Digital Rules Stymie Library of Congress

Copyright restrictions make even routine archiving difficult
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 8:54 PM CDT
Digital Rules Stymie Library of Congress
A visitor uses a touch screen to look through a rough draft of the Constitution, at the "Library of Congress Experience" in Washington on Wednesday April 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Anti-copyright laws are irritating not only casual music listeners or movie watchers who want to back up their digital media—even the Library of Congress is butting heads with the rules that forbid the duplication of copyrighted works, Ars Technica finds. And though the library has pushed for changes in the law, the calls have met deaf ears on Capitol Hill.

The library is grappling with a three-copy limit that stifles its ability to send digital files to scholars, and it is also having trouble preserving nearly boundless information that is "born digital." The Digital Millenium Copyright Act and DRM technology prevents the library from circumventing the copyright protections, making it hard even to store the data for public use. (More Library of Congress stories.)

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