage the coordination of national-level fundraising strategies to identify resources and develop effective programs for sound recording preservation fundraising.

The Board will promote partnerships between public institutions, nonprofit organizations, the recording industry, the collecting community, and companies that create and distribute sound recordings in all genres and formats to accomplish these purposes and goals. The Board’s active involvement in the ongoing audio preservation effort as recommended in this plan will be crucial to the program’s success.

To address specific issues not fully covered in the plan or in existing studies, the Board, in coordination with the Librarian of Congress and the staff of the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation, will create ad hoc committees and advisory groups of experts in specific fields of study. These groups will keep the Librarian, the Board, and the recorded sound community advised of recent developments, needs, and trends in recorded sound preservation and scholarship. These varied groups may include

  • Experts who can advise the Board on trends in scholarship that might affect audio acquisitions policies and suggest initiatives to promote a greater use of sound recordings as primary source materials
  • An expert work group to identify broad categories of recorded sound materials that are generally not well cataloged or “discoverable,” and to consider nationally coordinated efforts to improve access for scholars and other users
  • An advisory committee that meets periodically to review and make recommendations concerning the national technical research agenda
The Expanded Role of the National
Recording Preservation Board

The National Recording Preservation Board currently advises the Librarian of Congress on annual selections for the National Recording Registry and on matters of policy relating to recorded sound preservation in the United States. Under the National Recording Preservation Plan, the responsibilities of the Board, under the auspices of the Librarian of Congress, will be expanded. The following new functions of the Board, described in other recommendations (as indicated), will be integral to the successful implementation of this plan:
•    Establish an Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded Sound Preservation (Recommendation 4.2)
•    Develop a coordinated national recorded sound collections policy (Recommendation 4.3)
•    Resolve digital licensing issues of importance to research libraries and archives (Recommendation 4.4)
•    Develop fundraising strategies in coordination with the National Recording Preservation Foundation (Recommendation 4.5)
•    Convene periodic conferences or meetings to assess the progress of the national audio preservation program (Recommendation 4.6)
•    Urge the construction of new archival storage facilities, or the conversion of existing facilities, for audiovisual media (Recommendation 1.1)
•    Promote the establishment of university programs in audio archiving and preservation, and continuing education programs for audio engineers, archivists, curators, and librarians (Recommendations 1.4 and 1.5)
•    Assist in establishing a web-based Audio Preservation Resource Directory (Recommendation 1.6)
•    Encourage funding agencies and foundations to support comprehensive archival surveys of audio collections (Recommendation 2.2)
•    Establish an expert audio cataloging group to delineate best practices (Recommendation 3.3)

Recommendation 4.2:
Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded
Sound Preservation

Organize an advisory committee of industry executives and heads of archives, under the auspices of the National Recording Preservation Board and in collaboration with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), to address recorded sound preservation and access issues that require public-private cooperation for resolution.

To aid in the implementation of the recommendations in this plan, the National Recording Preservation Board should establish an Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded Sound Preservation. Such a committee should include top executives from recording companies and heads of sound recording archives. The committee, which will meet on an ad hoc basis, will be charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Ensuring a continued commitment of those at the highest level of the recording industry to assist the Library of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board in implementing the recommendations of this plan
  • Resolving conflicts that arise between rights holders and archives regarding preservation and access objectives and policies; for example, the development of special licenses to facilitate preservation work and access (see Recommendation 4.4), and consideration of the unique challenges for preservation work and access related to recordings produced by now-defunct recording companies
  • Addressing new challenges that arise as regulations, laws, technology, and institutional practices regarding sound recordings evolve
  • Advising the Board on ways to ensure that funding for preservation will meet national needs
  • Intervening promptly in crisis situations, for example, in response to the identification of a collection at risk because of an emergency (e.g., fire or natural disaster); the Executive Leadership Committee could provide assistance in marshalling resources to save the collection, arrange acquisition by an archive committed to preserve it, or develop a grant application for emergency preservation purposes

The composition of the Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded Sound Preservation is critical. Participants must be drawn from a level of management capable of committing corporate resources to the implementation of recommendations, resolving conflicts, intervening in crisis situations, and addressing new challenges. These individuals must possess sufficient authority not only to speak for their corporations and nonprofit organizations, but also to influence the actions of other leaders. Appropriate committee makeup would include record company executives at the senior level paired with the heads of leading libraries and archives. In addition, the Library of Congress, ARSC, NARAS, and other key organizations should be represented on the committee.

