NMDC responds to Copyright Exceptions Technical Review 16 Aug 2013

The Intellectual Property Office published draft changes to legislation to alter some copyright exceptions. A number of these changes will have an impact on museums, libraries and archives. The two proposed exceptions which may have the greatest impact on museums are:

  • extending a copyright exception to museums which will allow them to make a copy of a work in their collection without having to seek permission from the rights holder(s) where the purpose of making the copy is to preserve the original work and its content. This exception would not be over-ridden by a contract; and
  • to allow museums to make works in their collection available to view on their premises via "dedicated terminals" without having to ask seek permission from the rights holder(s).

There are other exceptions which may have an impact on museums, particularly those which also have a library and/or archive (as is the case with many national museums). Research and private study exceptions would allow librarians to make single copies of works for the purposes of private study, and there would also be provision for librarians and archivists to make single copies of unpublished works for the same purpose (and published works in the case of librarians). 

NMDC, with a number of other museum sector organisations, responded to the technical review of these exceptions. The response can be read here. The response supports the exceptions as drafted, although offers the suggestion that the research and private study exception for published works should be extended to archives. Clarification is sought on the meaning of "dedicated terminal" and whether another copyright exception regarding use of works for education would include the work of museum learning departments. The response also supports the text and data mining exception, which would be very helpful to museums which conduct research and hold reference collections.

For more information about NMDC's work on copyright, intellectual property and information management, see here.