Struggling with copyright? You're not alone. Archives in the UK contain millions of "orphans". These works are in copyright but the rights holder(s) are unknown or untraceable so we cannot get permission to use the works. This means the works are in legal limbo and hidden from audiences who might benefit from using them. At … Continue reading Free your Orphans!
This June, copyright changes for the better! LOOOONG-awaited changes to copyright exceptions are bringing complex and outdated legislation into line with the needs of modern teaching and research. These changes will treat those using "non-text" materials more fairly, make preservation copying easier, and enable copying into accessible formats to support people with disabilities. The rights … Continue reading Joyful June: copyright law to change for the better
No!!!!! The cry rose up from record offices and other archives across the land and emails and tweets flew, as archivists took in the message. On 23 April Tim Padfield, copyright expert at the National Archives, announced via the archives-nra mailing list that he would be retiring in May. Why were we concerned? Because Tim … Continue reading Thank you to Tim Padfield
"Preservation without use is an empty victory. It ought to be our primary purpose at all times to minimize barriers to use ..." "[It is] crucial to reach out and demystify special collections, to convey the message: 'Please touch. This is here for you. You are special enough for special collections'." So says John Overholt … Continue reading Five Theses on the Future of Special Collections
"My vision then of a future manuscript catalogue would be of something that links together a wide range of resources ... anchored by the record of the physical manuscript itself ..." This vision is outlined by Andrew Prescott, Professor of Digital Humanities at Kings College London, in The Function, Structure and Future of Catalogues, now … Continue reading Manuscripts Online! And in the Public Domain …
Important and good news for UK special collections services and their users. The UK government has just published the final part of its response to consultations following the Hargreaves review of intellectual property: Modernising copyright: a modern, robust and flexible framework. While not addressing underlying problems of copyright, the changes outlined allow a wider range … Continue reading Modernising Copyright: the White Paper is published
The UK Intellectual Property Office has announced a consultation on the findings of the Hargreaves Report. This includes many issues which affect the services and activities of Special Collections, notably copying for preservation and the management of "orphan works". The consultation welcomes responses from individuals and organisations and closes on 21 March 2012.