MP3: Issues of Copyright and Cataloguing

LIS 599: Directed Study

Issues of Copyright
and Cataloguing

Saache Heinrich
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Alberta
April 2000

  1. MP3s
      What is MP3?
      Brief Introduction to MP3
      How it Works
      MP3 Sites of Interest

  2. MP3s and Issues of Copyright
      Canada's Copyright Law
      International Copyright
      What's Legal and What's Not
      The Music Library
      Copyright Sites of Interest

  3. MP3s and Issues of Cataloguing
      AACR2R (1988)
      Why Catalogue Internet Resources?
      MARC Fields: Explanations and Issues
      Cataloguing Sites of Interest

  4. Literature Cited


    After successful completion of MUSIC 505: Bibliography and Methods in Research in Fall 1999 at the University of Alberta, I was hoping to endeavor upon a project that would enable me to study another aspect of music librarianship. As part of the course requirement for LIS 536 Electronic Reference and Information Retrieval, I completed both a presentation and paper on electronic sources applicable to reference of sound. These examples provided sound clips from movies, television shows, poetry, and famous speeches which were all available online because of the MP3 format. However, I had almost no understanding of this format and completed the presentation without really knowing how this technology worked. In looking for a topic for a directed study on music librarianship, it was suggested to me by William Sgrazzutti, Head of Education/Fine Arts Library, University of Regina and then agreed upon with my faculty advisor, Dr. Hope A. Olson, to study the MP3 format and its affect on the music library. I decided to expand this focus to include both copyright and cataloguing issues as they pertain to music librarians.

    Therefore, the purpose of this project is threefold. First, I will attempt to define and explain the MP3 format as well as the techology and equipment needed within a music library to properly support this technology. Secondly, I will present an overview of the Canadian Copyright Act and subsequent issues in relation to music being distributed and available on-line via MP3. And, lastly, I will address cataloguing problems with the MP3 format. This paper is only an introduction to the vast amount of literature available regarding this subject. It is my hope to provide some valuable and useful information as well as some helpful sites for further exploration.

    What is MP3?

    The Internet is an international network of networks that allows different computer users from all over the world to share information and communicate interactively. However, unlike other forms of communication, the "Internet has no fixed physical location, central control point or permanent intelligence".[1] Within the past year or so, the biggest event on the Internet has been the arrival of the MP3 format of digital audio files. Music has been digitally recorded for decades: it is tailor-made for cyberspace. Once compressed "into a manageable-sized computer file using various compression techniques, anything from arias to zydeco can slide effortlessly across the Internet to consumers' ears, hard-drives, or a growing choice of portable digital music players."[2] With this new movement on the Net, MP3 has become one of the most amazing phenomena that the music industry has ever seen. The reason for this is that unlike other movements in the music industry (the cassette tape or the CD), the MP3 movement started not with the industry itself but with a huge audience of music lovers on the Internet. The MP3 format for digital music has had, and will undoubtedly continue to have a huge impact on how people collect, listen to and distribute music. If libraries continue to provide current research through cutting-edge technology, then we need to understand and react to the MP3 phenomena.

    Brief Introduction to MP3

    Before MP3 came onto the music scene, PC users were recording, downloading, and playing high-quality sound files using a format called WAV. However, WAV files are of an enormous size: a two-minute song recorded in CD-quality sound took up about 20MB of hard-drive space in the WAV format. This also meant that an average CD with ten songs would take up more than 200MB of space in WAV format. With all this space used for WAV files, the computer's hard drive will be all used up within no time at all. And, not only do the files take up so much space they also take a long time to download. In the WAV format, it may take two hours or more to download a two-minute song.

    In 1988 the Moving Picture Experts Group, a consortium that "works under the direction of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC) to develop open standards for audio and video compression" [3] met to develop a single codec (compression/decompression) scheme for digital audio.[4] By 1992, the ISO and IEC created a standard for audio and video coding called MPEG-1, thus enabling "the industry to agree on a single format to handle all the various types of audio/visual media that were emerging in the brave new digital age".[5] The MPEG-1 produces high-quality audio files in far smaller packages than those produced by WAV. It has an algorithm that compresses high-resolution audio information and eliminates unnecesary and redundant parts of the signal. What results is a product, a song file that sounds almost as good as a CD but is only about one-twelfth the size. MP3 is short for MPEG-1 Layer 3 (Moving Pictures Expert Group).

