Greetings Digital Preservation Colleagues,

Over the course of the last couple of years, the Software Preservation Network 
( has worked in close collaboration 
with legal scholar-practitioners to better understand the legal landscape 
regarding software preservation/curation activities. Therefore, we are excited 
and grateful to announce the current work of two complementary efforts to clear 
a path forward for cultural memory practitioners, administrators and users to 
lawfully preserve, reuse and share legacy software.

Anti-Circumvention Exemption for Software Preservation

In addition to our ongoing research collaboration (with sincere appreciation to 
Chris Bavitz, Managing Director of the Cyberlaw Clinic 
(, The Cyberlaw 
Clinic at Harvard Law School (part of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and 
Society), is currently representing the Software Preservation Network (SPN) and 
the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) in the proceeding for exemptions to the 
anti-circumvention clause. In December 2017 Kendra Albert, Clinical 
Instructional Fellow at the Cyberlaw Clinic, 
( and Cyberlaw Clinic 
students Evelyn Chang and Anderson Grossman filed a petition requesting that 
the Library of Congress Copyright Office grant cultural heritage/memory 
institutions an exemption to circumvent technological protection measures in 
order to preserve computer programs and computer program-dependent materials 
 Mx. Albert and Cyberlaw Clinic students Erin Thomas and Austin Bohn will 
continue the research, writing and representation of SPN and LCA in the 1201 
process through the Spring of 2018. We cannot overemphasize how much SPN and 
the broader digital preservation community appreciates their engagement, 
thoughtfulness and advocacy. Now that the initial petitions have been filed, we 
are currently waiting on opposing petitions and/or responses to the petition 
filed. Reply comments from the Cyberlaw Clinic team are due in March of 2018. 
Public hearings will be scheduled for April. The Cyberlaw Clinic blog post 
about the 1201 filing can be found here. 

Fair Use Best Practices for Software Preservation

In 2017, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded the Association of Research 
Libraries a research grant to develop community best practices surrounding 
software preservation as a way to outline clear guidelines for the application 
of fair use to the preservation of software and software dependent materials. 
Ultimately, the project will result in a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for 
Software Preservation. This month, the first report from the project was 
published, and it is entitled The Copyright Permissions Culture in Software 
Preservation and Its Implications for the Cultural Record. 
 The report reflects the synthesis of the literature as well as extensive 
first-person interviews with researchers, digital preservation practitioners 
and other software preservation/curation stakeholders. The report documents 
widespread frustration around copyright issues in the software preservation 
community, and suggests deeper engagement with fair use as a possible solution. 
Similar to the information exchange with Mr. Bavitz, Mx. Albert, Ms. Chang, Mr. 
Grossman and several previous cohorts of Cyberlaw Clinic students - SPN is 
thrilled to support the work of the project and the research team. We’d like to 
offer a huge thanks to co–principal investigators Patricia Aufderheide of the 
American University School of Communication 
(, Brandon Butler of the 
University of Virginia Library 
(, Krista Cox of the 
Association of Research Libraries 
(, copyright 
scholar Peter Jaszi 
( and the 
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The Association of Research Libraries blog post 
about the Code of Best Practices project can be found here 


Lauren Work on behalf of SPN

Reply via email to