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Russia: Limited Digitization Permitted for Three Libraries

(Oct. 24, 2008) On October 15, 2008, the Federal Assembly (legislature) of Russia adopted amendments to the nation's Federal Law on Libraries, which designates the newly established Presidential Library in St. Petersburg as a national library and obligates this institution and Russia's two other national libraries to create electronic copies of all materials in their collections. The main purpose of this action is to preserve rare, old, or defective books. All modern materials should be digitized upon expiration of a two-year period after their initial acquisition. In order to protect the copyright of the materials, the law states that digital copies of the books will be available to readers on specified, secured computers on library premises only, and the possibility of copying materials in electronic format will be excluded. (Ruling No. 346-SF of the Federation Council on Approval of Amendments to the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on Libraries, Federation Council official website, (last visited Oct. 22, 2008).)