Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Copyright blocks OA to British Library archive

Dominic Dudley, Public denied online access to British Library's archive, New Media Age, September 2, 2004. Excerpt: "The British Library won't be able to make the Web content that it's collecting for the nation available to the public over the Internet. The Library says copyright laws will stop it providing widespread access and the same fate awaits its archive of printed material, which it's slowly digitising. This problem comes despite the passage of the Legal Deposit Libraries Act last year which gave the six legal deposit libraries, including the British Library, a new mandate to collect digital content. This has the potential to affect every UK Web site, as it includes what's published on the Web. 'We'd like to allow access, but it's unlikely we'd be able to provide it over the Web,' admitted Richard Boulderstone, British Library director of e-strategy. 'I suspect it'll be limited to just inside the Library. At least we can collect it. If you can get to the Library you can look at it.' He blamed the anomaly on copyright laws that restrict the use of content for 100 years, which he said were 'a very blunt instrument'." (PS: This is a perfect example of why it's important to remove permission barriers, and not just price barriers. Thanks to ResourceShelf for the link.)