Hat tip to Nina Platt at Librarian News Digest for alerting me to  “Copyright Office Report Outlines Issues Surrounding Mass Digitization of Books” I haven’t had time to delve into the report itself but I look forward to doing so.  The issue of copyright as it related to digitization projects came to my attention while I was working on a very special project with the American Printing House for the Blind.

It is good to know that APH’s Migel Library continues to offer a very unique collection and the digitization plans they have are of great interest. Fair use and orphan works are two areas that really need some additional guidelines for special projects such as the one at Migel.

The legal status of orphan works also has a significant impact, the paper said. The Copyright Office noted recent efforts to get orphan works legislation through Congress and its own advocacy of such legislation. “If adopted, the proposed legislation on orphan works would greatly improve access to copyrighted works,” the agency said. However, at the time the legislation on the table was developed, inadequate consideration had been given to mass digitization. The paper suggested that Congress reconsider this legislation in the light of mass digitization.

It will be interesting to see if new legislation does come forward.  It will be a topic I continue to follow.  And as I get more time I’ll dive into the report so more posts may follow.

Constance Ard November 4, 2011