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Query re: Kahle v. Ashcroft

A new lawsuit could help library digitization projects with works published between 1964 and 1977

Libraries and archive digitization projects can benefit greatly if a newly filed lawsuit succeeds. It could release into the public domain works published between 1964 and 1977 that did not have their copyrights renewed. See Kahle v Ashcroft.

What your library or archive can do to help

Give examples of treasured collections in your library or archives that that have lots of works published during that time (Jan 1, 1964 - December 31, 1977) that you will not digitize or that you will not post online because of copyright. Focus only on works that are not likely to be commercially exploitable - not major publishing houses. Example: collection of inhouse church newsletters

Bonus Question

Also, is a crackerjack reference librarian out there who could help research this question?

How many print works were published during the timeframe 1920-1950? We have figures for works published during that time that were registered, noticed and renewed with the Copyright Office. We don't have figures as to the number of works published that were NOT. A source showing total number of works published 1920-1950 would help. Include (and separate if possible) books, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures etc.

Please send responses to Eli Edwards and indicate your name, institution, collection and how to follow up with you for more details.

Many thanks,
Eli Edwards, SLIS student -- SJSU
Mary Minow, LibraryLaw.com
(on behalf of Chris Sprigman, attorney litigating the case)

For more info on the lawsuit, see:

"New Lawsuit Spotlights Thousands of Copyright 'Orphans' That Should Be in the Public Domain" (from the Free Expression Policy Project)

"Scholar Sues for Free Online Access to Out-of-Print Books" (from the Chronicle of Higher Ed -- subscriber access only)


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Query re: Kahle v. Ashcroft:

» Librarians Looking for Help on Copyright Suit from commons-blog
Eli Edwards and Mary Minow are collaborating on a research project in support of the team working on the Kahle v. Ashcroft copyright lawsuit (maybe that makes them part of the team?), and they are asking librarians and archivists for their help. [Read More]