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Re: Converting book into digital format?

> The substantiality test in section 107 refers to "the amount and
> substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as
> a whole."  It is not possible to argue that copying the entire book is not
> copying a substantial portion.  A court is not going to support this under
> fair use. <http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html>

But isn't the substantiality test only one of the four fair-use criteria?  
My impression has always been that a complete copy may be acceptable if
the other three criteria are met.  For example, I think it's generally
accepted that I can make a cassette copy of an entire CD (that I own) so
that I can play it in my car stereo.  A copy like that fails the
substantiality test, but meets the other three.  I think 75% is a passing
score, in this case.  A library that wishes to digitize a fragile book in
its entirety for preservation purposes is, I think, on pretty solid ground
-- so the question doesn't necessarily hinge on how _much_ you're going to
copy (although that question is relevant)  as it does on the purpose of
the copy and its effect on the marketplace.

> All of this deals with paper copies.  Changing the format to digital opens
> a new can of worms.

Practically speaking, yes it does.  Legally speaking, I'm not so sure --
as far as I can tell, copyright law doesn't care what format you're
copying to.  (Am I mistaken on that?)

Rick Anderson
Head Acquisitions Librarian
Jackson Library
UNC Greensboro
(336) 334-5281

"Which is the greater
miracle: to cause a stone
to speak, or a philosopher
to stop speaking?"
  -- Overheard at the
     Council of Nicaea