Copyright conundrum

Last evening I attended a meeting of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the Special Library Association. The guest speaker was a Denver intellectual property attorney speaking about copyright. There was a lot of information discussed but two small items interested me specifically. The first was that the library exceptions to copyright include when a library copies an article for ILL purposes for a patron. At this point no fee needs to be paid. However, as a writer, if I copy that same article myself for my research files, I am potentially in violation of copyright if I do not pay the appropriate fee. See the problem? If I make the copy, that’s wrong. If I have the library make the copy for me, that’s o.k. Trouble is, can you imagine going into the library and asking them to ILL something for you even though they already own it, so that they’re making the copy and you’re therefore in the clear on the copyright front? Something along the lines of laughing in your face is the response I would expect.

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