For those interested in copyright matters, here's a brief summary of the


30 meeting of the Conference on Fair Use (CONFU). Over the winter and


six working groups have been preparing draft guidelines in various areas for

copyright fair use in digital environments. May 30 was the first meeting of


full group in several months. It was an important opportunity for taking


of where we are, and for identifying some issues of consistency among the

various sets of draft guidelines.

1. The group reaffirmed that we are working towards a November finishing


The next meeting of the full group will be in early September. The small

working groups will meet as needed over the summer.

2. The group approved the final text of a letter to Congress stating that we

are making progress and also indicating when we expect to finish. In


this spring, CONFU had been depicted as disorganized and unlikely to produce

anything, and the group as a whole wanted to correct that misimpression.

3. Even though CONFU is making progress and has set November for the


completion, it is not yet clear that CONFU will produce guidelines that can


wide acceptance. There is a separate story to be told about each of the six

areas (see below). Also, not everyone agrees that arriving at guidelines


in general be a good thing. A major thread in the May 30 discussion was how


word a common preamble for all the guidelines; this discussion turned very


on whether the guidelines should be seen as maxima or minima in terms of what

users can expect to do with copyrighted materials.

4. Here's a brief (and no doubt idiosyncratic) summary of the progress of


working group.

Multimedia. Work in this area has been led by Ivan Bender and Lisa


of CCUMC, the Consortium of College and University Media Centers. Their work

began even before CONFU, so these guidelines are the most fully developed.


focus mostly on educational rather than scholarly uses. A key feature of


draft guidelines is that they include fairly strict 'portion limitations' on


much of a piece of music or a moving image (etc.) could be used under fair


Image archives. A first effort at writing guidelines was abandoned by many

participants as unproductive, and a new small group took shape around


with Pat Williams of the American Association of Museums is serving as


This group has been meeting frequently since then and has made significant

progress. Originally focused on images for art history, these guidelines now

any broader scope to include (for example) medical images. A key feature of

these draft guidelines is a parsing of the problem into two parts: (a) what

could be done under fair use in terms of digitizing and using current images

currently held, such as those in slide libraries, and (b) what might be fair


of images originally aquired in digital form.

E-Reserves. For a time no progress was made on this topic, commercial

publishers holding that there could be no legitimate digital version of a

'reserve room.' A group of representatives from a range of not-for-profit

organizations then began meeting and has developed a complete draft. The

American Association of Publishers (AAP) has indicated that this draft is

unacceptable, and (from the other side) the Association of Research Libraries

has identified some concerns that will be discussed in July. Several other

library organizations have indicated their comfort with the draft, as have


Association of American University Presses and the American Council of


Societies. Kenny Crews of the Indiana Partnership for Statewide Education is

the convenor. The group will collect comments through the end of July and


see whether to undertake any revision.

Inter-library loan and document delivery. In addition to the fair use

provisions (section 107), there are specific provisions of the copyright law

(section 108) which pertain to interlibrary loan. In this area, too, there


an extended period where little progress was made, particularly as the

discussion stayed very close to the current interlibrary loan practices. In

early May, AAP put forward a new, paradigm-breaking proposal. Later in May,


representatives of libraries met to formulate a counter proposal, also


breaking. Time will tell if anything can come of these new ideas. There is


area of agreement: that it is premature to speak of guidelines for digital

delivery of digital originals; the current discussion is about digital


of analog documents (fax, Ariel, etc.). Mary Jackson of ARL is serving as


Distance learning. Guidelines for distance learning need to take account of

section 110 of the copyright law as well as the fair use provisions. Under


direction of Lolly Gassaway (Association of American Universities), this


divided distance learning into two kinds. A draft has been completed


fair use in 'traditional distance learning,' using, for example, satellite

transmission or statewide cable networks. Barely broached is the question of

what guidelines might be appropriate for the next generation of distance

learning, using computer networks and individual student workstations for

digital delivery and receipt of materials.

Software use in libraries. There was an early agreement in this area not to

write guidelines but rather only to write scenarios. There is a


draft which has been the work of Mark Traphagen (Software Publishers Assoc.)


Sally Wiant (Special Libraries Assoc.).

Music materials. A group met in April to consider whether there should be

guidelines for the fair use of music materials in degital environments. They

decided that current guidelines (formulated in the 1970s) were sufficient.