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Wednesday, 20 September 2006

BRITISH ACADEMY REPORT ON COPYRIGHT


The IPKat thanks Professor Hector McQueen for tipping him off about the British Academy’s recent report, which argues that copyright is impeding scholarship in social sciences and the humanities. The report argues that the existing copyright exceptions are not clear enough. It also lays blame at the feet of publishers, commercial rights holders and EU database protection.

Suggested strategies are:

*authors and producers of original creative material should understand that their interests in copyright are not necessarily identical with those of publishers and should not rely on publishers to protect them

*the law should be clarified - statutorily if necessary – to make clear that the use of copyright material in the normal course of scholarly research in universities and other public research institutions is covered by the exemptions from the copyright act.

*publishers should not be able to use legal or technological protection through digital rights management systems to circumvent copyright exemptions

*the growth of digital databases should be monitored to ensure that ready access continues to be available for the purposes of scholarship

The report was started before the Gowers Review was a twinkle in Gordon Brown’s eye, though the Academy did appear before Mr Gowers.

The IPKat notes that the recommendations seem to be expressed in terms of general statements of intent, rather than specific suggestions.

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