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Section 108 of the 1976 Copyright Act provides certain exceptions to the exclusive rights of copyright that allow libraries and archives to conduct preservation-related activities. These exceptions were written with analog materials in mind and thus do not contemplate the need for the multiple copies necessitated by digital preservation.
Digital preservation Edit
Obtaining permission from the rights holder is one strategy to eliminate any risk of copyright infringement, but it is impractical to attempt to obtain permission for entire collections of works with many different owners, who may or may not be locatable. As a result, much digital preservation is currently being conducted under theories of fair use, but there is no assurance for libraries or archives or others conducting digital preservation that these activities are in fact fair use. The absence of copyright exceptions, coupled with the already-high costs of preservation, discourages many entities from engaging in digital preservation for any materials other than public domain content.
- ↑ 17 U.S.C. §108(f)(4). H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 78–79 (1976) ("Nothing in section 108 impairs the applicability of the fair-use doctrine to a wide variety of situations involving photocopying or other reproduction by a library of copyrighted material in its collections, where the user requests the reproduction for legitimate scholarly or research purposes.").