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Fair use promoted at House of Representatives copyright hearing -

James G. Neal, Columbia University's university librarian and vice president for information services, served as the voice of libraries to the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on April 2, 2014, when the subcommittee held a hearing on preserving and reusing copyrighted work. The hearing, "Preservation and Reuse of Copyrighted Works," explored a variety of copyright issues, including orphan works, mass digitisation, and specific provisions of the Copyright Act that concern preservation by libraries and archives.

In his testimony, Neal used examples of some of the preservation efforts currently underway in the Columbia University Library in the City of New York to illustrate how fair use is essential to helping libraries confront preservation challenges specific to the digital age. He argued that without fair use libraries would not be able to digitise information stored in antiquated formats or salvage content from obsolete formats.

Importantly, Neal stated that the existing statutory framework, which combines the specific library exceptions in Section 108 with the flexible fair use right, works well for libraries and does not require amendment.

Neal's statement was endorsed by the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA), which includes the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Click here to read the original press release.


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