On August 18, 2016, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed a response to the Copyright Office’s Notice of Inquiry regarding mandatory deposit of online-only books and sound recordings. LCA’s comments support expansion of the 2010 interim rule, which applied to mandatory deposit of online-only electronic serials (newspapers, journals, etc.), to books and sound recordings.
The comments point out the critical role mandatory deposit plays in the Library’s mission to collect, preserve and provide access to all types of works, regardless of publication type. LCA’s comments point out:
Without mandatory deposit, works created in the digital age could be lost forever. We have seen this loss happen in the film industry. Approximately half of all films made before 1950, and most silent films, are unavailable because no effective mechanism existed at the national level to preserve these important pieces of our cultural heritage and history. The Library is actively and commendably trying to ensure that such enormous permanent losses are not replicated in the digital era. Mandatory deposit of online-only works is the necessary and appropriate solution. Although the present Notice of Inquiry presents only the issue of extending the interim rule to online-only books and sound recordings, serious consideration also should be given to applying the rule to other categories of works, such as photographs and films, to ensure that all types of works are adequately preserved and included in our national Library.
The comments also support expanding access to works collected through mandatory deposit and:
limiting simultaneous access to two on-site users at dedicated terminals is too restrictive and not in accord with current practices in the library community. Access is an essential component of the Library’s mission and such a limited policy hampers the spread of knowledge and culture. Extension of the applicability of the interim rule should involve reconsideration of the current, overly conservative limitation of accessing materials to two on-site terminals at the Library.
In total, there were fifteen submissions to the Copyright Office with respect to this notice of inquiry. Libraries submitting comments include the University of Michigan, University of California Los Angeles, and University of Virginia.