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
"SEC. 104. NATIONAL RECORDING REGISTRY COLLECTION OF THE LIBRARY OF 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
(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
SEC. 111. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM BY LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS.
(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
(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
TITLE 2 CHAPTER 27 SUBCHAPTER III Sec. 1724.
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.