Takedown and Today's Academic Digital Library

22 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2015

See all articles by Brianna Schofield

Brianna Schofield

Authors Alliance

Jennifer M. Urban

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Date Written: November 2015


Fueled by recent public and private efforts to improve access to scholarly works, academic libraries and archives are increasingly digitizing their special collections and creating online repositories for scholarly works. This enhanced online presence has increased libraries’ exposure to takedown requests from rightsholders and other concerned parties. Using survey questions and interviews, we examined academic libraries’ interaction with both Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and non-DMCA takedown notices. We found that academic libraries most commonly receive non-DMCA takedown requests that are based on non-copyright issues (such as privacy) or that target materials the library itself has placed online. In general, libraries have well-developed norms and practices in place to manage these types of requests to remove material. We also found, however, that formal DMCA notices directed to libraries have historically been rare, but that this may be changing as open access repositories hosted by libraries grow. In tracing the recent experience of academic libraries that have received DMCA takedown notices targeting material in their open access repositories, we found that libraries have not yet developed norms and practices for addressing these requests. We discuss why this might be, and suggest steps libraries, publishers, and authors can take to best manage copyright conflicts while supporting libraries’ missions to preserve and provide access to knowledge.

Keywords: takedown, section 512, copyright, library, open access, empirical

Suggested Citation

Schofield, Brianna and Urban, Jennifer M., Takedown and Today's Academic Digital Library (November 2015). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2694731, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2694731 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2694731

Brianna Schofield (Contact Author)

Authors Alliance ( email )

2705 Webster St. #5805
Berkeley, CA 94705
United States

Jennifer M. Urban

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

342 Boalt Hall, North Addition
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
(510) 642-7338 (Phone)

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