Library Law: Copyright and Libraries
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Library Law > Copyright and Libraries

Copyright and Libraries

Copyright and Libraries including:

Current Awareness

Copyright Law of Special Interest to Librarians

Library Cases (in reverse chronological order)

  • Hotaling v. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints 1997 Fourth Circuit held that an unauthorized microfiche in the Morman Library could constitute infringement when the library placed the work in its collection, included the copy in its catalog or index system, and made the copy available to the public.
  • American Geophysical v. Texaco 1994 Second Circuit case and documents from Association of Research Libraries. A corporate researcher who made copies of journal articles for his files could be infringing copyright, and should license the articles instead
  • Sony v Universal Studios 1984 U.S. Supreme Court - broader than libraries, but here's the brief by Mary Hutchings and Newton Minow for the American Library Association submitted in 1982
  • Williams & Wilkins Co. v. United States, 487 F.2d 1345 , 1973 Ct of Claims, aff'd by an equally divided court, 420 U.S. 376, 95 S.Ct. 1344 (1975) archives of case: Williams and Wilkins v. United States Williams & Wilkins, a medical publishing house filed suit against  the National Library of Medicine (NLM),  claiming that NLM was systematically making unauthorized photocopies of periodical articles for scientists and researchers. Although the trial court ruled for the plaintiffs, saying that Libraryís "wholesale copying" met none of the criteria of "fair use," the Court of Claims (in a 4-3 decision) dismissed the claim against the library. It found the copying was "fair use," and emphasized the public interest in free access to medical knowledge, and lack of evidence showing harm to the publishers.  On February 25, 1975, the Supreme Court split four-to-four to affirm the Court of Claims decision, without a written opinion. Congress later addressed the issue of library photocopying when it enacted the 1976 Act

Legal Memos for Libraries

  • Arnold Lutzker, Lutzker & Lutzker LLP
    • Copyright Notice: Section 108(a)(3)    discusses new revisions of the Copyright Act that affect when it is sufficient for a library to stamp a copy "This work may be protected by copyright" August 19, 1999
    • In the Curl of the Wave: What the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and Term Extension Act Mean for the Library and Education Community  April 1999
    • Primer on the Digital Millennium: What The Digital Millennium Copyright Act And The Copyright Term Extension Act  Mean For The Library Community circa March 8, 1999

Library Copyright Guidelines and Articles (and a couple of webcasts)

Especially for Libraries - Copyright Resources on the Web

     Outside the U.S.

The Best of the Overall Copyright Resources on the Web

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