    In 1997, an inexpensive software for converting audio to MP3 became available to the public. This was enough to make Net users start paying attention. Until then, there were "other Net audio formats such as RealAudio, but most of them were only used for speech [where] music usually ended up sounding like something from a cheap transister radio".[6] Now, with this MP3 format users could send songs over the Internet and make them available for quick and easy downloading. Within a year, there were hundreds of websites that listed MP3 files for download, including many illegal files stolen from copyrighted CDs.

    In October 1998, the MP3 phenomenon which was up until that point mostly underground, went public when Diamond Multimedia announced it would market a portable MP3 player called the Rio. The Rio changed the image of the MP3 user and the United States record industry foresaw a threat to its $12 billion annual CD and cassette business. Since 1994, the recording industry has been in a slump: the total number of units shipped (CD, cassette, and LP) has remained almost exactly the same.[7] This prompted recording companies and commercial Internet sites to begin to realize the potential in this format. The March 20, 2000 issue of Maclean's states that "between June 1998 and June 1999 traffic in music files over the Internet increased 20-fold, becoming 'the single largest traffic component on the Web ... it's even bypassed porn'."[8] Last year, eighteen year-old Shawn Fanning, a student at Boston's Northeastern University wrote a program called Napster which is available free from a Web site of the same name, where users troll the Internet for each other's collections of MP3s for download. This site, as well as San-Diego based, has subsequently been sued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) which has also launched a lobbying campaign to have universities and colleges (consisting of by far the largest concentration of illicit archives in North America) block access to Napster on their networks. In Canada, the Canadian Recording Industry Association sends up to 40 letters a week to the Internet service providers hosting illegal MP3 music sites, threatening legal action if the files are not removed from the Internet. However, considering the amount of users on the Internet, the effect of these measures is somewhat questionable. The RIAA lays claim to having reduced the amount of illegal music on college sites by 10 per cent, but this is hardly a mortal blow to the digital pirates.

    How It Works

    In order to understand how an MP3 stores its information, we can look at the compact disc in comparison. Marshall Brain's online article "How MP3 Files Work" helps to break down the technology into chewable bites (or rather, bytes!). A CD stores songs as digital information and its data uses an uncompressed, high-resolution format. More specifically, in order to create a CD we should understand exactly how a CD samples music. Music is sampled 44,100 times per second; each sample is 2 bytes (16 bits) long. Therefore, a CD stores an enormous number of bits for each second of music. The following formula helps to put this in perspective:

    44,100 samples/second * 16 bits/sample * 2 channels = 1,411,200 bits per second.[9]

    Futher, Brain states that if 1.4 million bits per second is 176,00 bytes per second and the average song is 3 minutes long, than the average song on a CD consumes about 32 million bytes of space. This is a large amount of space for one song, and once you consider the bandwidth the average person will have available on their Internet connection, it may take over 2 hours to download one song.

    Enter MP3. As previously mentioned, this format is a compression system for music which helps to reduce the number of bytes in a song without hurting the quality of the sound of the song. The MP3 format aims at compressing a CD-quality song by a factor of roughly twelve without losing quality in the sound. So with MP3, a 32 megabyte song on a CD can be compressed down to 3 megabytes. This allows you to download a song in minutes as opposed to hours. And in turn, allowing you to store hundreds of songs on your computer's hard drive without taking up too much space.


    For a library to provide its users with music online by MP3s, it will need sound-capable computers connected to the Internet; a reasonably fast connection; sound players (currently free while major companies are currently arguing over who gets to be the de facto standard); and either speakers in a soundproof area or headphones.[10] In order to support the bandwith required with audio files and to avoid the number of computers in the library becoming extremely slow to download, it is recommended that the music library move to a cable service. With "a dedicated cable connection running beyond T1 speeds, [downloading] average[s] about one minute per song ... [which is] lickety-split by audio download standards".[11] Without a cable connection, it could take seven minutes on a dedicated 56K line, providing this line isn't shared by other computers, which in all likelihood in a library it would be!

