May 21, 2022

Jonathan Band Discusses Controlled Digital Lending in New IFLA Interview

Jonathan Band is a copyright attorney at policybandwidth and represents the Library Copyright Alliance. In 2017 Band was the winner of ALA’s Patterson Copyright Award. You can learn more about Jonathan Band in this brief bio and via his website where links to some of his writing is available.

Interview with IFLA

Today, IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) posted an interview with Mr. Band about controlled digital lending (CDL).

The interview runs about 600 words and consists of nine questions and answers. Here are two questions and answers.

What’s the legal argument in favour of it [controlled digital lending]?

Proponents assert that CDL is analogous to the first sale doctrine–also referred to as exhaustion. The first sale doctrine allows a library to lend a copy of a book lawfully acquired by the library. CDL, however, involves making reproductions–first digitizing the physical copy, then making a temporary copy in the user’s eReader when she borrows the book. Proponents contend that fair use permits the making of these reproductions because CDL is the functional equivalent of traditional library lending.

What sort of arguments are used against it?

Opponents argue that CDL goes beyond the scope of activities permitted by the fair use right. They point to a recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where the court rejected the fair use argument with respect to a commercial service that allowed the resale of iTunes files. They also argue that CDL would undercut the development of a more robust licensing market. 

Direct to Complete IFLA Interview with Jonathan Band

Listen to Band

Jonathan Band Explains All Things ReDigi
Recently released podcast interview with Band from Scholarly Communication and Publishing, University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.