Legislative history of § 108 (organized by amendment)

This section lists published legislative histories of the 1976 Act and an article on the legislative history of section 108. Additional materials contemporary to the 1976 Act (including some reports and position papers dedicated exclusively to library photocopying) are plentiful and can best be found in print at an academic law library. (I discuss research in libraries in the Secondary Materials section.) The Library of Congress subject heading “Photocopying services in libraries” is particularly helpful, as is the keyword “reprography.”

Section 108 has been amended five times since the passage of the Copyright Act in 1976. The bill numbers, public law numbers, and Statutes at Large citations for each of these amendments are listed below, along with a brief summary of the changes that amendment made to section 108.

Copyright Act of 1976:

  • Senate Bill 22 of the 94th Congress
  • Pub. L. No. 94-553
  • 90 Stat. 2541 (HeinOnline)
  • Published legislative history specific to section 108:
  • Betsy A. Bernfeld, Free to Photocopy?: A Legislative History of Section 108, the Library Photocopying Provision of the Copyright Act of 1976, 25 Legal Reference Services Q. 1 (2006).  Available on Taylor & Francis Online.
  • General legislative histories:
  • George S. Grossman, Omnibus Copyright Revision Legislative History (1960 – 1976). Available on HeinOnline.
  • The Kaminstein Legislative History Project: A Compendium and Analytical Index of Materials Leading to the Copyright Act of 1976, (ed. Alan Latman & James F. Lightstone, 1981 – 1985).

Copyright Amendments Act of 1992:

  • Senate Bill 756 of the 102nd Congress
  • Pub. L. No. 102-307
  • 106 Stat. 264 (HeinOnline)
  • Effect on § 108: Repealed 17 U.S.C. § 108(i), which required that the Register of Copyrights submit a report to Congress every five years “setting forth the extent to which [section 108] has achieved the intended statutory balancing of the rights of creators, and the needs of users.”

Title 17 Technical Amendments (1997):

  • House Bill 672 of the 105th Congress
  • Pub. L. No. 105-80
  • 111 Stat. 1529 (HeinOnline)
  • Effect on § 108: Revised a typo in 108(e) by changing “pair” to “fair.”

Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998:

  • Senate Bill 505 of the105th Congress
  • Pub. L. No. 105-298
  • 112 Stat. 2827 (HeinOnline)
  • Effect on § 108: Redesignated 108(h) as 108(i) and added the current 108(h), which allows for some exploitation of a work in the last 20 years of its copyright term.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998:

  • House Bill 2281 of the 105th Congress
  • Pub. L. No. 105-304
  • 112 Stat. 2860 (HeinOnline)
  • Effect on § 108: Changed the provisions for distribution of digital copies of a library-held work and adds works in obsolete formats to the list of cases in which a library or archive may copy a work (in addition to damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen works). Defined formats as obsolete when “the machine or device necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.”

Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005:

  • Senate Bill 167 of the 109th Congress
  • Pub. L. No. 109-9
  • 119 Stat. 218 (GPOHeinOnline)
  • Effect on § 108: Extended the provisions of 108(h) from the CTEA to apply to “a musical work, a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work, or a motion picture or other audiovisual work.”

Next: Cases interpreting § 108

Previous: History: Libraries under previous copyright regimes

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