How to preserve library collections in a manner permitted under copyright law

[German title: Wie man Büchereisammlungen bewahrt, so dass das Urheberreicht nicht verletzt wird]

Alexandria burned – securing knowledge access in the age of Google* 
by Cynthia M. Gayton
Club of Amsterdam Journal, October 2007, Issue 95

Abstract: This article expands upon my previous VINE article entitled ‘Legal Issues facing the Knowledge Economy in the 21st Century’ by concentrating on one main topic, that of knowledge access specifically to works available currently in analog form. Most libraries face the daunting task of preserving their hard copy collections in a way not contemplated by Johan Gutenberg. How to preserve library collections in a manner permitted under copyright law is the primary legal issue, but the legal analysis does not end there. Contract, licensing, and vendor-driven solutions may leave the ultimate user without access to vital resources heretofore only available within the physical library environment. I will address not only copyright issues and related fair use and first sale doctrines, but antitrust issues, and the relationship between fair use and the 5th amendment. The recently initiated Google Library Project offers a useful test scenario as the debate continues between traditional hardcopy volumes and their digital counterparts. By way of analogy, I will compare the ancient Alexandrian libraries with that proposed by Google.

* First published in VINE, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Read the full article online.

© Club of Amsterdam

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