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This site is maintained by the Legislation Committee of the Music Library Association (MLA) as a resource for anyone interested in issues of copyright as they apply to the fields of music and music librarianship.


08 June 2015 - U.S. Copyright Office: Report on Orphan Works & Mass Digitization

The U.S. Copyright Office has released a report on the study of issues surrounding orphan works and mass digitization projects. Recognizing that, while "...the use of individual orphan works and mass digitization offer considerable opportunities for the diffusion of creativity and learning... the public is deprived of the full benefit of such uses, not because rightsholders and users cannot agree to terms, but because a lack of information or inefficiencies in the licensing process prevent such negotiations from occurring in the first place." (p. 105)

Included in the report is a comparison of licensing provisions in other countries, as well as a draft and discussion of potential legislation.

The Music Library Association was among those parties that submitted comments, and at least one of our members participated in the public roundtables.

Read the full report here: Orphan Works and Mass Digitization: A Report of the Register of Copyrights

29 May 2015 - ARSC Goes Back to Washington to Fight for Copyright Reform

"...the [ARSC] Copyright & Fair Use Committee has been advocating for U.S. copyright reform to promote the preservation of an public access to historical sound recordings." (ARSC Newsletter, no. 137, p. 5)

The Association for Recorded Sound Recordings remains active in the effort to affect positive change in U.S. copyright laws regarding historic sound recordings. ARSC members recently visited with key players in Washington D.C. to discuss the issues at hand and to determine what else can be done to continue moving reform in the right direction.

"The U.S. deserves laws that support, not hinder, preservation of sound recordings, and allow the public to hear this rich heritage..." (p. 5)

Read more about the ARSC Copyright & Fair Use Committee's visit and their efforts toward a better future for sound recording copyright in the latest issue of the ARSC Newsletter:

27 March 2015 - Public Meeting: Facilitating the Development of the Online Licensing Environment for Copyrighted Works

The Department of Commerce's Internet Policy Task Force will be holding a public meeting to "explore whether and how the government can facilitate the further development of the online licensing environment for copyrighted works, focusing specifically on the development and use of standard identifiers for all types of works of authorship, interoperability among databases and systems used to identify owners of rights and terms of use, and a possible portal for linking to such databases and to licensing platforms".

For more information, an agenda of the meeting, and access to the webcast, visit

17 February 2015 - Fair Use Week, 2015: Feb. 23-27

Mark your calendars! Fair Use Week 2015—a community celebration of fair use coordinated by the Association of Research Libraries—will take place February 23–27.

What is Fair Use Week?!!

Each day teachers teach, students learn, researchers advance knowledge, and consumers access copyrighted information due to exemptions in copyright law, such as fair use in the United States or fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions. Fair use and fair dealing allow the use of copyrighted materials without permission from the copyright holder under certain circumstances. For libraries, educational institutions, and the public, the fair use doctrine is the most important limitation on the rights of the copyright owner—the "safety valve" of US copyright law.

Fair Use Week is an annual celebration of the doctrine of fair use and fair dealing. It celebrates the important role fair use plays in achieving the Constitutional purpose of intellectual property rights in the US: to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. The flexible nature of the fair use doctrine has permitted copyright to adapt to new technologies and changes. Similarly, in Canada, fair dealing is a critical right of the user intended to facilitate balance in copyright law and accommodate freedom of expression.

While Fair Use Week 2015 will be celebrated February 23–27, we believe that every week is fair use week. Indeed, fair use is employed on a daily basis by students, faculty, librarians, journalists, and all users of copyrighted material. Fair Use Week is simply a time to promote and discuss the opportunities presented by fair use, celebrate successful fair use stories, and explain the doctrine.

When is Fair Use Week?!!

Fair Use Week 2015 will take place from Monday, February 23, through Friday, February 27. People can participate on a single day during the week, multiple days, or the full week.

How can I participate in Fair Use Week?!!

The level of participation in Fair Use Week is entirely up to each participant. Some will publish a blog post on fair use on one day during the week, while others might host events each day of the week. Below are some examples of ways to participate in Fair Use Week 2015:

  • Write a blog post on fair use.
  • Publish an op-ed.
  • Host a live panel on fair use at your campus, institution, or organization.
  • Host a webcast or webinar.
  • Create a video about fair uses.
  • Publicize fair use on social media using the hashtag #fairuseweek2015. (On Twitter, you can also follow and tag @fairuseweek.)
  • Submit fair use success stories for the Fair Use Week blog on Tumblr to Kyle Courtney (

More information!!

Visit (site coming soon) or e-mail for additional information. The website will be continually updated with information, a calendar of events, and links to blog posts, webcasts, activities, and resources.

Hosted By!!

Krista Cox,

09 December 2013 - News on three cases of general importance to libraries

Oral arguments began on October 30th at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals for the Authors Guild v. HathiTrust case. Kenneth Crews wrote a summary on Columbia University's Copyright Advisory Office's page.

On November 14th 2013, Judge Denny Chin issued a decision in the Google Books case. Brandon Butler wrote a summary on ARL's Policy Notes page.

Oral arguments began on November 20th for the Georgia State E-Reserves Case in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kevin Smith wrote a summary on his blog: Scholarly Communications At Duke.

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