The Software Preservation Network endeavors to ensure that cultural memory institutions and related entities can exercise broad and clear legal rights to engage in software preservation (including providing access for research, teaching, and learning). We do this in two principal ways: by educating our members about their legal rights and responsibilities, and by advocating on behalf of our members in a variety of legal and political forums, including government agencies, courts, and legislatures. We also facilitate better private arrangements with donors and vendors by identifying good practices that preserve and build on members’ legal rights and policy interests.

Action Plan:

Engage with SPN and software preservation community on legal issues Encouraging Optimism and confidence on Law & Copyright generally. Encourage people to talk about the practices they’ve adopted!

  • Time period (Summer 2019-Spring 2020): 
    • Copyright chats with Brandon Butler to discuss legal issues around software preservation and access, especially Fair Use Best Practices & DMCA exemption
      • Monthly with first scheduled for September 5 .
    • Solicit feedback from SPN community on utility of current tools, what’s needed to build momentum 
      • Details:
        • Survey on Code and related materials
          • Report on survey, incl. Action items based on comm’y feedback
    • Policy essays in newsletter 
      • Monthly in Stacktrace email, and periodically on website
  • Time period : Fall 2019-Spring 2020
    • Jack Bernard (see to speak on “Your General Counsel and You”
      • Help for practitioners to understand how they may better push fair-use issues in their home institution working with their General Counsel
    • Zoom  training on DMCA with Kendra Albert at Harvard Cyber law Clinic
      • Details:
        • Kendra will join Brandon for the monthly Law and Policy Zoom Chat in December 2019.
    • Zoom conference with Jonathan Band, November 2019
      • Author of SCOTUS amicus brief will discuss Allen v. Cooper case, our brief, and the purpose of briefs more generally

Provide and update training materials and tools:

  • Begin dialogue and necessary background interviews with software preservation practitioners for next DMCA exemption—focused on “premises” limitation and EAASI network sharing
  • On-going: 
  • TBD
    • Sample/template contract language on preservation for procurement agreements
    • Develop programming to highlight practices at SPN institutions
    • Section 108 exploratory write-up for use of outdated software

Preferred citation:

Law & Policy Working Group. Law & Policy Working Group Scope and Action Plan. Software Preservation Network.