New Presentation Recording Available

Video Trust Chair Jeff Tamblyn and Florida State University Librarian (and ALVT member representative) David Rodriguez present to the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) on how ALVT works and benefits of institutional membership.

ALVT to sponsor Miami University Copyright Conference

The Academic Libraries Video Trust, a project of Video Trust, today announced that it will sponsor the Miami University 2020 Copyright Conference, to be held September 23-25 in Oxford, Ohio. Now in its fourth year, the conference focuses on the intricacies of US copyright law and its impact on libraries and academia.

This year's conference has the theme of Becoming a Copyright Librarian and is expected to attract approximately 150 attendees, according to Carla Myers, Coordinator of Scholarly Communications at Miami University. ALVT's sponsorship will fund an opening-night reception for ALVT users and those interested in the ALVT project, along with a registration scholarship for one attendee. The scholarship is named after the late deg farrelly, a media librarian at Arizona State University and a co-founder of ALVT.

(Click here to apply for the ALVT/deg farrelly registration scholarship.)

Presenters at this year's conference will include Kenneth Crews, attorney, author, professor, and international copyright consultant, and Carrie Russell, Senior Program Director and Copyright Specialist at the American Library Association’s Public Policy and Advocacy Office in Washington, DC. A complete list of the conference's distinguished presenters, as well as the conference schedule is available on the website. Registration will open April 1st.

SEPT. 2019 - MIAMI University Copyright Conference to Feature Sessions on ALVT, Sustainable Streaming

Two days in late September will bring to Miami University in Ohio a parade of fascinating information at the Miami University Copyright Conference 2019. Our former board chair and copyright junkie Sarah McCleskey (Hofstra) has partnered with another NMM board member, Erin Miller (UNT), to present a session on our project, the Academic Libraries Video Trust. Here's the description:

Leveraging Section 108 Rights: The Academic Libraries Video Trust
Presented by Erin DeWitt Miller and Sarah McCleskey

The presenters will provide an overview of Section 108(c) of the Copyright Act, which addresses preservation of audiovisual material in library collections, as well as the Academic Libraries Video Trust (ALVT). Section 108 gives libraries the right to make replacement copies of audiovisual material that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, stolen, or on an obsolete format as long as the material is not available to purchase. Founded by the National Media Market, the ALVT is a shared repository for audiovisual material digitized under rights granted via Section 108 and is a crucial tool for addressing issues of preservation and access.


By David Rodriguez

In the era of streaming services like Kanopy and Netflix becoming the norm for how people access video content, it’s easy to forget just how much material is still confined to legacy AV formats. VHS is one such format–one that has played a huge role in academic and public library collections for over 40 years. First introduced in 1976, VHS cassettes were to become the internationally adopted standard for home-video exhibition and recording (but not without a well-known “format war” with the Betamax system). Eventually, the introduction and dominance of digital formats like DVD and Blu-Ray in late 1990s and early 2000s swept the cassette market into relative obsolescence. However, because of the long legacy of VHS and the residual demand for VCR technology, playback equipment was still manufactured until 2016. In the many years that VHS stood as the preeminent home-video format, libraries across the world acquired millions of cassettes spanning educational programs, documentaries, and feature films. They have become a major component of library collections that serve a wide variety of patron needs. 

Read more on the FSU Library website.

Bookshelves full of books from Florida State University library.

Webinar link now available — Listen now (slide visuals included)

Our webinar from February 28th is now available to replay at your convenience, including the slide visuals. Presented by Sarah McCleskey (Hofstra University) and Chris Lewis (American University), and sponsored by Infobase/Films Media Group. 

Click here:

On the webinar page, enter your first and last name, and email address, on the form, then click 'Register.' Program will begin immediately. 

ALVT Presentation Slides now available!

ALVT Informational webinar
Thursday, February 28th at 2PM ET.
Sponsored by Infobase/Films Media Group
Download presentation slides (pdf).

alvt: Academic Libraries Video TrustCopyTalk webinar on ALVT from November 1, 2018. See/hear the entire archived session, featuring Sarah McCleskey (Hofstra University) and Chris Lewis (American University).

UPDATE December 11, 2018 — See our PRESS RELEASE on membership and future plans.

UPDATE December 5, 2018 — We now list 5 Founding Benefactor memberships on our site ( with more on the way. The site is fully operational, with more digital files and content listings being added every day.

Also, we’re now accepting group memberships through consortiums, so contact Jeff Tamblyn, Chair of National Media Market, for further information.

If you/your group would like a presentation or webinar, we’d be happy to provide one. Also, look for an open webinar from us coming in February/March 2019.

UPDATE April 23, 2018 — ALVT, the VHS preservation project of NMM which builds on the Section 108 Due Diligence project (see below), is accepting statements of intention from prospective members. Members of ALVT represent institutions with libraries containing content on VHS that they wish to convert to digital files under US Copyright law, Section 108. This new cooperative organization will allow members to legally share encoded files of content which they already own. 

