Fair-Use Guide Seeks to Solve Librarians' VHS-Cassette Problem - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

abernard102@gmail.com 2012-08-20


“The Association of Research Libraries might have a solution to what some librarians call ‘the VHS-cassette problem.’ Here’s the scenario: An academic library has a collection of video tapes that is slowly deteriorating... A librarian would like to digitize the collection for future use, but avoids making the copies out of fear that doing so would violate copyright law. And the institution’s attorneys have advised the librarian that the fair-use principle, which might offer a way to make copies legally, is too flexible to rely on... The new code is one of a series published with the help of Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi, a pair of American University scholars known for pushing back against the restrictions of copyright law... Brandon Butler, director of public-policy initiatives at the Association of Research Libraries, said this guide is different than early fair-use guidelines for libraries, which he described as narrowly crafted ‘safe harbors’ that had the unintended effect of making it more difficult for librarians to do their jobs... The team assembled the code during nearly 40 hours of group discussions with research librarians, Mr. Butler said. It identifies eight common library practices to which the fair-use principle can be applied... Despite its well-meaning mission, the code is not devoid of controversial statements: It says explicitly that it was not negotiated with rights holders. Mr. Butler said the group chose not to include them because negotiations between rights holders and professional communities often result in what he called “really weak tea.’”




08/16/2012, 06:08

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Date tagged:

08/20/2012, 15:21

Date published:

01/27/2012, 18:20