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Michigan State University

Copyright: Reproduction by Libraries & Archives

This guide is intended to provide information about copyright and should not be construed as legal advice. If you have legal questions concerning copyright, please consult appropriate legal counsel.

Section 108

Section 108, also known as Reproduction by Libraries and Archives, is an exemption granted to libraries and archives that allows these institutions to make reproductions of copyrighted material under certain conditions.  Libraries and archives are authorized to make reproductions for 

  • preservation of library and archival collections
  • private study for individuals
  • interlibrary loan arrangements

Source: 17 U.S.C. §108

How to take advantage of Section 108

Being a library or an archive isn't enough to take advantage of the exemptions that Section 108 grants.  There are additional criteria that need to be met in order to enjoy these exemptions.  These criteria include

  • the library and archive must be open to the public or outside researchers
  • copies cannot be made for commercial gain
  • copies of a work cannot be done on a large scale or on related occasions
  • each copy needs to include a notice of copyright
  • notices of copyright law should be visible on reproduction equipment

Source: 17 U.S.C. §108

What can be done with this exemption?

Libraries and archives can

  • make one copy of an entire work when requested by an individual or other library if
    •  a copy (either new or used) cannot be found for purchase at a reasonable cost
  • make one copy of an article from a periodical when requested by an individual or other library
  • make up to three copies of damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, published works or published works in an obsolete format if
    • an unused copy cannot be found for a reasonable price
  • make up to three copies of unpublished work for preservation or security purposes if
    • the library or archive already has the work in their collection

Source: 17 U.S.C. §108

Section 108 tools

Michigan State University