Thursday 1 May 2008

Clearing a Path Through the Copyright Jungle

The British Academy, together with the Publishers Association, have released yesterday a set of Joint Guidelines on Copyright and Academic Research. The announcement was as follows:

"A unique collaboration between two contrasting organisations wanting to cast light on the tangled world of copyright permissions and payments bears fruit today (30 April 2008) with the publication of a set of Joint Guidelines on Copyright and Academic Research.

The collaborators are the Publishers Association, the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, and electronic publishers in the UK, and the British Academy, which speaks nationally for the humanities and social sciences – the discipline areas where copyright issues have caused most confusion.
Designed to clear a path through the complex jungle of copyright legislation, the Joint Guidelines set out to provide practical, objective guidance for the layman and woman, endorsed both from the perspective of the academic researcher and that of the publisher and copyright ‘guardian’.

Authors, publishers and researchers frequently face daily uncertainty as to their respective rights and obligations regarding copyright. The Guidelines address the most frequent problems encountered, including fair dealing exemptions, the terms of protection for different types of materials, widespread confusion over copyright for material held in digital form, and difficult ownership issues, including the troublesome subject of “orphan works”."
You may download or view a copy of the guidelines here.

I have not yet read them yet but I do know that I will be skipping to the section on databases first as IPR in these wonderful creatures is a hot topic for me at the moment. However, with the guidelines being aimed at the humanities and social sciences I fear there will not be enough detail on this important issue to satisfy those involved in eScience.

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