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Proposed copyright exceptions for museums, libraries and archives

A statement on proposed new copyright exceptions for museums, libraries and archives has been agreed by the whole museum sector and co-ordinated by the National Museums Directors Council for the Museums Intellectual Property Network.

The major change which relates to museums is to a copyright exception allowing museums to copy works for the purpose of preservation without getting permission from the rights holder(s). This will apply to all copyright works in permanent collections.

The other exception which specifically helps museums is to allow museums to make works available on "dedicated terminals" without requiring permission from the rights holder(s).

There are other changes relating to making copies for the purpose of research and private study of copyright works held in libraries, and also greater flexibility for archives and libraries to be able to copy published and unpublished works for the purpose of non-commercial research and private study. These will be applicable to your organisation if it has an archive and/or library service which is open to the public.

There is a proposed exception for text and data mining which will help those institutions which conduct academic research, and one which will allow the copying of copyright works for the purposes of instruction (as part of the Education exception). Clarification is being sought as to whether this will relate to museums.