Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Copyright barriers to free access from libraries

Leslie A. Lee and Michelle M. Wu, DMCA, CTEA, UCITA...Oh My: An Overview of Copyright Law and Its Impact on Library Acquisitions and Collection Development of Electronic Resources, The Acquisitions Librarian, 19, 37/38 (2006), in advance of publication. Only this abstract is free online, at least so far:
The purpose of traditional copyright law was to encourage the creation of works based on and to ensure reasonable access to original thought. Despite this harmonious intent, an intrinsic tension exists between libraries and copyright holders, as the former promotes "free" access to information that ultimately reduces the income of the latter. The expansion of copyright laws to electronic documents has shifted the balance between these two interests. This article discusses recent copyright legislation and case law as well as provides an overview of the practical effects of these laws on day-to-day library acquisitions, collection development, and collection management activities.