Section 108 Study Group Reports on Vanderbilt Clause

The Section 108 Study Group has released its recommendations. Libraries will be able to stream, but not loan, electronic copies of news segments.

Giving remote access to collections is long overdue, and very welcome development. Technology will make the steam/download distinction somewhat less relevant over time.

The advance is offset by the new eligibility requirements. It’s questionable (to me) whether some of the largest television news collections in existence now would qualify for the exemption, which essentially excludes non-traditional archival efforts and institutions.

Specifically, the Executive Summary notes:

1. The current requirements for section 108 eligibility as set forth in subsection 108(a) should be retained.

2. Libraries and archives should be required to meet additional eligibility criteria. These new eligibility criteria include possessing a public service mission, employing a trained library or archives staff, providing professional services normally associated with libraries and archives, and possessing a collection comprising lawfully acquired and/or licensed materials.

Television News Exception

Issue:

Subsection 08(f)(3) permits libraries and archives to copy television news programs off the air and lend the copies to users. Should this exception be amended to permit libraries and archives to provide access to those copies by means other than the lending of physical copies?

Recommendations:

1. The television news exception should be amended to allow libraries and archives to transmit view-only copies of television news programs electronically by streaming and similar technologies to other section 108-
eligible libraries and archives for purposes of private study, scholarship, or research under certain conditions, and after a reasonable period has passed since the original transmission.

2. Any amendment should not include an exception permitting libraries and archives to transmit downloadable copies.

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Online Video and the Future of Broadcasting