The Library of Congress also administers Copyright for the United States through its Copyright Office - which is separate from the Library Services and Congressional Research offices.
I've writen before and at length about the LoC's fundamental conflict as both the nation's premier library and as the administrator of copyright. Suffice it to say here that the Library is under special pressure to obey copyright law and this restricts what it can do online. The place is filled with people eager to bring the collections to the public, but they can only do what they can do.
Any dissatisfaction with this situation should be directed towards Congress. But I would advise studying the recent history of lobbying on all sides of this issue before deciding to devote time or resources to it. There has been no lack of genuine, well-planned effort to rationalize copyright law. I'll leave it to others to judge how effective these efforts have been and why.
(Standard disclaimer: All opinions are personal and do not reflect Library of Congress position or policy, etc.)
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Steve Greene
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 9:17 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] CBS News on LOC efforts to preserve video history
The Library of Congress does wonderful work (and has a good press operation!). Unfortunately, it sometimes seems that coypright holders are a bigger constituency to them than the American public. Internationally since GATT and the Uruguay Rounds, I suspect the balance has swung toward restriction rather than availability of content. It's up to our elected official to redress the imbalance. If we don't make our voices heard, the copyright cartel certainly will.
Office of Presidential Libraries
National Archives and Records Administration
On Tue, Jul 30, 2013 at 7:57 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Question about one "fact" stated in the story, by an LOC employee --
> there is really only one guy who works on the heads for Ampex 1"
> machines, and he's in his 80s? Also, where does all this mass
> digitization end up? Do the TV stations who expect the American
> taxpayer to preserve their video productions release the copyright? If
> so, when will this end up online so we all can enjoy it? I am
> especially concerned if public TV stations like the one mentioned in
> the piece (the producer of the program on Mississippi blues musicians,
> hosted by BB King) are not releasing copyright on their in-house
> productions. If the taxpayer is to pay for preserving these items, there should be universal access to them!
> -- Tom Fine