Copyright

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.

2017 Copyright Fact Sheet

ALA Key Communications

  • Statement of the Library Copyright Alliance on the Copyright Office's Notice of Inquiry Concerning Section 108 of the Copyright Act (June 16, 2016)
  • Comments of the Library Copyright Alliance on Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (April 1, 2016)
  • Reply Comments of the Library Copyright Alliance on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (April 1, 2016)
  • Reply Comments of the Owners' Rights Initiative on the Role of Copyright Law with Respect to Software-Enabled Consumer Products (March 18, 2016)
  • Comments of the Library Copyright Alliance on Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (March 10, 2016)
  • ALA joins Statement in Support of Rapid Ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty (February 25, 2016)
  • ALA endorses the Brussels Declaration on Trade and the Internet, which calls for greater transparency in trade agreement negotiation (February 22, 2016)
  • Comments of the Owners' Rights Initiative on the Role of Copyright Law with Respect to Software-Enabled Consumer Products (February 16, 2016)
  • 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 9, 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


Staff Contact Information

Adam Eisgrau
Managing Director
Office of Government Relations
aeisgrau@alawash.org

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