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An independent study group tapped by the Library of Congress recommended Copyright Act changes to enable museums, libraries and archives to legally make copies of and preserve copyrighted digital material. The proposed changes would add exceptions to the Copyright Act’s Section 108, which allows libraries and archives to duplicate copyrighted works for preservation purposes. One of the Section 108 Study Group’s major recommendations is to apply all Section 108 exceptions to museums. Another is to allow libraries and archives to copy Web sites and online content for preservation, research and private study. The proposed changes would also allow certain qualified libraries and archives to make preservation copies of published works at risk for damage or loss and relax the three-copy limit if more copies are necessary to create a high-quality preservation or replacement copy. In cooperation with the U.S. Copyright Office, the Library of Congress appointed 19 public and private sector library, scholarly, publishing and entertainment professionals to the independent group. “The important work you have done will aid libraries and archives nationwide as they work to fulfill their missions in an age that has transformed the way we operate,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, in a statement about the group’s report. A statement from the Library of Congress noted that report can serve as the basis for the Copyright Office to draft legislation and recommended it to Congress.

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