Section 104 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) required the US Copyright Office to conduct a study to begin "an ongoing evaluation by Congress on the relationship between technological change and U.S. copyright law." This report focuses on three areas traditionally handled under copyright law that have changed in the digital world: first sale doctrine and the related issue of digital transmission of copyrighted works, certain temporary incidental copies, such as copies of a work existing in RAM on a computer, and archival copying of computer programs. First sale doctrine allows the purchaser of a copyrighted work to loan or share that work and has a great impact on the functions of libraries. In summary, the report does not recommend amending the DMCA in the area of first sale doctrine; it does argue that copies of a work created in RAM for the purposes of streaming media are probably protected under fair use and that archival back-up copies of computer programs are becoming less necessary for the average consumer. The report includes public commentary from the library community, publishers, and private citizens.
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