B. U.S. Copyright Law Section 108: Reproductions by Libraries and Archives

(All quotes in this section are from U.S. Title 17: Section 108.)


There are many legitimate and beneficial purposes for libraries or archives to reproduce copyrighted works without permission of the copyright holder. Subject to certain provisions and limitations, the provisions of section 108 are intended to ensure that nonprofit libraries are protected from certain types of copying liability.

Libraries within the SIU Carbondale community and most all university systems qualify for the provisions afforded by section 108 because they are open to the public, make reproductions for patrons on a nonprofit basis, and include notices of copyright with reproduction. If no copyright notice can be found for the work, a statement indicating that the work may be protected by copyright is sufficient, such as, NOTICE: This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17 U.S. Code).

Section 108 does not permit the making of unlimited copies of a copyrighted work. Instead, with limited exceptions, only “the isolated and unrelated reproduction or distribution of a single copy of the same material on separate occasions” is permitted.

Generally, the copying rights for patrons provided to libraries and archives under section 108 do not extend to musical, pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, or to motion pictures of other audiovisual works (except audiovisual works “dealing with the news”). However, section 108(i) permits copying of illustrations, diagrams, or other “pictorial or graphic works published as . . . adjuncts” to articles or other works that a library is permitted to reproduce upon user request in accordance with sections 108(d) and (e).


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