Tuesday 10 June 2014

Changes in Copyright Law 4th June 2014

This month's report is by Marion Harris

This month’s speakers were Emily Stannard and Ross Connell from the University of Reading. They gave us an update on changes in Copyright and Licensing law following the 2011 Hargreaves Review, and the potential implications for library and information services. The event was well-attended as this is clearly a topic of considerable concern and interest for professionals at the moment.

Copyright exceptions

Emily Stannard (Risk Management and Business Continuity Officer @copyrightgirl) began the session by outlining the copyright statutory instruments which came into force in June 2014 as a result of the Hargreaves Review. The main points of interest for library and information services were as follows:

Library privilege

There are now far more extensive guidelines about the copyright exceptions which are allowed for libraries and archives.

  • Librarians can now copy all kinds of works for non-commercial research or private study, subject to fair dealing.
  • It is now permissible to copy works such as monographs for inter-library loan purposes, providing that the receiving library is non-profit and that the copyright holder has been consulted if they can be reasonably found.
  • It is permissible to make resources such as digitised works available via dedicated PC terminals (provided users cannot print or save the work to USB)

Preservation copying

Legislation changes in this area provide very welcome news for archivists and special collections librarians.

  • The preservation copying exception now applies to all copyrighted material, not just literary and dramatic works.
  • It is now permissible to create multiple preservation copies, provided that a replacement cannot be reasonably be purchased and that the copies become part of the library/archive’s permanent collection (e.g. non-loanable).
  • This change will be especially useful for film archives, as it will now be possible to convert older footage into more modern formats.


Greater flexibility has now been added to the copyright exceptions for people with disabilities.

  • Following the Marrakesh Treaty, a wider range of disabilities are now covered, such as hearing impairments and dyslexia.
  • Accessibly copies can now be made of any material regardless of contract, providing that an alternative is not reasonably available for purchase and the user is not charged more than the cost of production.
  • Libraries nonetheless are required to notify the copyright holder or collective rights organisation that they have created an accessible copy.

Illustration for instruction

Legislation in this area has been clarified, and essentially can be seen as a legalisation of what many teachers were already doing.
  • Copyrighted material can be used in instruction, subject to fair dealing, providing that it is for non-commercial purposes and that the copyright holder is acknowledged ©
  • An interesting section is Exception 35, which allows for broadcasts to be put in Virtual Learning Environments (unless subject to an ERA license).

Other legislative changes which may occur in future

At present there are no copyright exceptions for personal use (e.g. ripping CDs to an iPod), or for quotation and parody purposes, due to pressure from copyright holders. It is hoped that legislation for these issues may come into force in October 2014.


Ross Connell (Copyright licensing co-ordinator) then gave an update on the current situation regarding licensing. In contrast to copyright exceptions, licensing allows institution such as libraries to obtain affirmative legal permission to copy materials by paying for a license.
The Hargreaves Review was very favourable toward the concept of licensing, and made several recommendations. Extended legislation about Collective Licensing schemes and the use of Orphan Works is currently in draft. If accepted, the likely changes will be:
  • Collecting societies will apply to the Secretary of State for the right to grant licenses for a particular type of work (e.g. dramatic works), providing they represent a significant number of affected rights holders.
  • Collective licensing schemes could become opt-out, rather than opt-in as at present.
  • For orphan works, providing a diligent search for the rights holder has been carried out, libraries will apply to the Intellectual Property Office for an orphan licence.
  • Orphan licenses will be issues for a fixed term of up to 7 years, subject to the payment of a fee which will be held on trust for the rights holder if they are later located.