Recommendation 4.3:
A Coordinated National Collections Policy

Develop a coordinated national collections policy for sound recordings to include the establishment of “partner archives” for receiving copyright deposits; collaborative efforts to collect born-digital recordings; and a strategy to collect, catalog, and preserve locally produced recordings, radio broadcast content, neglected and emerging audio formats and genres, and corporate documents.

The National Recording Preservation Board should develop a strategic plan for the national coordination of the collection of recorded sound to ensure that all genres and formats are acquired, preserved, and made accessible to researchers. The Library of Congress will need to collaborate with established archives and the Copyright Office to achieve these goals. Identifying, collecting, and preserving born-digital recordings and radio broadcast content, in particular, presents significant challenges.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is responsible for identifying contemporary recordings of artistic and cultural significance, and ensuring that they are acquired through the deposit requirements of U.S. copyright law so that they can be preserved and made available to researchers. Because sound recording publishing and distribution has radically changed in the twenty-first century, it has become even more challenging for the Library to identify and acquire all significant new releases for preservation. Increasingly, performers are producing and distributing their own recordings or are affiliated with independent, rather than major, recording companies. Many published recordings take the form of digital files and are available only through the Web; they are not published as compact discs or in other physical forms. Only a fraction of newly published recordings are registered with the Copyright Office and, therefore, acquired by the Library of Congress.

A plan for national coordination in the collection of recorded sound should include the following steps:

