Fair Use and Digital Publishing: An Academic Librarian’s Perspective
Lowry, Charles B.
Lowry, Charles B., “Fair Use and Digital Publishing: An Academic Librarian’s Perspective,” portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol 1, no. 2 (April, 2001): 191-96.
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"The Congress shall have the power to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." Under Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution, the Congress has for more than two centuries established the rights to intellectual property and its uses. I will tell you where I stand on this matter, and it seems to me to be imbedded in the order of priority in the very words used by the founding fathers--the social good was defined as the purpose, not the individual right. However, in the history of our democratic republic the intellectual property regime has drifted inexorably toward the latter. Today, we are arguing desperately to preserve basic rights to use copyrighted works, against the very federal agency that has custody over them--the Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit also that I have a point of view as a scholar, as a journal editor, as a professor in the university classroom, and as the dean of a large research university library system. My views are shaped by that perspective, but are defensible as legitimate and worthy of serious consideration in a society that benefits greatly from the contributions of the academy.