Skip to main content

Damaged, Deteriorating, Lost, or Stolen Works

Section 108(c) permits a library or archive to make up to three copies of a published work “solely for the purpose of replacement of a copy that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, or if the existing format in which the work is stored has become obsolete.” A format is considered obsolete if “the machine or device necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.”

Copying for replacement purposes is permissible only if the library or archive has, “after a reasonable effort, determined that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price.” Although the statute does not explicitly define what constitutes a “reasonable effort” in this regard, this provision is intended to require seeking commonly-known trade sources such as the publisher or other copyright owner or an authorized reproducing service.

Any copy made for these purposes in digital format is not to be distributed or made available to the public outside the premises of the library or archive.