    In her October 1999 American Libraries article, Karen G. Schneider suggests that using headphones in the library environment is the most likely choice for providing the MP3 service to its patrons. However, this article also raises some interesting but manageable sanitation issues: the Calcasieu Parish Public Library provides antiseptic towelettes for patrons who wish to use them. If choosing to go this route, Schneider advises to avoid foam-rubber earpads. Some libraries choose to provide jack extension cords so patrons can plug in their own headphones whereas the Bethesda Regional Library (Maryland) will soon be selling headphones at a nominal cost.

    The required software is an MP3 "player" which can be found among dozens of MP3 players available on the web. These are both shareware and freeware. Additionally, many MP3 players include a playlist editor and graphic equalizers for sound adjustment.[12] Until quite recently when the Rio was unleashed in the market MP3s could only be played from the hard drive of a computer. Now, there are portable MP3 players (similar in size to a small radio) that can store up to 70 minutes of music as well as wireless kits available that use the same radio signal in cordless phones to transmit MP3 songs from your computer to the stereo up to 100 feet away.[13] Indeed, the MP3 craze has grown from the underground market it once was.

    MP3 Sites of Interest

    Audio Dreams | The CNET MP3 Topic Center | Daily MP3 | | Good Noise | Liquid Audio | |
    MP3 Haven | MP3 Links & Stuff | MP3 Now | The MP3 Place
    MP3 Web | Music Match Jukebox | | Rio Port

    Back to Top

    MP3 and Issues of Copyright

    Definition of Copyright

    Copyright can be defined as the "exclusive right given by law for term of years to author, designer, etc., or his assignee to make copies or give performances of his original work."[14]

    Copyright protects all things referred to as "works" and "other subject matter."[14a] However, neither "works" nor "other subject matter" are clearly defined in the law. These terms actually refer to intellectual creations such as books, photographs and sound and video recordings. The creator of a work, considered as the "author" is protected by copyright and is provided with legal rights over their works. When the rules set out in the Copyright Act are broken, this is known as copyright "infringement."[15]

    Copyright is automatically granted when a work is created in Canada. It is not even required that an individual mark their work with a © or the word "copyright." A work can be registered but on a voluntary basis only. Another important characteristic of Canadian copyright is that it is a matter of federal jurisdiction, which is set out in the Constitution. This results in the same copyright rules existing across Canada.

    However, although copyright rules are the same in every province and territory within Canada, copyright laws differ from country to country. Where the copyright activity takes place becomes governed under the law of that country. So in Canada, Canadian law applies and in the States, American copyright law applies, etc.

    Canada's Copyright Law

    Canada's original copyright law, in existence since 1924, was largely based on the British Copyright Law of 1911. This was not revised for 64 years. Over the past ten years or so, Canadian law has needed changes to compliment the changes in the world (ie. computers). In 1988, Phase 1 of a "planned multi-phase revision to Canadian copyright law extended copyright protection to computer programs, strengthened the concept of creators' "moral rights," increased penalties for copyright infringement, and permitted copyright collectives to collect royalties on behalf of authors."[16] From 1988 to 1996, other small changes were made as Canada signed a series of international treaties. These included the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement in 1989, the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, and the World Trade Organization of 1996 (orignally known as the GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade).

    In April 1997, Phase 2 of the Canadian Copyright Reform received royal assent to include a number of technical amendments and a few substantial changes to the 1924 law. By the time this Phase came into law (October 1999) there were several major provisions of the Phase 2 legislation to the Canadian Copyright Law which have an affect on the music industry and libraries. First, with provisions to neighbouring rights "producers of sound recordings and musical artists whose performances are captured on recordings will automatically be entitled to receive royalty payments from those who use sound recordings for public performance or broadcast".[17] Under the old Canadian copyright law, only creators (authors, composers and lyricists) received royalties for performances or broadcasts. This revision harmonized Canadian law with similar laws in the 52 countries which signed the 1961 Rome Convention (Convention for the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms, and Broadcating Organizations) and with the WIP0 Treaty in 1996.

