Friday, June 10, 2011

Interlibrary Loan Privileges and Fair Use Under Attack

In another development related to the Georgia State copyright case, "yesterday the publishing community opened a second front in their attack on education by issuing a statement of principles designed to hobble inter-library loan."  This is from Kevin Smith's blog, Scholarly Communication @Duke, and he goes into more detail in the article.  Kevin's expertise is in copyright law and we're following his blog closely in order to stay abreast of developments that threaten our current practices with interlibrary loan and fair use of copyrighted materials for classes.  The statement of principles is made by the International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers.  If you publish in an STM journal or are a member of a STM society, you may want to look at what your organization is promoting.  You can see their list of members --  If you are a member of one of these organizations, you should be aware that they are supporting the proposals that would seriously erode existing interlibrary lending practices.  If you are interested in protecting your rights, you should contact your association and let them know.


  1. For more information on what is at stake, see Chronicle article of May 30th -

  2. The ICOLC has issued a response to the STM Statement as follows:
    ICOLC response to STM statement

    22 June 2011

    The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) has issued a response to the statement in which the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) advocated a set of new guidelines for document delivery (see the last issue of Serials-eNews).

    "A recent statement by the International Association of Scientific Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) advocates a set of new guidelines for document delivery. While intellectual property laws vary from country to country, STM's approach would radically alter well-established library practices that advance knowledge, support scholarship, and are compliant with current copyright laws. The STM recommendations are in conflict with widely held principles that provide a copyright exception for interlibrary loan (ILL) activities. The regime anticipated by the STM statement would place unfair restrictions on researchers' access to information. In particular, ICOLC contends that:

    1 Interlibrary loan, under existing principles and laws, is consistent with the three-step test of Berne.

    2 Cross-border deliveries are adequately and appropriately governed by current copyright law.

    3 Digital document delivery directly to an end-user is best coordinated through the end-user's library or community of learners.

    4 Libraries are able to deliver on-site articles to library walk-up patrons in any format, including both digital and print.

    5 Current copyright law appropriately places the burden on the library user to affirm that the documents they receive are for private, non-commercial use.

    The ICOLC strongly supports IFLA's Draft Library Treaty, Article 7, which states, "It shall be permissible for a library or archive to supply a copy of any work . . . lawfully acquired or accessed by the library or archive, to another library or archive for subsequent supply to any of its users, by any means . . . provided that such use is compatible with fair practice as determined in national law". See also ARL's statement clarifying legal protections afforded to libraries for national and international ILL use, and related documents."