If a library is the repository of the only copy of a work that was ever produced, do the rules governing digital preservation apply? Does the original format of the work make any difference?

The same rules for preservation and replacement of works digitally apply, even if the library owns the only copy of the work. From the question, it is not clear whether the work was published or not. This is the classic section 108(b) situation, however, where a library owns the only copy of an unpublished work but likely does not own the copyright in that work. Section 108(b) permits the library to make up to three copies of an unpublished work in its collection. If one of those copies is a digital copy, that copy cannot be used outside the premises of the library. Presumably, however, the library could also make a printed copy and circulate that copy as one of the three permitted copies. If the work is a published work, then section 108(c) applies to works that the library owns but which are now lost, stolen, damaged, deteriorating or obsolete. Before the library can duplicate the work, it must first make a reasonable effort to purchase an unused copy at a fair price. If there is no other copy available, then the library may make up to three copies of the work. Again, if one of the copies is digital, that digital copy cannot be used outside the premises of the library.

If a CD-ROM becomes damaged and unplayable may the library replace it by making another copy from the original or making a copy from another library's original?

Assume that the CD is a published work. Under section 108(c), the library may reproduce a lost, stolen, deteriorating, damaged or obsolete work only if the library first determines by reasonable investigation that an unused copy cannot be obtained at a fair price. If no such copy is available, then the library may make another copy from the original, obtain a reproduction from another library or borrow the CD from another library and physically make the replacement copy.

The library has a book with a particularly nice book jacket; unfortunately, this dust jacket has been damaged. May the library reproduce the book jacket to replace the damaged one?

Under section 108(c) of the Copyright Act libraries are permitted to replace lost, damaged, deteriorating, stolen or obsolete items after the library has first made a reasonable effort to purchase an unused replacement at a fair price. Thus, the first step is to contact the publisher to see if it will supply a new book jacket to replace the damaged one. If not, then the library is entitled to reproduce the damaged cover. In order to retain the colors, the library may decide to locate a copy of the book jacket on the web and download and print it to use as a replacement, rather than photocopy the damaged cover.

When a library has two copies of a subscription to a journal, one for the print copy and the other a license for the online version, may it use the online digital version to print out an article that is missing from the printed version and tip it into the bound volume?

It is the license agreement for the digital version that controls, but typically replacing missing pages in the print journal with copies made from the online version to which the library subscribes would not violate the terms of the license agreement. Most licenses for online journals restrict the use to members of the campus community or other defined user group, and replacing a copy of an article in the bound volume would be such internal use. The library should consult the individual license agreement in question.

In order to save space, each year a corporate library that has an Annual Copyright License from the Copyright Clearance Center for photocopying has its journals microfilmed by a library microfilming house, which either uses the hard copy the library provides or provides film from its own collection. It does not seem to be a problem when the microfilm is received and the hard copies are destroyed. The library considers the microfilm version to be a different format of information that has already been purchased, and the microfilm is used in place of hard copy by document delivery staff and scientists.

Actually, this is a problem. The library is reproducing the journals cover to cover, and such reproduction requires permission of the copyright holder. If the publisher offers a microfilm edition of the journal, it is unlikely that it will grant permission for an individual library to make its own microfilm version, but the library certainly may ask. It is possible that the "library microfilming house" has a license for such reproduction and is paying royalties, but the corporate library should inquire before continuing this practice as well as consult its CCC license.

Should journals be stored on CDs instead of microfilm? Aside from the issue of whether CD technology will be around the next few decades, there is interest in exploring this idea of replacing the older microfilm by having them converted to CDs by a jobber. The library would then load the CDs on a server or network them for access from the desktops by users. Would networking the CDs and making them accessible by one person at a time at a workstation change anything?

It changes things considerably. While microfilming, as described in the previous question, may be infringement, at least only one analog copy is made by such activity. Digitizing a journal and burning it onto CD in order to network it without a license to do so, either through a CCC Annual Copyright License or by a license directly from the publisher, is multiple copying in digital form which is infringement. The library should contact publishers and seek permission before making a CD version of a copyrighted journal purchased on microfilm and making it available throughout the company digitally.

A library has a rare 1773 map showing early landowners in the county. Is there a copyright problem if the library has the map scanned so the image may be saved to a Master CD for preservation purposes? Patrons have asked for a copy of the map as it shows where many of their ancestors were living in 1773. The original size of the map is quite large, and the library has never previously made copies of it (1) May it now copy the image from the CD to another CD for patrons and even sell copies of the map to them? (2) Could the library take the CD to a printer and have copies printed for sale? (3) May the library put the map on a website?

Good news! Copy away in any format. Due to the age of the map, it is in the public domain. Therefore, anyone who has access to it may reproduce and distribute the map and even sell copies. The library may have the only copy of the map, and it does not have to grant access to others. But, the library does not hold copyright in the scanned version of the map either since scanning does not create a new copyright. Therefore, if the library sells copies of the map and someone duplicates a purchased copy and then offers those copies for sale or posts them on the Internet, there is no infringement. The map, whether the original, printed or scanned copies, is in the public domain.

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