  • To ensure that the Library of Congress acquires a greater number of significant published recordings through the Copyright Office, the Library should establish acquisition partnerships with other institutions that have expertise in specific genres of music and recorded sound to identify significant recordings and make efforts to acquire them through copyright deposit.Section 407 of the Copyright Act of 1976 requires copyright owners to deposit with the U.S. Copyright Office two copies of the “best edition” of copyrighted works “for the use or disposition of the Library of Congress.”71 As the Register of Copyrights and the Librarian of Congress have noted, mandatory deposit “has been one of the most important methods for building the Library’s collections and making it the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity.”72 Tens of thousands of published recordings, however, have not been registered or deposited with the Copyright Office.73Partner archives will assist the Library by identifying artistically and culturally significant recordings that should be claimed by the Library for copyright deposit and subsequent preservation. The Library will transfer to a partner archive one of the two copies of certain sound recordings it receives via mandatory deposit. In this way, the Library and its partner will share responsibility for the physical security and preservation of the recordings. The Library of Congress, its acquisition partners, and the National Recording Preservation Board should establish contacts with independent creators of sound recordings and major record companies, and call attention of all stakeholders to the benefits of complying with the deposit requirements of the U.S. copyright law.
  • The Library of Congress should work with the Copyright Office to develop and implement as soon as possible an eDeposit infrastructure that will enable the Library to acquire copyright deposits of “online-only” audio recordings (i.e., electronic works published and made available exclusively online) to preserve them for posterity.Copyright owners of published online-only works have been exempt from the mandatory deposit requirement.74 Recognizing that “the current inability of the Library to acquire online-only works through mandatory copyright deposit places the long-term preservation of the works at risk,” the Copyright Office adopted an interim rule effective February 2010 allowing it to demand mandatory deposits for online-only works in specific categories.75 The Office issued mandatory deposit notices in September 2010 to a cross-section of the electronic serials publishing community to determine viable packaging and submission processes for these works. The subsequent submissions, each of which was unique, “created tremendous technical challenges” for the Library and for publishers who responded to demand notices.76 The Copyright Office has acknowledged the need to develop with the publishing community workable packaging standards, transmission protocols, and file structures.The Copyright Office and the Library should make sound recordings the next category to qualify for eDeposits. Born-digital, file-based recording has become the predominant means of audio production.77 Future generations will need access to born-digital recordings to understand twenty-first century political, social, and cultural history. The Office and the Library should work with the recording community to develop a secure eDeposit infrastructure for the mandatory deposit of online-only sound recordings, an infrastructure in which copyright owners can be confident that the files they deposit with the Copyright Office will not be pirated. As soon as possible and with legal sanction through statutory amendment, existing legal authority, or by permission of rights holders, the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation should initiate a program to methodically harvest born-digital recordings from websites. Partner archives could assist in recommending artistically and culturally significant websites and Internet broadcasts. Congress should provide adequate funding to the Packard Campus to build the technological infrastructure required to preserve future born-digital works.
  • The Library of Congress should collaborate with the Copyright Office to develop a process whereby high-quality audio files may be deposited with the Library for secure storage and preservation in perpetuity as an alternate means to satisfy the requirement that rights holders deposit copies of the “best edition” of their published works or to serve as a supplement to that process.According to copyright law, two copies of the “best edition” of a published sound recording must be deposited with the Copyright Office within three months of publication. The language in the law is insufficient, however, to guarantee the long-term preservation of born-digital recordings. Many sound recordings currently are distributed to the public in highly compressed audio formats, such as MP3, which often do not contain enough information to adequately preserve the original sound recorded. During workflows, rights holders often create files that are of higher resolution than those offered for sale. If the Library of Congress is to develop a preservation quality repository of these recordings, it is essential to adopt, through statutory amendment where necessary, deposit guidelines for born-digital recordings that lead to the acquisition, ingestion, and long-term preservation of those unpublished, higher resolution files. For common monaural or stereo recordings, this would be 96 or 192 kHz and 24 bit, or at the minimum, the resolution of a commercial compact disc, 44.1 kHz and 16 bit. For other structures (e.g., surround sound recordings or multitrack materials of other types), the preferred versions for the collection should follow emerging general practice guidelines for born-digital-or better, born-archival-content, as outlined in Recommendation 2.7.
  • The National Recording Preservation Board should encourage statewide and regionally based coordinated programs to collect and preserve locally produced recorded sound, including radio broadcasts.Locally based recordings are likely to be published in small quantities; or, if unpublished, are unique and in great danger of loss. Some states and municipalities have libraries or archives with official government music divisions that are natural hubs for coordinated efforts among content producers and archives to collect and preserve recordings. In other states, such institutions as libraries, archives, and historical societies should be called upon to take the lead. In either case, statewide collecting efforts will need support to build and maintain cooperative preservation efforts.The National Recording Preservation Board should help facilitate these efforts by identifying one or more institutions in each state to develop, support, and coordinate statewide cooperative efforts; supporting efforts to survey recorded sound material produced and held in each state, including collections from radio stations, universities, local businesses, and local festival organizations; encouraging producers to contribute their recordings to statewide repositories; and maintaining a national listing of statewide efforts and contacts through the Audio Preservation Resource Directory website (Recommendation 1.6).
  • The Board should establish a subcommittee to develop strategies and tools to collect and preserve radio broadcast content. Among the subcommittee’s first actions should be the convening of a symposium on the challenges to preservation of American radio broadcasts and possible solutions.Radio programs make up a significant portion of the nation’s recorded cultural history and encompass an array of genres, including news, music, drama, variety, soap operas, sports, quiz shows, public affairs, presidential addresses, community affairs, religious programming, propaganda, and educational shows. Although many libraries and archives have acquired collections of historical radio broadcast recordings, there have been few systematic efforts to collect contemporary commercial radio broadcast recordings, and to document and preserve the entire range of extant broadcasts in private and public collections. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Archive project is an attempt to preserve and manage public radio and television broadcast materials; however, there has been no systematic effort to collect American commercial radio programming at the national and local levels.78 
  • Neglected and emerging audio formats and genres that have not been sufficiently collected and preserved should be identified and coordinated acquisition efforts adopted.Neglected audio formats and genres include materials so common that they may not seem valuable (e.g., advertising jingles, sound effects, background music). They may not conform to current criteria for aesthetic or historical value (ambient sound or industrial machine noise), or they may be useful primarily for research and diagnostic purposes in scientific fields (e.g., zoological studies, medicine). Such formats and genres fall beyond the range of current archival acquisitions policies. To gather input regarding neglected and emerging audio formats and genres that should be collected and preserved, the National Recording Preservation Board will seek expert advice on a continuing basis from audio-producing communities; scholars in sound studies and acoustics; and other relevant user communities, including sound artists, audio engineers, and scientific and industrial organizations.
  • Corporate records and documentation on the production and distribution of sound recordings should be preserved and made accessible to researchers, preservation specialists, discographers, librarians, and archivists.Recording company documents can provide invaluable information to archivists and media scholars who study the history of recorded sound. Corporate records can be useful to preservationists not only in identifying recordings, but also in setting priorities for recordings to be preserved. Documentation of corporate recording activities will be essential to the compilation of an authoritative National Discography (Recommendation 3.1). Accurate information concerning production can help scholars interpret cultural trends. Many corporate records, however, have been lost or destroyed, and surviving records often are not accessible to outsiders.The Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded Sound Preservation (Recommendation 4.2) should encourage recording companies to preserve documentation about their recording activities. The Committee should discourage the destruction of documents until a panel of scholars and preservationists have had an opportunity to examine them and determine their relevance for preservation and scholarship. The Committee should encourage proper care and storage of documents, promote the donation of documents to institutions that can care for them, and discourage excessive restrictions on access to documents that have been placed in institutions. Archives and libraries should attempt to acquire recording company corporate records whenever the opportunity arises.

