Is fax transmission considered making a digital copy

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  • According to the DMCA: "As amended, section 108 permits up to three copies, which may be digital, provided that digital copies are not made available to the public outside the library premises."

    I recognize that this means I can not email a .pdf document to a patron. But, could I print out the .pdf document and fax a copy to the patron?

    Is a fax transmission considered creating a digital copy?
  • A fax transmission is not a digital copy, so a printed copy sent by fax is subject to the "analog" rules. I generally think, in terms of ILL, that faxing a copy is fine but that the sending library should not retain the original print in order to avoid multiplying copies and to stay within the letter of the law that says that the copy must become the property of the patron.

    It is important to note that, if the PDF is part of a licensed database (as opposed to something you have created in house for the purposes of digital preservation), you should consult the terms of the license. Some licenses do not permit ILL, and by signing those licenses you will have given away, by contract, rights you otherwise would have under section 108. Section 108 itself tells us that it provides a set of "default" rules that do not apply if a different agreement is reached between parties.

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