LIS Lady’s Statement on Federal Copyright Protection of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings [PDF]

The U.S. Copyright Office, under direction from Congress is conducting a study on the “desirability and means of bringing sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, under Federal jurisdiction,” particularly as it relates to the ability of cultural heritage institutions to preserve and provide access to this class of recordings. For those of you not in the know, this class of recordings is not currently protected by Federal law, and instead is covered by a bevy of conflicting and confusing State statutory, criminal, and common laws. Unfortunately, this means that nearly no pre-1972 sound recordings are in the public domain in the United States.  This is problematic for libraries and archives charged with caring for and ensuring continued preservation of and access to these recordings.

This topic is near and dear to me, as it relates directly to my summer internship at the Graduate Theological Union’s Flora Lamson Hewlett Library, where I assessed intellectual property concerns and developed metadata requirements for the digitization of a pre-1972 sound recording collection. Further, I developed a research proposal on the topic for my Research Methods course. I appreciated the opportunity to submit my comments to the U.S. Copyright Office.

The extended deadline for submitting comments to the U.S. Copyright Office was today, and replies to the comments will be open until March 2, 2011. Attached is my statement to the U.S. Copyright Office.

LIS Lady’s Statement – [PDF]

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Preserve your digital collection at home

The Library of Congress is looking out for more than just their collections of books, maps, and other holdings. Digital assets play an important and unique role for our (non-) national library, and for you at home. Taking steps to preserve them at home can save losing important files later. Here’s an easy how to:

Why Digital Preservation is Important for You

Our personal photos, papers, music and videos are important to us. They record the details of our lives and help define us. But increasingly our possessions and our communications are no longer material: they’re digital and dependent on technology to make them accessible.

As new technology emerges and current technology becomes obsolete, we need to actively manage our digital possessions to help protect them and keep them available for years to come. This video offers simple and practical strategies for personal digital preservation.

-Digital Preservation Video Series, Library of Congress

The YouTube video provides good suggestions for organizing and backing up your files–be they audio, video, photos, documents, whatever–at home with four easy steps, outlined in the Library of Congress digital preservation video:

  1. Identify files to be saved
  2. Decide/Select what is important
  3. Organize the content: Create your personal Archive!
  4. Save copies in different locations

The video is basic, but useful and clear. Happy archiving!