Copyright and 'licence paralysis'

In preparation for our upcoming Copyright and Law Firms event (RSVP by 18th May!), this brief blog post from the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee is worth a read.

The piece describes the contradiction between copyright parameters prescribed by law and the restrictive licences drafted by many content providers. If we transferred this way of thinking to the print world, it wouldn't make sense:

Imagine a world where every book on every library shelf had different terms and conditions of use. Where before book was borrowed a ledger was consulted as to acceptable uses for that book. Where some books may be taken home, others read only in the library, still others only read by certain people, at certain times and in certain ways.

But this is the world that we create with licenced resources. The post points to international position statements as well as copyright reform proposals that would disallow licences from overriding use rights granted by copyright law. The next few years are sure to be interesting as publishers negotiate new models of selling and delivering content while libraries continue to fight for affordable and equitable licencing.


ALLA(WA) Committee Member - Megan Fitzgibbons. 
Librarian, University of Western Australia.

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