August 1, 2008
Contact: Tim Brooks
Chair, Copyright & Fair Use Committee
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American Library Association is the sixth major organization
to endorse ARSC proposal for sound recording copyright reform
The Council of the 65,000-member American Library Association has voted to
endorse the Association for Recorded Sound Collections proposal that Congress
direct the U.S. Copyright Office to conduct a study on the desirability of
bringing sound recordings made before 1972 under federal jurisdiction. Such a
study would be the first step toward realizing the first of ARSC’s five major
recommendations for sound recording copyright reform, to remove pre-1972
recordings from state control and place them under a single national law that
provides for a public domain, fair use, and preservation exemptions for
libraries and archives.
Wording for legislation to authorize the study has been prepared by ARSC and
presented to the House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual
Property. It is being co-sponsored by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Rep.
Steve Chabot (R-OH).
Five other organizations have also endorsed some or all of the ARSC
proposals, which are designed to encourage preservation of and access to historical
recordings, a majority of which are currently inaccessible due to state laws,
while respecting the legitimate interests of rights holders. The Association
of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) is backing the proposal for a Copyright
Office study; and the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors
(IAJRC), the Music Library Association (MLA), the Society for American Music (SAM)
and the Society of American Archivists (SAA) has each voted to endorse all
five of the ARSC reform proposals, which can be found at
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