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Elektronisches Pflichtexemplar - 2
Historic change in Legal Deposit Law saves electronic publications for future
generations - Bill to extend legal deposit to UK non-print materials receives
31 October 2003 :: Posted by British Library Press & Public Relations
A Private Members Bill, introduced by Chris Mole MP in December 2002 has
passed all its Parliamentary hurdles and became law today when it received
Royal Assent. The Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 extends previous legal
deposit legislation passed nearly 100 years ago in 1911. The Act enshrines the
principle that electronic or e-publications and other non-print materials will
be deposited in the future under secondary legislation. It ensures that these
publications can be saved as part of the published archive - and become an
important resource for future generations of researchers and scholars.
The introduction of MP Chris Mole's Bill followed a campaign to bring the law
up-to-date with the current world of publishing which was led by the British
Library, on behalf of all the legal deposit libraries and in association with
Government. The new Act is generic and provides for secondary legislation to
be approved by Parliament that will ensure that non-print formats are included
within the legal deposit system.
Since 1911 the six legal deposit libraries have been able to collect copies of
all printed material published in the UK. However, an increasing volume of
important material had begun to be published in electronic and other non-print
formats. These fell outside the scope of the 1911 Act and were not therefore
being comprehensively collected. A study last year forecast a massive increase
in online publications, predicting a near quadrupling (from 52,000 to 193,000)
in the number of electronic journal issues published in the UK between 2002
Chris Mole MP said, 'I am thrilled that we have managed to secure this
historic change in Legal Deposit Law. This new legislation will now mean that
a vital part of the nation's published heritage will be safe and accessible as
an important resource for business and education users in the future.'
With the new Act, a piece of 'enabling legislation', it will be possible to
establish a systematic arrangement for the collection and reservation of
non-print publications. These will include CD-ROMs and non-commercial
publications, and will include the selective harvesting of information from
the 2.96 million websites with a .uk suffix, which currently exist. The
generic nature of the new law means that new formats and information carriers
can be included within legal deposit - through Regulations - as they emerge
and become widely used.
The new legislation will build on the strengths of a voluntary scheme
introduced in January 2000 which was designed to capture offline material for
the National Published Archive before legislation was achieved. Administered
by the Joint Committee on Voluntary Deposit (JCVD) - comprising
representatives from the legal deposit libraries and four of the main
publisher trade bodies - the scheme saved many non-print items.
Heritage Minister Andrew McIntosh said, 'I am very pleased that my Department
was able to support this initiative and welcome its passage into law. It
ensures that the system of Legal Deposit will properly reflect the changing
shape of the publishing industry in the United Kingdom.
Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library said, 'This is an
historic piece of legislation and puts the UK among the first countries which
will be collecting, by law, their electronic published output. This has been
achieved by interested parties working together successfully to clear all the
major legislative hurdles. This would not have been possible without the
expertise and dedication of Dr Clive Field, Director of Scholarship and
Collections at the British Library and his team who worked so hard to achieve
this splendid result.'
Dr Clive Field, Chair of the JCVD added: 'This was indeed a major
collaborative result and I wish especially to thank Chris Mole MP, Lord Graham
Tope (the Bill's sponsor in the House of Lords), Sir Anthony Kenny (chair of
the original working party on this matter), colleagues in the Department of
Culture, Media and Sport, the Digital Content Forum, JCVD and the legal
deposit libraries for their commitment and partnership in bringing this
measure to the statute book.'
Angela Mills Wade, speaking on behalf of the Digital Content ForumÂ?s Industry
Action Group on Intellectual Property Rights, said today: 'After some
difficult moments during the passage of the Bill, publishers have negotiated
key reassurances from Government and crucial changes to the wording of the
legislation itself. I am pleased to say this establishes a basis for
publishers and libraries to work together constructively to develop practical
ways to capture electronic as well as print publications.'
For more details please contact:
For further information contact Greg Hayman or Val McBurney in Press and
Public Relations at the British Library. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7412 7116 or +44
(0)20 7412 7112, Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7168, email: greg.hayman _at__ bl.uk
or val.mcburney _at__ bl.uk
Notes for editors:
1. What is legal deposit? The 1911 Act requires publishers to deposit with the
British Library a copy of all published items produced in the UK and Ireland
within one month of publication. The five other legal deposit libraries have
the right to claim copies of the same material with 12 months of publication.
(The Copyright Libraries Agency acts on behalf of the five other libraries to
claim and distribute the material.)
Previously, the only published works covered by legal deposit were books,
pamphlets, maps, printed music, journals and newspapers. With the new law,
works published in non-print format will be collected including works
published on CD-ROM; on the Internet; or on microfilm.
2. What is the role of the legal deposit libraries? Together the six legal
deposit libraries (The British Library; the National Library of Scotland and
the National Library of Wales; University Library, Cambridge; Bodleian
Library, Oxford; and Trinity College Library, Dublin) maintain a world-class
National Published Archive, which has benefited generations of researchers
from industry, academia and the general public.
