Re: Copying of computer software for preservation purposes

Subject: Re: Copying of computer software for preservation purposes
From: Tjebbe van Tijen (
Date: to 21 touko  1998 - 19:22:11 EEST

I honestly can not understand the legalistic attitudes often expressed on
this list. Why not compare it with the century old tradition of archives,
libraries and their preservation role. When archivists or librarians in the
past had always asked permission from any kind of holders of any kind of
rights our cultujral heritage would have been much more limited as it is

A lot of material that was even not ment to be circulated at all was kept
by some persons at some time and often these things kept became very much
valued in later ages.

When there are people in the legal business that are saying, often without
realizing the long term impact of their statements as they are paid to
generate short turn profit, 'do not preserve our code'...'smash the stone
of Rosetta', that fact should not stop an archivist or librarian to still
make a copy when she or he decides thata specific peace of software might
become of importance for next generations.

Libraries and archives are there because authors and publishers are not
able to preserve their products over long stretches of time. One of their
tasks is to make a selection of information products from their generation
for future generations.

My experience as a curator and librarian during 25 years has been that
there are always all kind forces that should like to limit, influence or
change the selections made... In my opinion some of the modern copyright
claims can better be classified as 'economic censorship'. In this way the
perspective of the matter changes dramaticaly. To be honest all this eager
and greedy people out for a few bucks, should think better and be happy
that someone is caring about their products, instead of threatening our
culyural institutions with law suits.

Tjebbe van Tijen
Imaginary Museum Projects, Amsterdam
fax +31-20-6261897

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