Recommendation 4.4:
Preservation of Twenty-First Century Recordings

Develop strategies that will enable research libraries and archives to collect and preserve culturally significant recordings that are currently restricted by end-user license agreements.

Many of the most recently created recordings are at the greatest risk of loss because of changes in the publication and distribution of sound recordings. Physical copies of commercial recordings are being rapidly replaced by digital audio files distributed online by third-party companies (e.g., iTunes, Amazon, eMusic) through end-user license agreements that limit uses to “personal, non-commercial, entertainment” only.79 With some digital files, the purchase is not even classified as a “sale.” Under the terms of the license, the content remains the property of the provider, and all uses are governed by the terms of the license. In the near future, it appears likely that much new music will be distributed via the “cloud,” with users permitted access privileges only.

These licensing agreements effectively make it impossible for research libraries and archives to legally purchase copies of file-based recordings, while simultaneously preventing legal educational use of these recordings in the classroom and impeding preservation. Because licenses trump copyright law, section 107 and 108 provisions for libraries and archives-meant to serve the public good and ensure the availability of works over time-do not apply.80 Furthermore, private collectors, who are most adept at discovering and documenting emerging genres, may never legally be able to place their digital audio files in an archive, no matter how rare or at risk their collections may be. If this licensing problem is not resolved soon, the bulk of the nation’s culturally significant recordings from the twenty-first century will be held privately by companies and individual artists who may lack incentives or resources for long-term preservation.

Resolving these digital licensing issues will require a concerted effort on the part of library and scholarly organizations with a vested interest in preservation and access. Strategies that should be considered include the following:

  • Advocating for educational use clauses in end-user license agreements.Representative library and scholarly organizations (e.g., ARSC, MLA, the Society for American Music) should work with music industry representatives to develop flexible yet mutually beneficial agreements that meet the needs of all constituencies. The National Recording Preservation Board’s Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded Sound Preservation (Recommendation 4.2) should be charged with facilitating discussions, beginning with a review of licensing agreements and business models between recording companies and vendors, and followed by a sustained effort to develop agreements for educational use and preservation. In addition, the Board should work with library and scholarly organizations to broadly publicize the issue in order to reach independent artists and smaller online music distribution companies.
  • Developing model agreements for licensing permanent digital music downloads to libraries and archives and initiating a pilot project to test outcomes.Currently, several library subscription services offer on-demand streaming access to a catalog of preselected music, as well as fulfillment services that provide a limited selection of downloadable music files, designed to meet the needs of public and smaller academic libraries. Research libraries and archives, however, must have the ability to individually select, purchase, and preserve commercially distributed digital audio files as permanent digital downloads (PDDs) to ensure preservation and meet the needs of a broad range of scholars.81A pilot project should be undertaken whereby one or more research libraries develop a consortial agreement with specific recording companies that would allow a library participating in the agreement to purchase preservation quality digital audio files (e.g., uncompressed WAV) for PDD. This option also might include a provision that allows on-demand streaming access outside the library as long as certain conditions are met, such as restricting access via user authentication to university faculty and students, and obtaining appropriate digital media licenses with SoundExchange; the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI); and SESAC. The Executive Leadership Committee on Recorded Sound Preservation (Recommendation 4.2) should be charged with facilitating discussions to establish this project. The pilot project would lay the groundwork for future endeavors between public institutions and private interests by identifying major hurdles likely to arise with regard to licensing, downloading, access, and associated costs.

