Copyright is at the core of almost everything that libraries and librarians do:

  • Purchase over $4 billion in copyrighted materials annually, loan copyrighted material to the public as expressly authorized in the Copyright Act;
  • Rely on Fair Use and other statutory limitations on the rights of copyright holders to facilitate the broadest possible public access to information;
  • Provide materials of every kind in forms accessible to those with special needs; and
  • Preserve culturally and commercially valuable information in digital and other formats. 

Accordingly, ALA has actively advocated -- and continues to fight in Congress and the courts – to strike a balance in copyright law.  This balance -- between incentivizing creativity with exclusive rights and affording all people the ability to access and use copyrighted works to create new works – is what the Framers contemplated when they included a clause in the Constitution defining the overarching purpose of copyright: “to promote progress in science and useful arts.” Today, as libraries transform for the 21st century, they seek to honor and implement the Framers’ vision by actively working for law and policy that will bring the full benefits of the digital age to all people everywhere.

2015 Copyright Fact Sheet

ALA Key Communications

  • Press Release: Library Copyright Alliance pleased Librarian of Congress expands film clip exemption (October 27 2015)
  • Press Release: Libraries laud appeals court affirmation that mass book digitization by Google is 'fair use' (October 16 2015)
  • Response from the Library Copyright Alliance to the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator's Request for Comments on the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement (October 15 2015)
  • Response from the Library Copyright Alliance to the U.S. Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry on a Mass Digitization Pilot Program (October 09 2015)
  • Coalition Letter from Re:Create Discussing Modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office (September 29 2015)
  • Response from the Library Copyright Alliance to the U.S. Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry on Copyright Protection for Certain Visual Works (July 23 2015)
  • Response from the Library Copyright Alliance to the Copyright Office's Orphan Works Report (June 15 2015)
  • Press Release: ALA president calls for digital transformation of Copyright Office (June 12 2015)
  • Coalition Letter to President Obama in Support of Marrakesh Treaty (February 12 2015)
  • Communications and Correspondence Archive

About OGR

The American Library Association is the nation’s oldest and, at over 55,000 members, the largest organization of library professionals in the nation. As part of the ALA Washington Office, the Office of Government Relations (OGR) is charged with following and influencing legislation, policy and regulatory issues of importance to the library field and the public. In coordination with its sister office, the Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), OGR’s mission is to ensure that libraries are consistently, actively and constructively involved in all relevant federal legislative and policy decision-making processes.

Staff Contact Information

Adam Eisgrau
Managing Director
Office of Government Relations

American Library Association, Washington Office
1615 New Hampshire Ave NW, 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20009-2520
Phone : 202-628-8410
Fax : 202-628-8419


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