11.1 This chapter considers the activities of libraries and archives in the digital environment. The ALRC proposes that the flexible exception in s 200AB for libraries and archives be repealed. In the ALRC’s view, the exception is not working appropriately and effectively in the digital environment.

11.2 Instead, digitisation and communication activities by libraries and archives—such as web harvesting, digitisation and communication of unpublished works—should be considered under the fair use exception proposed in Chapter 4. In the particular case of mass digitisation projects, the ALRC asks whether the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)should be amended to facilitate voluntary extended collective licensing.

11.3 The ALRC also proposes that certain exceptions relating to the core functions of libraries and archives—preservation copying and document supply—be retained in an amended form. The ALRC considers that retaining some specific exceptions for these purposes is justified in the interest of cultural policy and the wider public interest in education and research.

11.4 The proposed reforms will give libraries and archives more freedom to make preservation copies, and to supply electronic copies of works for study and research, subject to a number of safeguards limiting use and access.