Thursday 22 April 2010

Recent publications and copyright materials

An attractive publication for people who toil in the fields of archives and record management is the fourth edition of the aptly-named Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers, by Tim Padfield. The author, who has some three decades' experience in what is now The National Archives, is also chair of the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA).

In the book's web-blurb, publishers Facet explain what this book is about though, with four editions coming out within a space of just nine years, it will need neither explanation nor introduction for its regular readers:
"As an archivist or records manager it is essential to keep up to date with the complexities of copyright legislation, and Copyright for Archivists and Records Managers will prove an invaluable tool in enabling you to do so.

What is copyright? Who owns it and for how long? What rights does it confer, and what are the limitations and exceptions? This comprehensive manual uniquely outlines copyright law in the UK with special reference to materials relevant to archive and records collections such as maps, legal records, records of local authorities, records of churches and faiths, most notably unpublished works. It also offers advice on rights in the electronic environment and the problems associated with rights clearance; and covers related areas such as moral rights and rights in databases.

The fourth edition of this respected work has been extensively revised and updated to include:

* advice to take account of recent decisions of courts in the UK and of the European Court of Justice, for instance on the nature of a ‘substantial part’ of a copyright work
* a list of key points about copyright that frequently raise questions, such as the duration of copyright in works whose copyright is owned by companies and other bodies
* details of the duration of copyright elsewhere in the British Isles and in Gibraltar [having had to chase up copyright duration and other information for, inter alia, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, I know how useful this sort of information can be]
* details of the duration of copyright in a selection of overseas countries: Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey and the USA
* changes to the licensing of Crown copyright material
* advice on liability [the 1709 Blog's advice is "avoid it"]
* a discussion of the legitimacy of the electronic supply of copies by archives.
Readable and accessible for people without legal training, this approachable guide is essential reading for archivists and records managers. It will also be of substantial value to LIS professionals in libraries, museums and galleries, to students, researchers and genealogists, and to anyone who wishes to understand the implications of copying without recourse to legal texts".
This book certainly does what it says on the cover and, at the rate things are changing, a fifth edition must be expected in the next year or so.

Bibliographic details: xv +345 pages. Paperback. ISBN 978-1-85604-705-0. Price: £49.95 to ordinary mortals, £39.96 to members of CILIP. Book's web page here.

Meanwhile, the Copyright Clearance Center has not been idle. Here are some recent items that may interest readers of this weblog:
* An article has just been published on Publishing Perspectives on the current and future state of copyright. In the article, Copyright Clearance Center's CEO Tracey Armstrong discusses her belief that copyright holders have the right to price and term their works and the ways in which this can be achieved in the digital world. You can find it here.

* An interview was conducted between Copyright Clearance Center’s Chris Kenneally and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s attorney Fred Von Lohmann at CCC’s conference OnCopyright. During the interview Fred reflects that, just as broadcast radio and VCRs challenged existing business models for the media, the internet is doing so today. He expects that, within 5 to 10 years, the kinks in copyright law will all be worked out. If you want to know what has generated such optimism you can listen to it on the CCC podcast Beyond the Book here or read the transcript here.

* Next Tuesday, 27 April, there's a live podcast which promises to explore mobile content, how much publishers should charge for it and how users can share it. During the programme, listeners can call in and participate in the debate. The show is scheduled for 2pm EST and you can access it here. The podcast, put together by CCC, is hosted by author and digital media authority Bill Rosenblatt with Director of Author Relations and host of Beyond the Book Chris Kenneally.

* The latest issue of Research Information contained an article featuring Tracey Armstrong and gives information on how CCC handles copyrights for ebooks. You can find the article here, though you’ll need to scroll down a bit for Tracey’s part".


goldenrail said...

Perhaps also useful to readers of Copyright for Archivists & Record Managers, I would like to point out "Copyright for Librarians" released last month. This is a full course released under a Creative Commons Attribution license by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. It is available here:

I do not mean to recommend it as something to use instead of the book highlighted here, but as another useful tool.

Anonymous said...

If people are interested in a comparable American manual, they might want to look at Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums. It was published last October, is written by Peter Hirtle, Emily Hudson, and Andrew T. Kenyon, and is based on the Australian manual written by the last two authors. It is available for sale from Amazon, but also available as a free download from SSRN.