Re: Changes in the Copyright Law

Stan Gilliam (
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 13:09:16 -0800

I know of the materials available for the blind and the special 4-track
slow speed machine for playback, made by GE and distributed by the
American Printing House for the Blind. I also know there is a huge list of
books on tape pre-recorded in this special format available from (I think)
the Library of Congress.

It seems that any(?) cassette recordings for blind students a school makes
of books would have to be in the above special format, not on a regular
cassette recorder, but that the number of copies may not be limited.

Is this right?

What is the specific change in the law?

At 12:26 PM 11/1/96 -0800, you wrote:
>Yesterday there was a question on the ereserves listserv regarding making
>audiotapes from books for students with disabilities. I just heard about
>changes in the Copyright Law for this purpose and I thought I would pass
>on what I know. If any of you operate production facilities it would
>apply to you.
>My response is first, the query second.
>Kristine Brancolini
>Indiana University Libraries
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Fri, 1 Nov 1996 11:24:14 -0500 (EST)
>From: Kristine R. Brancolini <>
>Subject: Re: Books on Tape
>Fair use does not apply in this situation because there has been an
>amendment to the Copyright Act that specifically addresses producing
>e-text, Braille, and cassette versions "of any and all books for
>individuals with disabiliites." That quotation is from a message that
>appeared on DSSHE-L listserv on August 5, 1996. I think the language of
>the bill (P.L. 104-197, section 316, signed into law on September 16 and
>effective immediately) is somewhat confusing about the number of copies you
>make. It says, "(1) The permission of publishers or copyright owners is not
>not required if an authorized entity reproduces or distributes a
>nondramatic literary work in a specialized format for the exclusive use
>of blind persons or others with physical disabilities." "(3)'Specialized
>formats' include Braille, audio, or digital text exclusively for use by
>blind or other persons with disabilities." "(5) Every work which is
>reproduced in a specialized format must include a notice that further
>reproduction without permission of the copyright holder is prohibited
>unless the reproduction is in a specialized format." That seems to say
>that multiple copies are permissible.
>For further information, see the website of the National Federation of
>the Blind; they negotiated the agreement with the Association of American
>Publishers (AAP): Then go to their section on
>legislation. The exact URL is
>txt. Note that the actual document is ftp not http.
>The change is Section 121 of the Copyright Act: "Limitations on
>exclusive rights; reproduction for blind or other people with disabilities."
>Kristine Brancolini
>Indiana University Libraries
>On Thu, 31 Oct 1996, Kelly Pavey Barone wrote:
>> I have a question regarding recordings of books. We have some visually
>> impaired students who require audio recordings of books used in class. A
>> department on campus has purchased a single copy of books and has hired
>> students to make audio tapes of the books for the visually impaired
>> students. Because the books were purchased specifically for this purpose,
>> it was felt that making one audio copy would be considered fair use;
>> however, would additional copies require copyright permission? Any thoughts?
>> Thanks!