UK Copyright Exceptions

The following item first appeared in the NMDC UK Newsletter January 2014.

British Library Chief Exec supports copyright exceptions legislation for museums, libraries and archives

British Library Chief Executive Roly Keating has written for the New Stateman supporting the proposed copyright exceptions for museums, libraries and archives. These proposed changes will shortly be debated in Parliament and could become law by April 2014.

If agreed, the copyright exceptions will allow museums to make copies of works in their collections for the purposes of preservation without having to first seek the permission of the rights holders. Similarly they will allow museums to make and display digitised copies of works in their collection on the premises on “dedicated terminals” without having to seek the permission of rights holders. Other copyright exceptions relate to the copying and use of material for education purposes, and to allow archives and libraries to make single copies of works for the purposes of research and private study. It also will not be possible for a contract to over-ride these exceptions.

Keating says that these changes are vital to keep up with the changing economy in coming decades and centuries. He adds, “the new copyright exceptions are not and cannot be about undermining the legitimate interests of creators. Rather, the goal is to foster an environment where knowledge can be accessed and used in ways that benefit researchers, creators, and the increasing number among us who are both.” New Statesman, NMDC