A joint report on the problems of copyright and digital preservation — International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation — was released this month by the Library of Congress National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (“NDIIP”), the Joint Information Systems Committee, the Open Access to Knowledge (OAK) Law Project, and the SURFfoundation.
The report studies problems of digital preservation by looking at the copyright laws of four countries, including the United States. It finds:
Digital preservation is vital to ensure that works created and distributed in digital form will continue to be available over time to researchers, scholars and other users. Digital works are ephemeral, and unless preservation efforts are begun soon after such works are created, they will be lost to future generations. Although copyright and related laws are not the only obstacle to digital preservation activities, there is no question that those laws present significant challenges.
See also the Section 108 Study Group Report, issued earlier this year, which discusses copyright law and digital preservation.