The 1976 Act was the last general revision of U.S. copyright law and still forms the basis for our copyright law. The public policy development process that led to the Act lasted twenty one years, from 1955 until 1976. Librarians, including those involved with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), were one group amongst many that sought to influence the final form of the legislation. This is a historical analysis of the ARL’s role in this process based on archival sources, the primary government documents, and the contemporary professional literature. I address four research questions. (1) How and why did the ARL develop the positions it took during this copyright law revision? What were those positions and how and why did they change over time? (2) How did ARL positions on copyright revision differ from those of other interest groups, both within librarianship and in the academic research community, and how did the Association work and conflict with those other interests to further its goals in the revision process? (3) How did the ARL, its members, and active representatives articulate their policy positions? (4) How effective was the Association in achieving its policy goals? Which goals were achieved fully, partially, or not at all?
The role of the ARL in this effort changed over time as the context in which it occurred changed, and in turn this lobbying effort affected the ARL. The narrative is in three periods; 1955–1960 in which research librarians worked with the Copyright Office to organize themselves to be able to participate in revision, studied the issue of photocopying in libraries and arrived at a policy position; 1961–67 in which research librarians proposed and reacted to various forms of legislative language, and moved away from a specific library exemption towards a reliance on fair use; and finally 1968–1976 in which three interrelated strands of legislative, judicial, and interest group negotiation resulted in the drafting of §108 and final passage of the Act. Working in concert with other library associations and with other interest groups in education, the ARL was partially successful in influencing the final legislation.
|School:||University of Pittsburgh|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Association of Research Libraries, Copyright Act of 1976|
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