Recommendation 4.5:
Fundraising for Sound Preservation

Sustain the growth and success of the national preservation effort through coordinated fundraising strategies involving the National Recording Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Foundation, and grant-making programs.

Funding for recorded sound preservation in the United States has been characterized as “decentralized and inadequate” (CLIR and Library of Congress 2010, 4). For commercially produced recordings, the responsibility for preservation lies with corporate rights holders. For orphan and unpublished works with no identifiable rights holder-most of the 46 million recordings held by American libraries, archives, and museums-funding is scarce. To mitigate this situation, all parties interested in historical sound recordings must take a more active role than they have taken to date in identifying resources and developing programs to fund the preservation of our audio heritage. Without such commitments, much of this heritage will be lost forever. The National Recording Preservation Board and the National Recording Preservation Foundation should lead in these endeavors, but these institutions cannot successfully assume this formidable responsibility alone.

Congress gave the Foundation, a nonprofit federally chartered corporation, the mandate to “further the goals of the Library of Congress and the National Recording Preservation Board in connection with their activities under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000.” Specifically, they empowered the Foundation to “encourage, accept, and administer private gifts to promote and ensure the preservation and public accessibility of the nation’s sound recording heritage held at the Library of Congress and other public and nonprofit archives throughout the United States.”82

The Foundation is authorized to receive annual appropriations from Congress not to exceed the amount that it raises through private sources and through state and local governments. In accordance with the National Recording Preservation Act, the Library of Congress should seek from Congress an allocation of funds to match the contributions that the Foundation receives.

The National Recording Preservation Board, working in conjunction with the Foundation, should take the following steps to facilitate fundraising for audio preservation:

  • Encourage public and private grant-making organizations to expand their mandates to include preserving historically and culturally important sound recordings in the collections of publicly funded libraries, archives, and museums, and facilitating access to these recordings.The Foundation should actively consult with and disseminate information to public and private grant-making organizations in an effort to encourage them to expand their mandates and address the challenges inherent in preserving the nation’s sound recording heritage. The development of a broad range of funding programs covering both large- and small-scale preservation, access, research, and training projects should be considered to meet the needs of a wide range of stakeholders. The Foundation should provide guidance to grant-making organizations on technical issues, as well as on legal issues related to the provision of public access to sound recordings preserved by grant funds.
  • Devise strategies to encourage contributions to fund recorded sound preservation from profit centers throughout the music and recording industry, including recording companies, artists’ performance rights organizations, broadcasters, web audio services, and others.Web audio services might encourage their customers to make voluntary contributions to audio preservation when they pay to download songs. Contributions of as little as one cent-in many cases, this would increase the purchase price of a recording from 99 cents to one dollar-would add up to substantial amounts if enough people added the charge to their purchases.
  • Engage public relations and fundraising professionals to guide and help sustain fundraising efforts, including the development of strategies to raise public awareness.It is imperative to the success of any fundraising and publicity campaign that professionals be engaged, whether on a pro bono basis or through a paid relationship, to guide and help sustain these efforts. These experts could be consulted to articulate goals and methods; assist with the development of public awareness strategies and resources; and assist with private and public fundraising initiatives, including grassroots efforts to maximize individual giving.
  • Develop a roster of “artist ambassadors” to publicize and support efforts to preserve America’s sound recording heritage.Musicians and other creators of sound recordings capable of drawing broad media coverage will be essential to the online campaign and fundraising activities of the National Recording Preservation Foundation. Public service announcements featuring recognizable faces and voices can enhance publicity efforts. During performance events, concerts, or celebrity-hosted parties around the nation, the artist ambassadors should convey the need to support the preservation of America’s recorded sound history and culture.
  • Engage industry professionals, stakeholders, educators, and members of the public in developing a range of activities that will contribute to overall public awareness of the history of recorded sound and related preservation issues.A multigenerational approach, with an emphasis on resources and activities that make use of social networking, can reach a variety of audiences: educators, the media, the music and sound recording industry, private collectors, archives and libraries, government entities, and the general public. Possible activities to celebrate the history of recorded sound include tie-ins with established events-such as National Record Store Day, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage, African-American Music Appreciation Month, and the annual announcement of selections to the National Recording Registry.
  • Encourage and promote programs that concentrate on the preservation of specific forms and genres of recordings in order to obtain support from businesses and individuals with vested interests in those forms or an appreciation of specific genres.
  • Encourage funding to support cataloging projects.Even with the streamlined cataloging processes recommended in this plan (see Recommendation 3.3), additional funding is needed to process the massive amount of uncataloged audio material in library and archival collections. The Board should encourage funding agencies to support cataloging projects that encompass significant holdings in categories prioritized by the Board’s expert work group on cataloging (see Recommendation 4.1). Agencies should also consider funding for nationally coordinated cataloging efforts in keeping with the prioritized categories.
  • Encourage funding agencies to support the development of audio preservation service bureaus (i.e., for-profit or nonprofit entities that provide audio reformatting and restoration services), especially in underserved areas of the United States, to lower costs and expand the national preservation capacity.
  • Encourage more foundations to establish simpler grant applications for smaller grants.

