The Copyright Permissions Culture in Software Preservation and Its Implications for the Cultural Record


This report finds that individuals and institutions need clear guidance on the legality of archiving legacy software to ensure continued access to digital files of all kinds and to illuminate the history of technology.

This is the first product of an Association of Research Libraries (ARL) project funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the report is based on extensive research and interviews with software preservation experts and other stakeholders. This research will inform a Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Software Preservation to be published in fall 2018, and to be supported by webinars, workshops, online discussions, and educational materials. The Code will advance the mission of memory institutions to safeguard the digital record and promote research that engages it.

This report was written by 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, and copyright scholar Peter Jaszi.

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