CILIP urges Cable to implement copyright reforms

CILIP urges Cable to implement copyright reforms

Librarian body CILIP (The Chartered Institute of Library Professionals), the Wellcome Trust and the British Library, are among 50 organisations to sign an open letter urging business secretary Vince Cable to implement key reforms to copyright legislation, which they says they fear “could now be subject to delay”.

The letter said copyright exceptions were essential to allowing “today’s technology start-ups to compete with their European and US rivals” but that it seemed “highly likely that the government’s own deadline for the introduction” of legislation on copyright exceptions would be missed.

The letter to the business secretary said that implementing copyright exceptions recommended in the Hargreaves review will “enable this country’s wonderful cultural heritage of 20th century music and films that sit in our great libraries and museums to be digitally preserved”. It continued: “By allowing researchers to use computers to analyse research outputs, instead of having manually to cross-reference paper copies, the recommendations will accelerate medical and scientific advancement. By making everyday private copying of the music, films and e-books consumers have paid for legally, copyright law will regain relevance in the eyes of consumers and allow today’s technology start-ups to compete with their European and US rivals.”

The Intellectual Property Office outlined on 7th March that the Statutory Instruments to introduce the required copyright exceptions are currently with the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. The group of signatories to the letter said it welcomed this, but noted no commitment was given as to when they would be introduced to parliament.

The letter urged the government to “act swiftly” to implement the regulations.

Statutory Instruments are a form of legislation which allow the provisions of an Act of Parliament to be subsequently brought into force or altered without Parliament having to pass a new Act.

The letter’s signatories also include universities and the Imperial War Museums, among others.