Monday, September 25, 2006

British Library announces intellectual property manifesto

Today at the Labour Party Conference in the UK, the British Library launched their "manifesto," including intellectual property recommendations:
- "Existing limitations and exceptions to copyright law should be extended to encompass unambiguously the digital environment;
- Licenses providing access to digital material should not undermine longstanding limitations and exceptions such as ‘fair dealing'
- The right to copy material for preservation purposes – a core duty of all national libraries – should be extended to all copyrightable works;
- The copyright term for sound recordings should not be extended without empirical evidence of the benefits and due consideration of the needs of society as a whole;
- The US model for dealing with ‘orphan works' should be considered for the UK;
The length of copyright term for unpublished works should be brought into line with other terms (ie: life plus 70 years)."
Links:
- British Library press release
- full text of intellectual property manifesto (PDF)

Commentary:
- Nate Anderson of Ars Technica: "British Library issues copyright manifesto" - "The British Library has the Magna Carta, the Lindisfarne Gospels, and Leonardo da Vinci's notebook, but it's still not happy. Why not? Because it has the intellectual property blues."
- ZDNet UK: quoting Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, "Unless there is a serious updating of copyright law to recognize the changing technological environment, the law becomes an ass."

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