#CRC12 Paper: Chapter 9 – heritage institutions

#CRC12logosmallChapter 9 of the Copyright Review Committee‘s Consultation Paper considers whether the Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (also here) (CRRA) creates barriers to innovation by heritage institutions (update: you can download a pdf of the Paper here (via DJEI) or here (from this site)). As keepers of our cultural heritage from which much innovation can flow, copyright law raises particular issues for heritage institutions such as libraries, archives, galleries, museums, schools, universities and other educational establishments.

Many of the exceptions to copyright in both CRRA and the European Union Copyright Directive relate to educational purposes in general (which are discussed in chapter 7) and to heritage institutions in particular (which we discuss in this chapter). These are important interests in Ireland, given our strong cultural heritage and traditions in art, music and literature. Indeed, one important strand of innovation is likely to be provided by the creative capacity of artists to generate innovative content. In particular, many of the submissions pointed to the important role of libraries and other heritage institutions as repositories of all forms of intellectual heritage – whether print or digital – from which such innovation can flow.

Hence, in this chapter, the Paper considers exceptions for format-shifting for archival purposes. It may well be that the exisiting CRRA language is sufficiently technology-neutral in this respect to permit such digital reproductions. However, in the absence of a clear statutory permission, heritage institutions are reluctant to undertake such format-shifting, and the Paper considers what amendments might be necessary to bring this about. It then discusses a possible exception allowing heritage institutions to publish, in catalogues for public exhibitions, images of artworks in those institutions’ permanent collections, where those artworks are still covered by copyright; and it also explores the possibility of extending fair dealing exceptions to cover displays of images of works in permanent collections on dedicated terminals, and to cover the brief and limited displays of images of artworks during public lectures at such institutions.

The Paper examines the issues surrounding extending copyright deposit to digital publications. Legal deposit provided by section 198 CRRA is an important instrument of national cultural policy. Many of the submissions argued that CRRA does not adequately provide for legal deposit of Irish digital heritage. In particular, they argued that legal deposit of digital-only publications needs to be brought into line with hard-copy publications, so as to be able to create a truly comprehensive copyright deposit collection. The Paper therefore explores how this might be done.

The Paper notes concerns relating to clearing rights in orphan works; it assesses the potential for a presumption that where a physical work is donated or bequeathed, the copyright in that work passes with the physical work itself, unless the contrary is expressly stated; and the chapter concludes its analysis by looking at possible exceptions to enable scientific and other researchers to use modern text and data mining techniques.

As always, the chapter ends with a series of questions which seem to the Committee to arise from the discussion in the chapter, and it is hoped that the next round of submissions will engage some of these questions (there are 86 questions in total, set out in Appendix 3 to the Paper, and the Committee would be delighted to receive responses to any of them. In particular, it is not necessary for any submission to seek to answer all of them). Any submissions should be received by close of business on Friday 13 April 2012 Thursday 31 May 2012. To make a submission, you can

There will also be a public meeting from 10:00am until 12:00 noon, on Saturday 24 March 2012, in the Robert Emmet Lecture Theatre, Room 2037 Arts Block (map here), Trinity College Dublin. Attendance is free and open to anyone interested in the work of the Committee, but registration is necessary. To register, you can

  • email or write to the Review, as above, or
  • complete the Committee’s online questionnaire and answer the last question by confirming that you wish to attend the meeting.

I look forward to seeing you there!