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Q: Copyright Law ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Copyright Law
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: pgmer6809-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 09 Mar 2004 15:27 PST
Expires: 08 Apr 2004 16:27 PDT
Question ID: 315045
I have several out of production LP's that I have made a CD copy of for my own use.
Under copyright law would I be allowed to donate (free of charge) a
second copy to a University Music department library, or the Library
of Congress?

Does the answer to the above depend on my location? eg California says
one thing, Texas another?

Request for Question Clarification by mvguy-ga on 09 Mar 2004 18:28 PST
What's the copyright date of the original?

Clarification of Question by pgmer6809-ga on 10 Mar 2004 12:59 PST
The dates vary.
The oldest is about 50 years (1955). The latest is about 20 years(1985).
The artists involved are mostly still living.
However there is little likelyhood that the company that produced the LPs will 
ever re-issue them as CD's.
My motivation is to preserve this work for posterity, in a non
degradable format; donating to a  couple of music libraries seemed the
best approach, assuming it is legal to do so.
Subject: Re: Copyright Law
Answered By: hlabadie-ga on 21 Mar 2004 09:02 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Coincidentally, the National Recording Preservation Board has recently
published its second list of recordings to be acquired by the national
registry of recordings, established by Congress in the National
Recording Preservation Act of 2000. This act created a Registry and a
governing board within the Library of Congress (LOC) to identify and
acquire the best copies of "culturally, historically, or aesthetically
significant" recordings for the purpose of preservation. The act
provides that the Library shall cooperate with the copyright owners to
obtain the best available copies of the original recordings, and that
copyright shall be protected.

Public Law 106-474
106th Congress


    (a) In General.--All copies of sound recordings on the National
Recording Registry that are received by the Librarian under subsection
(b) shall be maintained in the Library of Congress and be known as the
"National Recording Registry Collection of the Library of Congress".
The Librarian shall by regulation and in accordance with title 17,
United States Code, provide for reasonable access to the sound
recordings and other materials in such collection for scholarly and
research purposes.

    (b) Acquisition of Quality Copies.--
       (1) In general.--The Librarian shall seek to obtain, by gift
from the owner, a quality copy of the Registry version of each sound
recording included in the National Recording Registry.
       (2) Limit on number of copies.--Not more than one copy of the
same version or take of any sound recording may be preserved in the
National Recording Registry. Nothing in the preceding sentence may be
construed to prohibit the Librarian from making or distributing copies
of sound recordings included in the Registry for purposes of carrying
out this Act.

    (c) Property of United States.--All copies of sound recordings on
the National Recording Registry that are received by the Librarian
under subsection (b) shall become the property of the United States
Government, subject to the provisions of title 17, United States Code.

        Subtitle B--National Sound Recording Preservation Program


    (a) In General.--The Librarian shall, after consultation with the
National Recording Preservation Board established under subtitle C,
implement a comprehensive national sound recording preservation
program, in conjunction with other sound recording archivists,
educators and historians, copyright owners, recording industry
representatives, and others involved in activities related to sound
recording preservation, and taking into account studies conducted by
the Board.
    (b) Contents of Program Specified.--The program established under
subsection (a) shall--

       (1) coordinate activities to assure that efforts of archivists
and copyright owners, and others in the public and private sector, are
effective and complementary;
       (2) generate public awareness of and support for these activities;
       (3) increase accessibility of sound recordings for educational purposes;
       (4) undertake studies and investigations of sound recording
preservation activities as needed, including the efficacy of new
technologies, and recommend solutions to improve these practices; and
       (5) utilize the audiovisual conservation center of the Library
of Congress at Culpeper, Virginia, to ensure that preserved sound
recordings included in the National Recording Registry are stored in a
proper manner and disseminated to researchers, scholars, and the
public as may be appropriate in accordance with title 17, United
States Code, and the terms of any agreements between the Librarian and
persons who hold copyrights to such recordings."

Legal Information Institute

In essence, the LOC is the governing body, through the National
Recording Preservation Board, concerning the acquisition and
preservation of sound recordings, and it is given the power to
coordinate all such activities nationally.

See the lists of recordings identified thus far:

National Recording Preservation Board

The public are invited to offer nominations of recordings to be added
to the Registry. Ideally, any recording accepted for inclusion will be
acquired in copy directly from the copyright owner.

Thus, given that Congress has specifically addressed the matter of
preservation with the issue of the National Recording Preservation Act
of 2000, it seems that there are two possible ways that a private
donor can contribute to preservation:

1) nominate recordings for inclusion in the Registry, or
2) donate commercially produced recordings to a library.

In the second instance, the donor has, apparently, two options:

1) donate the original commercially released recording, or
2) obtain the permission of the copyright owner to make and donate a
copy of the commercially produced recording.



pgmer6809-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
As with most legal questions there does not seem to be a definite yes or no.
However I appreciate all the background info, and being made aware of
the heritage project to preserve sound recordings.
I did ask for an answer qualification on the last statement in the
answer, but did not receive a reply yet.

Subject: Re: Copyright Law
From: hlabadie-ga on 09 Mar 2004 21:09 PST
While donating a copy of a copyrighted work to a library might fall
under the "Fair Use" exception, the fact that the entire work is being
copied would probably place the donated copy outside the permissible
limits for copying.


Fair Use: Overview and Meaning for Higher Education

In particular, note:

"Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corp. v. Crooks, 542 F.Supp.
1156 (W.D.N.Y. 1982)

For-profit producers of educational motion pictures and videos sued a
consortium of public school districts, which was systematically
recording programs as they were broadcast on public television
stations and providing copies of the recordings to member schools.

Purpose: The court was largely sympathetic with the educational purpose.

Nature: Although the films had educational content, they were
commercial products intended for sale to educational institutions.

Amount: The defendant was copying the entire work and retaining copies
for as long as 10 years.

Effect: The copying directly competed with the plaintiff's market for
selling or licensing copies to schools. The court had little trouble
concluding that the activities were not fair use."

Copyright law is established by Congress under express authority from
the US Constitution, and cannot vary by state.

Subject: Re: Copyright Law
From: hlabadie-ga on 10 Mar 2004 07:21 PST
For an interesting discussion of this complicated subject see:

and the pages following.

There does not appear to be a definitive Answer, as the courts decide
these matters on a case-by-case basis, weighing the four tests of the
law against one another. The purpose of the copying is clearly
archival, to preserve a work that might not otherwise be conserved,
but the owner of the copyright might well object that he could, at
some future time, be deprived of the profit from a commercially
available CD version. It might also make a difference if the library
owned the original works and copied them for archival purposes, as
opposed to a donor making a copy. There is no way to predict how a
court might decide.

Subject: Re: Copyright Law
From: hlabadie-ga on 11 Mar 2004 07:05 PST
The following guidelines have been approved by the MPA. A library can
make a copy of a phonorecord in its own collection under certain
restrictions, one of which is that a replacement for the item to be
duplicated cannot be purchased at a reasonable price. In other words,
if the library already owns an item and needs to have another copy for
archival purposes (or to make available for researchers), it must
first determine if a duplicate can be purchased on the open market,
e,g., from a used record dealer.

The United States Copyright Law
A Guide for Music Educators

If you were to donate the originals to the library, then the library
would be entitled to make a copy, assuming that the restrictions on
accessibilty were followed.


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