    Phase 2 also revised private copying laws. Under Canadian law, home copying of sound recordings and radio broadcasts onto audio tape are now considered "fair dealing".[18] Up until this point, private copying was technically illegal in Canada. However, this new provision recognized that there is no practical way for restriction. So while home copying is permitted in Canada, record producers and the composers, lyricists, and performers' whose music and performances are recorded "will be renumerated by manufacturers and importers of blank audio tapes in the form of a levy or special tax on all blank audio tapes sold in Canada".[19]

    Unfortunately what Phase 2 copyright revisions did not address was home copying by computer. As this is at the core of what makes up MP3s, we must look toward Phase 3 to address downloading audio or other files to a computer's memory and the manipulation or re-use of those files. This next phase of provisions to the copyright law in Canada will occur within the next few years and is set to address satellite broadcasting and the Internet.[20]

    Until then, it is with the exceptions to the Copyright Act that music libraries can perhaps find some solace in providing their clients with MP3s. These exceptions "permit the use of protected works in certain special cases without authorization or payment, as long as such exceptions do not adversely affect the normal exploitation of the work by the author".[21] Dr. Timothy Maloney, Director, Music Division, National Library of Canada lists the following as exceptions to the Canadian Copyright Act which were made to ensure access to copyrighted works for certain types of users.[21a]

    non-profit educational institutions are permitted to reproduce copyrighted materials for instructional purposes;

    non-profit libraries, archives and museums are permitted to make copies of protected works for purposes of preserving the intellectual content, to maintain or manage their permanent collections, and for the private study or research of their patrons;

    multiple copies of protected literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work will be permitted to be made in alternate formats (braille and talking book) for persons with learning and perceptual disabilities.

    International Copyright

    Canada has agreed to provide the protection of the Canadian Copyright Act to most foreign works in return for other countries' agreeing to protect Canadian works in their countries. This "international system of copyright protection is established by countries joining various international treaties, conventions and organizations".[22] This includes the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works under the auspices of the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Universal Copyright Convention and the World Trade Organization.

    What's Legal and What's Not

    Now that we have a brief background on Canadian Copyright Law, how do MP3s fit into all this? MP3s are legal. But, depending on their application, MP3s can be used legally or illegally.

    Legal MP3s come from one of three sources. One can legally "rip" songs from their own CD, since they have purchased the right to hear these songs already. Secondly, one can also legally download songs from somewhere like where the artists own all the rights and have decided to let you download their songs ... sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee. Or finally, you can listen to MP3s of music you wrote and recorded yourself.

    In other words, if a song's copyright holder has granted permission, downloading a MP3 is legal. It is also legal if the recording of the music is considered public domain. Consequently, it is also legal when a record label purposely posts songs online to promote a particular artist. For example, on September 21, 1999 David Bowie's latest album, 'hours...' was released for downloading on the Internet, a full two weeks before its release on CD.[23] Canadian recording artists Sarah McLachlan and Alannis Morrissette both make use of MP3s to promote their albums. The November 8, 1999 issue of Maclean's states that legal online music sales are running at $1 billion (U.S.) a year in the United States and this number is expected to quadruple by the year 2004.

    Dozens of commercial Internet sites offer ways to acquire music digitally: some perfectly legal, and others not. Streaming music, which plays directly over the Internet through a computer's speakers, can include promotional releases from the likes of McLachlan or Bowie (consumers are not supposed to be able to save these on their own machines, but software is available to do so).[24] Other songs are available by download to keep. lets "consumers choose from thousands of music tracks (mostly by unknowns) and have the songs burned into a CD, which is shipped to its buyer within 48 hours".[25] Consumers can also purchase regular CDs by more established artists. All this is perfectly legal. However, according to the record industry violates copyright law in two ways. First, it lets people who buy CDs listen immediately, rather than wait for the disc to arrive. Secondly, it lets them "upload" music from CDs they already own to, where they can access the tracks later from any Internet connection. insists it has done nothing wrong.

    Downloading an MP3 becomes illegal when it has been posted without first obtaining the permission from the copyright holder. This could be in the form of a bootleg recording of a concert or unreleased material. Basically this constitutes material for which artists could potentially receive royalties from. For the most part, cover songs are seldom seen on This is because the artists covering the songs do not own the rights to the songs. Even if you listen to streamed music that leaves no file on your hard drive, the person broadcasting it must have cleared the performance rights with the organization that represent copyright holders. However, this does not mean that one cannot find cover songs on the Internet ... they have just been posted illegally.