Recommendation 4.6:
Assessment of the National Audio Preservation Program

Under the auspices of the Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Board, convene meetings or a conference of major stakeholders on preserving America’s recorded sound heritage.

Periodic meetings that include major stakeholders will be helpful to assess progress made toward resolving preservation and access issues that have been identified within this plan. A national conference will strengthen communication and cooperation among all parties interested in overcoming obstacles to preserving and providing public access to historical recordings, including rights holders, public archives, and grant-making organizations. The conference also will help publicize the successes of the national audio preservation program derived from this plan and call attention to ongoing long-term challenges for preserving the nation’s recorded sound heritage.


70 National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-474), Sec. 111, as amended by the Library of Congress Sound Recording and Film Preservation Programs Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-336).

71 17 U.S.C. § 407(b). For a discussion of “best edition,” see U.S. Copyright Office 2012.

72 75 Fed. Reg. 3865 (January 25, 2010).

73 A survey of copyright registration records conducted for the Board’s recorded sound preservation study determined that only two of ten “relatively small U.S. record labels, each known for issuing discs of critically acclaimed ‘indie rock’ groups” selected for the survey registered sound recordings in 2007. See CLIR and Library of Congress 2010, 46.

74 In 1978, the Copyright Office exempted machine-readable works (e.g., automated databases) from the mandatory deposit requirement of Title 17, as these works “were not widely marketed to the public.” The exemption was amended in 1989 to require copyright owners to deposit machine-readable works that were published in physical form, leaving “automated databases available only online” exempt from the requirement. The Office’s subsequent practice, “to interpret this category broadly to encompass all electronic works published only online,” was adopted “as a matter of convenience because, at that time, the Library exhibited neither the intention nor the technological ability to collect such works.” See 74 Fed. Reg. 34286-34287 (July 15, 2009) for a brief history of Copyright Office policies exempting online-only works from the mandatory deposit requirement.

75 75 Fed. Reg. 3864-3865 (January 25, 2010).

76 76 Fed. Reg. 21043 (April 14, 2011).

77Born-digital audio, a term used to describe all audio recorded digitally at the point of creation, includes works that are recorded to physical formats (DAT, CD, DA-88, ADAT, etc.), but more commonly refers to file-based recordings on formats such as WAVE (.wav) or MP3.

78 See

79 See Amazon MP3 Music Service: Terms of Use,

80 See 17 U.S.C. § 108(f)(4).

81 According to the Harry Fox Agency, “A permanent digital download (PDD) is each individual delivery of a phonorecord by digital transmission of a sound recording (embodying a musical composition) resulting in a reproduction made by or for the recipient which may be retained and played by the recipient on a permanent basis. PDDs are sometimes referred to as full downloads or untethered downloads.” See

82 National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-474), Sec. 201.

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