Re: Changes in the Copyright Law

Kristine R. Brancolini (
Fri, 1 Nov 1996 20:19:15 -0500 (EST)

Stan: Take a look at the excerpts from the law that are available on the
NFB website (URL below) or go to Thomas ( and take a look
at section 316 of the bill. All it says is a "specialized format" and
that is defined as Braille, digital text, or audio. It does *not*
specify the special format used by the Library of Congress. I think any
tape recording would be legal. But again, I think you should look at the
amendment to the Copyright Act itself.

Kristine Brancolini
Indiana University

On Fri, 1 Nov 1996, Stan Gilliam wrote:

> 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 <>
> >To:
> >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
> can
> >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!
> >>
> >>
> >
> >