Visit the new ALVT website

View the ALVT FAQ document for brief answers

Contact NMM Executive Board to state intention to join ALVT

The Section 108 Due Diligence website is in the process of revision to increase functionality per ALVT membership needs, and to contain legal position papers for public view. 

UPDATE March 21, 2018 — We've made a lot of progress on this unique and exciting initiative, and many thanks to all those who've expressed interest in institutional membership. This new organization, founded under the auspices of National Media Market, helps librarians legally preserve out-of-print content stored on VHS tape, and share the responsibilities of performing due diligence and digitizing content. (See full story below for further information.)

Our web development team is upgrading the Section 108 database for which we've assumed responsibility; our esteemed legal advisor is preparing the basis of our organization through extensive legal briefs, and we've interviewed several librarians about their interest in ALVT so we can tailor our membership terms to maximize their value. Details are expected to be released soon, and if you're interested in scheduling a conversation about membership, please contact our 2018 Chair, Jeff Tamblyn

Sarah McCleskey
Sarah McCleskey

Former NMM Chair (and current treasurer) Sarah McCleskey has been invited to conduct an information session on the ALVT project at the Kraemer Copyright Conference, at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, in June. We're planning to video record this session and will post that for those unable to attend. 

Please also look for an ALVT information session on our program schedule this Fall.

National Media Market announces the Academic Libraries Video Trust

deg farrelly (right) makes a major donation to kickstart NMM's new service initiative. Accepting is NMM Chair Jeff Tamblyn.
deg farrelly (right) makes a major donation to kickstart NMM's new service initiative. Accepting is NMM Chair Jeff Tamblyn.

February 21, 2018 —National Media Market and Conference has announced the formation of the Academic Libraries Video Trust, a cooperative open to interested institutions, to facilitate preservation of commercial video content (primarily VHS) which is no longer in distribution. The Trust will leverage preservation and replacement exceptions for reproduction by libraries established by U.S. copyright law (17 U.S. Code § 108) that allow for duplication of content that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, or is in an obsolete format. The Trust is expected to become fully operational by late 2018, thanks to a $10,000.00 gift by recently retired librarian deg farrelly.

deg farrelly“The opportunity to help create this new organization and serve libraries that value media collections is very important to me,” said farrelly, a Librarian Emeritus at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ, who prefers his distinctive name spelled without the customary capital letters. “The Academic Libraries Video Trust will provide a service to benefit many institutions, especially research libraries. It’s a natural extension of the work I’ve been performing for four decades, to strengthen the usefulness and legitimacy of film and video as a tool in teaching and research across all disciplines.”

Section 108 is a topic explored extensively by farrelly and colleagues Chris Lewis, Media Librarian at American University, Washington, D.C., and Jane Hutchinson, former Associate Director of Media Services at William Paterson University Library, in Paterson, N.J. The trio created an online database called The Section 108 Due Diligence Project ( and documented search efforts for thousands of titles no longer available for purchase or licensing. Maintenance of the site and creation of secure technology will become the responsibility of the Trust, administered under the auspices of National Media Market and Conference.

Sarah McCleskey
Sarah McCleskey

Chris Lewis
Chris Lewis

Former NMM Chair Sarah McCleskey, Head of Resource & Collection Services at Hofstra University, is facilitating development of the Trust along with Chris Lewis. “Based on research performed by deg and other prominent media professionals, it’s estimated that U.S. academic libraries alone have thousands of VHS titles which are rapidly degrading,” said McCleskey. “It’s a matter of preservation — libraries that have spent significant funds collecting video need to protect their investments and fulfill their mandate to preserve this content.” According to Lewis, “The Trust has been created because the VHS format, which was once massively popular, is now obsolete, and much of the content borne on videotape has never been rereleased. No one makes the VHS players anymore, and regularly-circulated tapes and players quickly degrade to the point of being unusable. The benign neglect that resulted in the loss of thousands of early motion pictures and early television recordings will happen with VHS recordings unless libraries undertake major preservation projects to protect them.”

Kenneth Crews
Kenneth Crews

“The intent of Section 108, and of the Academic Libraries Video Trust, is clearly not to sidestep any legitimate commercial interest,” states Kenneth Crews of Gipson Hoffman & Pancione in Los Angeles, the attorney retained by NMM for legal counsel regarding the Trust, “but to help support replacement and preservation copying after checking the market.  The institutions that become members of the Academic Libraries Video Trust won’t be purchasing anything through the organization, but replacing a copy of a work they’ve already acquired consistent with copyright law.” “In fact,” adds farrelly, “the purpose of the Section 108 Due Diligence Project website has been to make widely available a list of titles for which librarians want to find replacements, and can’t. It can be viewed by rights holders as well as librarians.”

Member institutions will confirm that their use of any materials archived by the Trust will be in compliance with Section 108.

The Trust is currently inviting libraries and archives to become founding institutional members.  Interested parties are encouraged to contact Jeff Tamblyn, Chair of the National Media Market and Conference (, for further information.

Relevant site:

Cornell Law School Section 108 webpage :

Download a PDF of this press release.