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Controlled Digital Lending



How do we establish an appropriate understanding of controlled digital lending? While it supports the robust use of published scholarship in a library environment, at the same time it also tests the traditional bounds of lending practices. Recognizing that no single library collection can possibly contain every publication required by its patrons, shouldn’t the various affected stakeholders be working towards a collaborative solution —a set of best practices? The speakers in this webinar will explore the need for controlled digital lending, as well as the sensitivities associated with it, in a world that increasingly reads electronically.

Confirmed speakers include, John D'Angelo, Head of Access & Circulation, Fordham University; Jill Morris, Executive Director, PALCI (Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc.); and Nancy Sims, Director of Copyright & Scholarly Communication, University of Minnesota

Event Sessions


Nancy Sims

Director of Copyright & Scholarly Communication
University of Minnesota

The discussion by participants was based on the following questions:

For those not familiar with Controlled Digital Lending, can you please give us a brief overview of how you define this process for the community?

What are some of the benefits of CDL?  Related to accessibility and serving underserved communities, etc.

What are some of the reasons that people want CDL to work? What are some of the challenges that cause lending institutions to use CDL?

What are some of the use cases where libraries have sought to use CDL?

CDL is not a simple process as it has developed over time, nor is it cost-free to implement.  What are some of the barriers to its implementation–setting aside the legal challenges, which we will talk about in a moment?

Last April, the Southern District Federal Court in NY awarded a summary judgment to Hachette, et al. against the Internet Archive in a case about controlled digital lending.  Let’s talk a bit about this case and the ruling.

How does the Hachette v IA case and its outcome differ from how libraries and institutions implement Controlled Digital Lending?  How does the outcome of the Hachette case impact institutions that have and want to continue to use CDL in its practice and service to its audience?

This case is being appealed to the 2nd circuit court and will likely end up before the Supreme Court. This is obviously an attempt by Internet Archive to advance the scope of Fair Use. Let’s talk a bit about Fair Use versus library exemptions regarding copyright.

The judgment explicitly called out specific areas where libraries may have rights to conduct CDL-like services, such as accessibility. Can we talk in more detail about provision of remediated files using CDL for accessibility purposes?

How can libraries and publishers potentially work together to facilitate this service for library patrons? Can we find a way to license the rights to use CDL? 

Because of this ruling, many institutions are reluctant to advance their CDL programs, or have put them on hold pending a final ruling.  Have you seen that affecting libraries' stance regarding CDL services?

What are the “distinguishable implementations” that are practical and appropriate use cases?

Looking back, there are some corollaries to how the lawsuits around photocopying in libraries were resolved. While there are issues related to the rules that have developed around CONTU, might this be a model that could be applied to develop trust or reduce the legal risks associated with CDL?  What are the pros and cons of this approach?

What are the best practices and standards that strive to facilitate controlled digital lending?

Related Information and Shared Resource:

A White Paper On Controlled Digital Lending Of Library Books by David R. Hansen & Kyle K. Courtney

Additional Information

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