Save the Tweets: Library Acquisition of Online Materials
American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal, Vol. 39, No. 2, Spring 2011
26 Pages Posted: 21 Jun 2011
Date Written: Spring 2011
As the Internet becomes an increasingly pervasive communications technology in society, public discussions and other born-digital documents of social and political importance frequently exist solely on various websites. To fulfill their missions of preserving public knowledge, libraries seek to acquire and make accessible web documents to scholars, students, and other library patrons. However, section 108 of the Copyright Act, which previously provided sufficient protection from liability for libraries' acquisition and reproduction activities, does not adequately map onto the technological realities of acquiring digital documents over the Internet. As a result, libraries must accept the risk of copyright infringement liability or forgo preserving historically important online documents. This Note proposes a set of amendments that would update section 108 to extend libraries' current limited protections from copyright liability to the acquisition, preservation, and making available of online documents.
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