Copyright & Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property is a broad area of law that encompasses copyright, trademarks and patents. In the context of libraries, discussion of intellectual property most commonly refers to copyright law and the dynamic relationship between libraries and copyright holders. Copyright law (17 U.S.C. §101, et seq.) strives to balance the rights and interests of copyright holders  with those of information users. While copyright law grants specific rights to the copyright holder, such as reproduction and distribution, the law also imposes some limitations on those rights. It is those limitations, including the fair use doctrine (section 107), the library exception (section 108) and first sale doctrine (section 109), that AALL strongly supports because they allow libraries to provide copyrighted materials to information users.