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Section 108 Study Group Public Roundtable Announced

The Section 108 Study Group will host a public roundtable on Wednesday, January 31, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois (exact time and location to be announced). Exceptions in the Copyright Act applicable to libraries and archives will be discussed at the roundtable, specifically those pertaining to the making and distribution of copies of copyrighted works pursuant to a patron’s request.

The roundtable will address issues in the four following areas:

1. Amendments to provisions relating to copies for users [current subsections 108(d) and (e)] to reflect changes in the way digital technology is used by both rights-holders and libraries and archives.

2. Other amendments to applicable section 108 provisions specifically addressing copies made for users via interlibrary loan.

3. Amendments to the provisions currently set out in subsection 108(i) that would permit libraries and archives to take advantage of subsections 108(d) and (e) for a broader category of works.

4. Amendments to section 108 requiring libraries and archives, as a condition of being able to take advantage of the exceptions, to use effective technological protection measures and limits on the provision of access to electronic materials, including via performance or display.

A Federal Register notice detailing the specific topics to be addressed and the procedures for submitting requests for participation, as well as written comments, will be published in December 2006. An advance copy of the notice will be available on the Section 108 Study Group website and the Copyright Office website in late November.

Look to future ALAWONs for updates about this issue.


The Section 108 Study Group was convened in April 2005 under the sponsorship of the Library of Congress’s National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) in cooperation with the U.S. Copyright Office. It is charged with examining how the exceptions and limitations applicable to libraries and archives under section 108 of the Copyright Act may need to be amended, specifically in light of the changes produced by the widespread use of digital technologies. Please visit the Study Group website for more information.

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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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