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Library Copyright Alliance Urges Lawmakers to Update Statutory Damages Safe Harbor

boats in a calm harbor
image © Mario Lapid

On July 23, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)—the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—filed a statement (PDF) with the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet for the subcommittee’s July 24 hearing on copyright remedies. The LCA statement focuses on problems with statutory damages. The statement notes that the existing safe harbor requiring a court to remit statutory damages when a library, archive, educational institution, or public broadcasting entity believed and had reasonable grounds to believe that its use of material constituted fair use applies only to the reproduction right. The statement recommends an update to reflect the digital era so that this safe harbor applies to any type of use, including uses implicating performance, display, distribution, or derivative work rights.