Study Shows Fair Use, Libraries to be Economic Boon

Contact: Andy Bridges

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2007

Study Shows Fair Use, Libraries to be Economic Boon

WASHINGTON – Today, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) released a report concluding that fair use and other copyright exemptions that libraries utilize are a major contributor to economic growth in the United States.

Long a central issue for libraries, fair use allows for the lawful usage of copyrighted works without the prior permission of the rights holder, under certain conditions. This study confirms the economic benefits of fields like librarianship that rely on fair use.

“Copyright is a balance between fair use and intellectual property rights,” said ALA President Loriene Roy. “And this study shows that the balance is working for the economic growth of this country.”

Libraries need the ability to preserve, store, provide access and search-and-retrieve information addressed by copyright exemptions and limitations like fair use, first sale, preservation and replacement, and interlibrary loan. In turn, libraries' use of Internet search engines, software and other networked information spur the growth of telecommunications, software and Internet Service Providers and webportal industries.

“One of the most important aspects of fair use is that it promotes and provides for the advancement of learning, which is the constitutional purpose of copyright,” Roy continued. “Without these exemptions, libraries and educational institutions categorized in the study as 'core fair use industries' would not function, because the use of copyrighted material and the sharing of ideas is essential to research and learning.”

For more information on the study, please visit