    The Music Library

    How does a music library fit into the MP3 and copyright equation? To answer this, we can turn to the Music Library Association's Statement on the Digital Transmission of Electronic Reserves. The MLA argues that without providing aural access to the complete work, music educators cannot effectively teach the structure of a musical work. The American Library Association's "Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use" by Mary Hutchins argues that the library reserve room "may be considered an extension of the classroom" (C&RL News, April 1982. 127-131).[26] As their website further states, the MLA "fully supports this view as well as the consequent view that students enrolled in a class have the educational right to aurally access its assigned musical works both in the classroom and through class reserves".[27] And importantly, the MLA further states that "the dubbing or digital copying of musical works for class reserves falls within the spirit of the fair use provision of the copyright law".[28]

    The Music Library Association supports the creation and transmission of digital audio file copies of copyrighted recordings of musical works for course reserves purposes, under the following conditions:

    access to such digital copies must be through library-controlled equipment and campus-restricted networks;

    access to digital copies from outside of the campus should be limited to individuals who have been authenticated: namely, students enrolled either in a course or in formal independent study with an instructor in the institution;

    digital copies should be made only of works that are being taught in the course or study;

    digital copies may be made of whole movements or whole works;

    either the institution or the course instructor should own the original that is used to make the digital file. The library should make a good faith effort to purchase a commercially available copy of anything that is provided by the instructor;

    the library should remove access to the files at the completion of the course;

    the library may store course files for future re-use. This includes the digital copy made from an instructor's original if the library has made a good faith effort to purchase its own copy commercially.

    Since music librarians organize, provide systematic access to, and preserve, in many kinds of repositories, a wide range of resources (manuscripts, printed music and literature, audiovisual materials, and databases) in support of research and study. Therefore, if we as librarians follow these copyright exceptions according to the Music Library Association and download MP3s that are considered legal, there could be some enormous benefits to including MP3s in a library's collection.

    With these exceptions, music libraries do not have much leeway with MP3 files. According to the above exceptions from the MLA, the library can really only download digital audio files in the MP3 format if the work is being taught in a course or study. However, there is enormous potential here. In a music library with a number of sound-capable computers with Internet connetion, why not have a number of MP3s downloaded for required study for music courses? Since a digital audio file in MP3 format consists of such a small amount of bits and a music library may have to purchase an imported recording on compact disc, for the purposes of fulfilling the sound reserves of one or two tracks on the CD for an instructor, why couldn't a library download a copyrighted MP3?

    Surely within a matter of time, copyright arguments over MP3 on the Internet will be diminished. Copyright seems to always have been somewhat of a murkey subject. With the popularity and availability of MP3s online, perhaps licensed databases of MP3s will be developed that will guarantee copyright legality.

    Technology is now being developed to prevent digital piracy. The Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI), which has major support from the RIAA and approximately 110 companies, is "charged with creating a technical framework for digital music to prevent piracy".[29] The SDMI's idea is to create a digital watermark for music released on CDs or on the Internet. A system for detecting the watermark would be added either to desktop software or to portable MP3 players. If the players detect any watermarked songs that have been illegally copied, they could be filtered out.

    Copyright Sites of Interest

    Canadian Sites

    Industry Canada: The Basics of Canadian Copyright Law
    Bill C-32: An Act to Amend the Copyright Act
    Copyright Reform in Canada | NLC: Phase 2 Revisions to Canadian Copyright Law
    Cancopy: What is Copyright?

    American Sites

    The Copyright Website | The United States Copyright Law: A Guide for Music Educators
    Library of Congress: Copyright Law of the United States of America
    1997 No Electronic Theft Act | 1998 Digital Millenium Copyright Act
    The Digital Era Copyright Enhancement Act


    Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Paris Text 1971)
    1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty | 1996 WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty

    Back to Top

    MP3 and Issues of Cataloguing

    AACR2R (1988)

    In the early 1980s, three supplements of revisions to AACR2 (1978) were issued. Revisions were also approved by the Joint Steering Committee for the Revision of AACR2 that had never been published. Furthermore, "a draft version of Chapter 9 for computer files was prepared and published in 1986 in response to the ever-changing nature of computer files".[30] With all these revisions, it was deemed necessary to issue a revised edition of AACR2 and this new issue, called AACR2R was published in 1988.

