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Digital Heritage Bill: copyright in UK

VirginiaTam 17 Feb 10 - 01:20 PM
Tootler 17 Feb 10 - 06:14 PM
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Subject: Digital Heritage Bill: copyright in UK
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 01:20 PM

Email received from colleague at Essex Record Office.

Digital Heritage Bill: second reading set for 12 March

Tom Watson MP (Labour, West Bromwich East) presented the Digital Heritage Bill to the House of Commons on 20 January. The Bill aims to alter copyright law to allow specified cultural institutions to make digital copies of artefacts for archival purposes, notwithstanding the existence of any intellectual property right.

Mr Watson told the house: "They need to be able to preserve their works, shift formats over time and make our heritage available. My Bill will allow cultural works that are often rotting on shelves awaiting copyright clearance to be saved for digital archiving purposes."

Currently cultural institutions are hampered by laws that were intended to address "the problems of the analogue age" and the UK has "far more stringent restrictions on copying classes of work for archival and preservation purposes than other countries".

The Private Members' Bill will now be printed and will have a second reading debate on 12 March. For more information on the Bill visit

Perhaps one of the legal eagles can explain more?

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Subject: RE: Digital Heritage Bill: copyright in UK
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Feb 10 - 06:14 PM

Don't expect it to become law anytime soon. With a general election due, it will almost certainly get lost.

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