The existing print legal deposit arrangements have enabled the British Library
alone to collect and save, in perpetuity for the nation, more than 50 million
items. In the last year the Library acquired 95,286 books, 248,686 journal
issues, 1,994 maps and 2,357 newspaper titles through legal deposit. Once
acquired, the Library stores and catalogues these items and provides
facilities for researchers to access them. In this way millions of unrelated
items, which form the National Published Archive, are transformed into
organised knowledge and secured for posterity.
3. Chris Mole MP. Chris is one of Parliament's newest MPs, becoming the Member
of Parliament for Ipswich in a by-election in November 2001. In Parliament,
Chris serves as a member of the Select Committee that scrutinises the work of
the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Deregulation and Regulatory
Affairs Select Committee and the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments.
Chris holds a degree in electronics from the University of Kent and moved to
Ipswich in 1981 to work at the BT Laboratories at Martlesham Heath near
4. What are the trends in non-print publishing? Over 60,000 non-print items
(e.g. DVDs, CD-ROMs, electronic journals and other items delivered via the
web) were published in the UK last year. The impact of the extension of legal
deposit to non-print publications (Electronic Publishing Services Ltd.,
October 2002) forecasts that the number of electronic journal issues published
in the UK will grow from 52,000 in 2002 to 193,000 in 2005. A recent
phenomenon has been the emergence of single-article journal issues transmitted
by e-mail - with an average of 40 issues for each title per year. Many
publications, such as newspapers are being published in multiple formats -
print, web, CD-ROM and microform - but do not always have identical content.
Similarly, there are a growing number of hybrid publications, such as print
journals with added material available on the web or CD-ROM. The new Act will
help the legal deposit libraries to collect and organise this knowledge.
5. What non-print materials will now be saved? The major categories of
non-print materials include:
- Publications accessed over the Internet, e.g. electronic journals.
- Websites - a limited and well-defined range of sites, judged to be
research-level, will be regularly harvested for addition to the national
- Publications on media other than paper, such as microfilm or fiche.
- 'Hand-held' electronic publications on media such as CD-ROM or DVD.
The types of material include:
Records of key events of national life - e.g. national and local websites
covering general elections, the millennium celebrations, the Queen's Golden
Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games - all containing useful historical data.
Resource discovery tools, to help researchers locate materials e.g. the
Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA) or Legal Journals Index.
Major directories - e.g. the Europe Info directory on DVD, an important
resource with 130 million European residential and business listings, or
Kelly's Portsmouth Directory on CD-ROM.
Current awareness services - e.g. Oxford Economic Forecasting's Weekly Brief -
an electronic journal available only as a PDF or Zip/EXE file, typically
distributed as an email attachment.
News sources - such as web editions of national and local newspapers, or the
web-published results of public opinion polls from companies such as MORI, ICM
Professional 'bibles' - e.g. The Cochrane Library, 'the best single source of
reliable evidence about the effects of health care' (on CD-ROM and the web
with no hard copy equivalent).
Important local and national government documents - e.g. the Home Office
series of 'online only' research reports and web-based Government consultation
papers, which are an important resource for lawyers and researchers in tracing
the origin of legislation, and the minutes of the National Assembly for
e-journals - e.g. Sociological Research Online and the Journal of Digital
Information, available only on the web.
Conference proceedings - e.g. 9/11 and the Middle East: Electronic Resource
published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
6. What are other countries doing? A number of other nations have already
addressed, or are investigating, the extension of legal deposit. In Germany
new legislation has been drafted to cover all types of material whilst a
voluntary scheme to obtain online material and websites - in operation since
March 2002 - has been generally well received by publishers and users alike.
In France the government has issued a directive to ensure that the national
library will collect all electronic material. Norway and Denmark have similar
schemes and are actively collecting digital material in all information
carriers, including websites. In Finland legislation was introduced in March
2003 to extend legal deposit to websites (current legislation includes other
electronic material) whilst in New Zealand legislation has also been enacted
this year. http://www.natlib.govt.nz/en/about/1keypolnlact.html
7. How the new scheme works? The Act will be implemented through a series of
Regulations, the first of which will almost certainly deal with offline
publications, such as CD-ROMs and microform. Regulations will be proposed by
the Secretary of State, for affirmative resolution by both Houses of
Parliament, following a statutory process of consultation with affected
parties and a Regulatory Impact Assessment. This in turn will be preceded by
the work of an Advisory Panel, to be established by Government as an
independent public body, to advise the Secretary of State for Culture, Media
and Sport on the need for, and the shape of, specific Regulations. In advance
of the establishment of the Advisory Panel, the JCVD will continue its work,
as a forum for collaborative and voluntary endeavour between publishers and
libraries, but with a broadened remit and an extended membership.
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