Unsupervised Copying by Library Users

As long as all reproduction equipment located on library or archive premises displays “a notice that the making of a copy may be subject to the copyright law,” section 108 does not impose liability on either the library or archive or its employees for unsupervised use of that equipment by library users. Nonetheless, section 108 does not clear the user of infringement if the user’s copying exceeds that permitted as a fair use under section 107.

Effect of Section 108 on Other Rights and Obligations

Section 108(f) (4) provides that nothing in section 108 “in any way affects the right of fair use as provided by section 107.” Section 108 also does not affect any contractual obligations entered into by a library or archive “when it obtained a copy of a work in its collections.”

Another area affecting the rights of the copyright owners in the library environment is the acquisition and licensing of digital products, such as databases, e-journals, digital media, and so on. Here again, the provisions of section 108 or any other sections of the copyright law would not, in most cases, override the terms and conditions of the contracts or license agreements governing those products. Library personnel are encouraged to become familiar with the specific conditions and limitations of the license agreements accompanying digital products acquired by the library.

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