    The changes in AACR2R (1988) include the following: "incorporation of the revised chapter on computer files; revision of a number of rules regarding music; rethinking of the concept of separate bibliographic identities; the treatment of titles, author headings, geographic names, and corporate bodies; and provisions for describing material for the blind and otherwise visually impaired".[31]

    In 1997, Nancy B. Olson published Cataloging Internet Resources: A Manual and Practical Guide, 2nd edition. This was originally an effort developed to aid those participating in the OCLC/United States Department of Education-funded project called "Building a Catalog of Internet Resources." Olson's examples and guidelines are coded and tagged as needed for OCLC input. Since many academic libraries use OCLC to copy-catalogue bibliographic records and the AACR2R has yet to publish a more recent edition, Olson's book will be the main source for this project.

    Why Catalogue Internet Resources?

    The OCLC argues that there is solid reasoning to catalogue Internet resources. The "basic premise{s} of the OCLC projects concerning access to Internet resources [are that] (1) there is a great deal of information available through the Internet; (2) these resources need to be organized for accessibility; and finally (3) using existing library techniques and procedures and creating records for retrieval through existing online catalogs is the most efficient method of accessing these resources".[32]

    To interject, let it be assumed here that a music library has acquired copyright permission and has downloaded a number of MP3s. The library has decided to catalogue the MP3s in order to provide bibliographic access to the students. As well as Olson's Internet guidelines, Lois Mai Chan's Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction will provide the basis for the following points on the MARC fields.

    Because MP3s are digital audio files, or in essence computer files, we can look to Chapter 9 of AACR2R and its special provisions for an explanation. Such provisions include cataloguing computer files available by remote access. AACR2 defines "remote access" as "the use of computer files via input/output devices connected electronically to a computer" where in contrast, direct access is defined as the "use of computer files via carriers (ie. disks, cassettes, cartridges) designed to be inserted into a computer of its auxiliary equipment by the user".[33] In remote access, special provisions for files available are applicable to Internet resources.

    MARC Fields: Explanations and Issues

    1. Field 245 (Title and Statement of Responsiblity)
    AACR2R specifies sources of information to be used in describing a publication. The source of bibliographic data to be given first preference is called the chief source of information. The AACR2R rules "identify one or more chief sources of information for each type of material ... [and] bibliographic data such as the title and publication details are often repeated in slightly different forms in various locations".[34] By specifying the chief source of information, you help to achieve consistency and uniformity in bibliographic description. Chan lists the following table about chief sources of information:[35]

    Type of Material ........ Source
    Music (printed) ............title page
    Compact disc ............ disc and label
    Tape .......................... cassette and label
    Computer files ............ title screens or other formally internal evidence

    MP3s could present some problems in this area. If the MP3 has been downloaded from a site such as for example, the only information provided to us would be the artist (singer, musical group, orchestra), the title of the song, and the duration of the MP3. Therefore this isn't adequate enough information for bibliographic description. However, since according to Copyright laws and exceptions noted by the MLA which state that the library should, in good faith, own the original that is used to make the digital file, cataloguers can perhaps refer to the original format for further description information.

    Moving back to Field 245, the following provides us with an example:

    245 $aSymphony no. 2 $h [computer file]

    There is still a problem with subfield $h (general material designation). An MP3 is a digital audio file and is therefore a computer file. However, it is also a sound recording. Both cannot be listed and therefore there is a conflict. Since an MP3 is a computer file of a sound recording this is how it should be listed. This issue is bound to be addressed in the next revision of the AACR2R.

    2. Field 254 (musical presentation statement area)
    This is an optional entry field which records a statement appearing in the chief source of information indicating the physical presentation of the music. Once again, it can be argued that MP3 changes the physical presentation of the music. Therefore, perhaps again it is best to use Field 256 (computer files). This field gives information about the type of file.

    3. Field 260 (publication information)
    If this field exists for the purpose of listing publication information, do we list the publisher of the sound recording or the distributor of the MP3?
    Ex. 260 $a Place of publication, distribution; $b Name of publisher, distributor

    4. Field 300 (physical description area)
    Do we follow Rule .5B which lists playing time following "sound recordings" or that for computer files?

