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Copyright compliance

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The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 gives the owner of the copyright (the creator or publisher) certain exclusive rights so that their permission must be obtained before an organisation (commercial or public sector) can reproduce (by digital copying, photocopying, scanning, storing or emailing) an extract of their work. If permission is not obtained the organisation risks infringing copyright and the potential costs associated with it.

As a library BSRIA is required to hold a CLA license to enable us to lend out copies of works that fall under copyright law as well as send out electronic copies of certain works.

This page is to provide guidance to our members on what they can lawfully expect from us and our library collection.

What is copyright and how long does it last?

For BSRIA we are only concerned with mostly textual works which under copyright law is protected for 70 years after the end of the year the author dies. This means that the majority of our collection is currently protected and so we have to ensure we are complying to regulations.

Copyright doesn't just cover reproduction or adaption either but also sharing and storing. Part of sharing includes photcopying and scanning which BSRIA does in abundance for our members. This means we are required to hold a Document Delivery License which enables us to send copies to third parites, those being our members.

BSRIA E-delivery items

So how does this affect members? A large portion of our library collection is journal articles that we make available to you after abstracting. These articles are not available to download straight from the website. Why? As explained above we have a Document Delivery License which means we can send out copies of items but not store them. As historically we have bought our collection in hardcopy we cannot provide electronic access to this, copyright law has yet to cover digitalisation comprehensively enough for us to simply switch.

As we are currently unable to store documents on our website the CLA recommended another solution to enable us to deliver information electronically to our members. This is through Vitrium which is similar to a DRM, it controls the way content is delivered in the same way.

Through Vitrium we are able to comply with our license by restricting access in the following ways:

  • Limits the time of accessibility to one month
  • Limits the number of prints to 2 copies

The LockLizard software enables us to provide quicker delivery to our members. While we are still unable to provide instant access it is an improvement on sending journal articles in the post.

BSRIA Library Loans

One of the most common questions we receive from our members is:

"Can you send me a pdf copy?"

The answer to this is quite simply, no. As explained above because we have bought our collection in hardcopy we are only able to send out hardcopy loans. The reason for this is the law surrounding digitalisation is a bit blurry but what we do know is that unless we have agreements with each publisher we are unable to send out digital copies of their works. There is also not a CLA license that currently exists that covers digitalisation to the extent we need it.

So all of our loan collections are exactly that, loaned copies. We send out loan copies for one month only and the only cost accrued by our members is the postage of sending these items back.

Please be aware that when copying loaned items you are only legally allowed to copy 10% or one chapter of a large publication. In terms of a Standard if you wish to copy you must comply to the 10% rule which means a Standard of 10 pages only one page is allowed to be copied.

We also reserve the right to charge members if they return a copy of our item instead of the original. This charge will include the replacement item as well as a £50 transactional charge. We may also reserve the right to report you to the CLA for breach of copyright law.

Future developments

2015 will see us undertake a project that looks at the way we disseminate information which includes electronic delivery. Part of this project will involve investigating what our members are looking for moving forward as well as researching what other libraries and publishers are doing. The project will also involve speaking with the CLA, other publishers and particularly BSI as our biggest individual collection in our library is our Standards.