Takedown and Today's Academic Digital Library, 13 I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy 125 (2016)
Fueled by recent public and private efforts to improve access to scholarly works, academic libraries and archives• are increasingly digitizing their special collections and creating online repositories for scholarly works. This enhanced online presence has increased libraries' exposure to takedown requests from rightsholders and other concerned parties. Using survey questions and interviews, we examined academic libraries' interaction with both Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") and non-DMCA takedown notices. We found that academic libraries most commonly receive non-DMCA takedown requests that are based on non-copyright issues (such as privacy) or that target materials the library itself has placed online. In general, libraries have well-developed norms and practices in place to manage these types of requests to remove material. We also found, however, that libraries have not yet developed norms and practices for addressing formal DMCA notices. Remedying this may be helpful: while DMCA notices directed to libraries have historically been rare, this may be changing as libraries increasingly host open access repositories. We discuss why norms and practices for DMCA notices have not yet developed, and suggest steps libraries, publishers, and authors can take to best manage copyright conflicts while supporting libraries' missions to preserve and provide access to knowledge.