When filling an interlibrary loan request, what information regarding copyright does the lending library need to include?

Under section 108(a) of the Copyright Act, every copy reproduced, under any of the subsections, must include the notice of copyright contained on the work as detailed in section 108(a)(3), including ILL copies. This provision was amended by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in 1998 to add language about what a library does when the work being reproduced does not contain the notice of copyright. Then the library may substitute a legend stating that making a copy may be subject to the copyright law. So, lending libraries must include notice on the copies they provide.

How can the provider of full-text articles in a database restrict delivery of articles from that database via interlibrary loan? Is there a difference between electronic delivery versus printing and manual delivery?

Most databases are not only copyrighted, but they are also governed by license agreements. Section 108(f)(4) of the Copyright Act states that libraries are bound by license agreements they sign; in other words, license agreements trump the section 108 library exceptions. So, a license agreement certainly may restrict the use of those articles to a particular organization or institution and may absolutely prohibit their use for ILL outside the organization. Librarians should read the license agreement to determine whether or not articles included in the licensed database may be used to satisfy ILL requests.

There is no difference among types of delivery of articles via interlibrary loan. The issue is whether the library complies with the CONTU Guidelines and abides by all license agreements for obtaining access to and use of articles from databases.

A library has a current subscription to a journal but does not have the 1953 volume. The library has received four interlibrary loan requests for the same article from the 1953 volume within the past year. Should the library refuse the sixth request or look into purchasing the volume?

The CONTU Interlibrary Loan Guidelines apply only to the most recent 60 months of a journal title; thus, the suggestion of five is inapplicable to requests for a 1953 volume. Actually, this volume may no longer be protected by copyright. It would have received 28 years of protection, but in 1981, the copyright would have had to be renewed. If it was so renewed, the volume is protected until 2048. If not renewed, then the volume is in the public domain and may be freely copied, and no recordkeeping is required. On the other hand, four requests within a calendar year for a particular article from this volume points to the conclusion that the library may wish to acquire the volume unless this level of requests appears to be a one-time anomaly. Another alternative is to seek permission and pay royalties for those articles.

A public library has an interlibrary loan request for a dissertation from the University of Wisconsin. A librarian found a PDF copy of the 26-page dissertation on WorldCat, which the library accesses through a license. May the library print the dissertation for the patron and charge him the library's standard printing charge of ten cents per page?

Under section 108(e) of the Copyright Act, a library is permitted to make a copy of an entire work for user if it first makes a reasonable investigation to determine that a copy cannot be acquired at a fair price and (1) the copy becomes the property of the user, (2) the library has no notice that the copy will be used for other than fair use purposes, and (3) the library gives the user the prescribed copyright warning. All of this also applies even if the library has to obtain the copy of the work for the user via ILL.

In the described situation, however, there is another solution that avoids all of this, and that is to provide the link to the user and let him print it for himself.

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