    5. Field 500 (notes area)
    Here is where you can indicate from where you have taken the title of the MP3
    Material specific details (ex. for computer files, specify file characteristics)
    Physical description such as duration (ex. Duration: 22:00; 5:19; 10:44)
    Other formats (ex. issued also as a videorecording)

    6. Field 539 (system requirements/mode of access)
    Contains information about the eqipment needed to run the MP3. Use this information if included with the item and is readily available (ex. 538 Mode of access: Internet
    or, 538 Mode of access: National Library of Canada WWW site

    7. Field 859 (electronic location and access)
    This field has had a very recent revision dated August 1999. Changes to the field were presented at the annual ALA conference in June 1999.
    The data in field 856 may be a URL (uniform resource locator) "which is recorded in subfield $u, or it may parse the necessary locator information into separate defined subfields". [37]
    The following lists an explanation of indicators and subfield codes relative to field 856 posted by the Library of Congress along with my own interpretations (in italics) of possible subfields pertaining to MP3s.[38]

    First indicator and access method:
    #    No information provided
    0    Email
    1    FTP
    2    Remote login (telnet)
    3    Dial-up
    4    HTTP
    7    Method specified in subfield $2

    Second indicator and relationship:
    #    No information provided
    1    Resource
    2    Version of resource
    3    Related resource
    8    No display constant generated

    Subfield codes
    $a    Host name
    $b    Access number
    $c    Compression information
    $d    Path
    $f    Electronic name
    $g    Uniform resource name
    $h    Processor of request
    $j    Bits per second
    $k    Password (perhaps a password is needed if one was subscribing to a MP3 database service
    $l    Logon (perhaps applicable if subscribing to a MP3 database)
    $m    Contact for access assistance
    $n    Name of location of host
    $o    Operating system
    $p    Port
    $q    Electronic format type
    $r    Settings
    $s    File size
    $t    Terminal emulation
    $u    Uniform Resource Locator
    $v    Hours access method available
    $w    Record control number
    $x    Nonpublic note
    $2    Access method
    $3    Materials specified
    $6    Linkage
    $8    Field ink and sequence number


    Sharon Reeves writes, "the process of creating a bibliographic record for an electronic publication by modifying a record for another version (such as the print version) is an efficient means of cataloguing, but requires a careful review of the data in the base record".[39] Subsequently, if the publication is available in other versions, a Field 530 note on additional physical forms available is needed. If Reeves implies such a point for print and electronic forms, then surely a similar argument can be made for sound recordings in compact disc form and digital audio files in MP3s.

    Just as librarians (and the rest of the world!) await new copyright revisions dealing with the Internet, we also seek answers in the AACR2R in its next version. Once again, Reeves sums it up well: "in a rapidly changing environment, those involved in the cataloguing of electronic publications must remain abreast of changes in technology, cataloguing principles and electronic publishing practices".[40] As librarians, keeping pace with all the changes in the electronic publishing continues to be a challenge. There is no doubt that new formats will continue to exist and persist in keeping librarians in our toes!

    Cataloguing Sites of Interest: Electronic

    Cataloging Internet Resources: A Manual and Practical Guide by Nancy B. Olson
    Cataloging Special Materials
    Library of Congress: Guidelines for the Use of Field 856 (Revised August 1999)
    National Library of Canada: Electronic Publications Pilot Project
    Sound Recordings Cataloging Highlights

    Cataloguing Sites of Interest: Print

    Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition, 1988 Revision. Prepared under the direction of the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR. Edited by Michael Gorman and Paul W. Winkler. Chicago: American Library Association, 1988.

    Assessing Information on the Internet: Toward Providing Library Services for Computer-Mediated Communication, by Martin Dillon et al. Dublin, OH: OCLC Office of Research, 1993.

    Describing Music Materials: A Manual for Descriptive Cataloging of printed and Recorded Music, Music Videos, and Archival Music Collections; for use with AACR2 and APPm, 3rd ed., by Richard P. Smiraglia. Lake Crystal, MN: Soldier Creek Press, 1997.

    Playing Viola

    This document was created by Saache Heinrich in April 2000 as part of a directed study course in the Master's in Library and Information Studies program at the University of Alberta.