Digital copyright -- new licence, new book

The Copyright Licensing Agency in the UK issued a statement last week that, following consultation with rightsholders, it's going to be launching a series of new collective digital licences. These will

* permit limited photocopying and scanning, and

* allow copying from digital publications
within what the CLA describes as "a clear set of guidelines and restrictions". If you are a publisher, the CLA says, and you'd like to benefit from a share in additional licence fee revenue collected by CLA you will need to opt into the scheme. Publishers can find out more by contacting Leon Skelton at CLA on 020 7400 3131 or David Bishop at PLS on 020 7299 7775. You can download copies of opt in forms from the Publishers Licensing Society website.

The IPKat followed the link to the Publishers Licensing Society, where he found this:

"Opt-in to Collective Digital Licensing

PLS has been working with CLA, publishers and the trade associations on a series of new licence proposals allowing licensees to re-use born-digital material to the usual CLA licence extent limits. We hear that more organisations and businesses are purchasing/subscribing to more digital material. Such a licence will allow organisations to copy limited parts of these works for limited usage. We hear that this provides a convenience to licensees which they find valuable. Other benefits of such a licence are that:

Publishers will no longer have to deal with the low-level and latent re-use permissions requests that a CLA digital licence would cover.

The collective licensing system offers a cost-effective and efficient means of paying copy royalties to publishers for this re-use.

A digital copying licence can only reinforce the copyright message in a digital world and where such a message is needed.

The tried and tested copying extent limits of the print-original copy licences are deemed not to impact on publishers' ability to sell print-original editions of work. However, PLS recognises that digital is different, therefore the collective licensing of digital material will operate on an opt-in basis. This ensures publishers can maintain control over those ISBN and ISSN identified titles they wish to include in a digital licence repertoire.

The first licence to be launched is the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) licence. PLS will be contacting you soon to find out your chosen level of participation with this licence. In the meantime if you wish to discuss or have any questions concerning any aspect of these developments, please contact David Bishop at the PLS offices Tel: 020 7299 7730.

To opt-in, please download, complete and return the forms below:
Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
Public Administration

The IPKat is most impressed at this high level of cooperation and organised activity -- a truly management-based solution to a large volume of low-level annoyances and actual/potential infringements. Merpel's more sanguine about the whole thing. Show me a "a clear set of guidelines and restrictions" that are still clear after we lawyers have been interpreting them, she sniffs.

Meanwhile, Sweet & Maxwell has published another title in its EIPR Practice Series. This is A Practical Guide to Digital Copyright Law by Cambridge academic Patricia Akester (Leverhulme Fellow at CIPIL, University of Cambridge). According to the publisher, this book
"... examines the challenges raised in the copyright field by three new potential modes of infringement, including: peer-to-peer, linking and digital read/search, giving you a complete look into the new problem areas of digital copyright.

The book also probes the Digital Rights Management field which is a potential solution to the problems raised by digital technology.

The book offers a clear introductory path to approach the complex and changing area of digital copyright law. It also provides an analysis of legislation and jurisprudence in conjunction with technology. ...

A Practical Guide to Digital Copyright provides explanations of key concepts and technological terms throughout. There are summaries of cases and boxes showing important legal provisions to help you find the relevant law easily.

For each topic discussed in the book the following is covered:
* an investigation of the technology at stake
* an analyses of the most relevant legal provisions
* an encapsulation of the most significant judicial responses
* a final appraisal".
The IPKat likes this EIPR Series, which has so far provided small, short books that, shorn of the dead weight of endless appendices, are well presented, relatively up-to-date and alll of which will have a useful half-life as introductory texts even when the passage of time and the constant evolution of technologies defeats their currency. A couple of things surprised him, though. One was that there is no specific mention of weblogs; the other is the lack of discussion of wikis. Arguably their legal significance can be comfortably inferred from what Patricia says about conventional websites, social networking and use-generated content -- but as a keen blogger and a wiki devotee the IPKat would like to see a more subject-specific analysis.

The other thing that surprised the Kat was a bit on the publisher's website that says: "Expert advice you can rely on". It's good to see that law publishers are at last warranting the reliability of the content of their lawbooks. Now we know why they cost so much: it's probably the cost of bearing this risk!

Bibliographic details: Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2008. ISSN 1749-5083. paperback, xx + 220 pages. Rupture factor: zero. Price £79. Full details from publisher's website here.
Digital copyright -- new licence, new book Digital copyright  -- new licence, new book Reviewed by Jeremy on Friday, March 14, 2008 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. We think Merpel is less sanguine, rather than more.
    Department of Minuscule Emendations


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