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Friday, November 4 • 11:35am - 12:15pm
A Running Start: A Crowd-Sourced Database of Due Diligence to Invoke Section 108

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Starting in the late 1970s academic libraries built collections of VHS titles with an emphasis on supporting classroom teaching. On average academic libraries have more than 3000 VHS tapes.

Eclipsed by robust and rapid adoption of DVDs, the VHS era is now over. But a crisis is welling for libraries. Of the hundreds of thousands of VHS recordings commercially released, a substantial number never were released on DVD or in streaming format. To compound matters, industry experts estimate that various forces converge against VHS (age of tapes, irreparable and irreplaceable equipment, retirement of VHS technicians) ultimately making the format inaccessible by 2027.

Under Section 108 of US Copyright law libraries have an available remedy to this problem. The law allows duplication of content that is lost, damaged, stolen, deteriorating, or in an obsolete format. A library, however, cannot simply begin digitizing all their VHS tapes. Section 108 requires that, prior to duplication, a reasonable search be conducted to determine that an unused copy of the title is not available at a fair price, and evidence of that search should be kept.

This session presents a cooperative database, established to capture the search efforts for current distribution of VHS video titles, and to identify titles eligible for duplication under Section 108.

The crowd-sourced database is available now for others to jump start their own preservation efforts but others are invited to contribute. The metadata available through the database can serve as a foundation for coordinated digitization efforts.

avatar for deg farrelly

deg farrelly

Media Librarian, Arizona State University Libraries
With 40 years experience as a media librarian deg farrelly provides a unique perspective on video in academic libraries. He is the author of “Streaming Video” in the book Rethinking Collection Development and Management, (published by ABC-Clio) and co-investigator in the 2013... Read More →

Friday November 4, 2016 11:35am - 12:15pm EDT
Colonial Ballroom, Francis Marion Hotel 387 King Street, Charleston, SC 29403