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  NLA Copyright Licence Frequently Asked Questions


What am I doing when I grant the National Library of Australia a copyright licence?

When you grant the National Library a copyright licence, you are permitting it to make a copy of your publication as it appears on your Web site and to store it in an archive of Australian Web publications on the Library's own server. You are also permitting the Library to take the necessary steps to preserve your publication, and to make it accessible to the public via the Internet now and in perpetuity. The copyright licence would pertain only to the publication specified in our letter of request.

Usually, if you have more than one publication which we may wish to archive, we would need to seek a separate copyright licence for each one. However, in the case of some high volume publishers, we seek 'blanket permission' to archive whatever is on the site and new titles as they become available.

Am I giving away copyright in my publication?

No. You still retain full copyright in your publication, both in the original version on your Web site and the archived version in the National Library's archive. You are granting the Library limited rights to copy your publication and provide access to it, in perpetuity. If any third party wanted to copy more than a reasonable portion (as defined by the Copyright Act 1968) either from the original version on your Web site or from the archived version, they would still be obliged to seek your permission.

What is this licence?

The licence consists of the letter we send to you requesting that you grant the Library a copyright licence and, if you agree to grant it, your response.

Why do you call this a licence?

'Granting a licence' is the legal term for giving permission to copy a publication, in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968.

Why is a copyright licence necessary?

In accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, permission to copy more than a reasonable portion of a publication must be obtained from the publisher/author. As the National Library wants to copy more than a reasonable portion of your publication, we must seek your permission. The legal deposit provisions, which entitle the National Library to receive one copy free of charge of all items published in Australia, do not yet apply to electronic publications.

What is the National Library permitted to do with my publication, if I grant a licence?
If you grant us a copyright licence, as set out in our letter of request, we would be permitted to copy your publication; store it; take the necessary steps to preserve it so that it remains accessible as hardware and software changes in the future; and provide public access to it via the Internet, in perpetuity.

What if other copyright owners have an interest in the publication?

We have contacted you to request a copyright licence because, from the publication, it appeared to us that you are the copyright owner, the principal copyright owner, or someone acting on behalf of copyright owners, such as the editor of an e-journal. If others also own copyright in the publication, then they must also be agreeable to the granting of a copyright licence. If you are not the sole copyright owner, we would appreciate it if you would gain the permission of the others before granting the copyright licence. We assume that in granting permission all contributors to your publication are informed and in agreement that their work will be archived by the National Library. If you are not the person with authority to give permission, please advise us who is.

How does the Library take care of my publication?

The National Library has selected your publication for archiving because we have judged it to be an important component of the national documentary heritage. We want it to be available to researchers now and in the future. So that researchers can discover that your publication exists and where it is located, the National Library catalogues it and adds the record to its own online catalogue and to the National Bibliographic Database. (This is a database to which over 1,100 Australian libraries contribute descriptions of the items in their collections, and where they are located.) In the case of Web publications that have been archived by the Library, the catalogue record contains an active link both to the version of the publication on the publisher's site and to the version in the Library's Archive. When a researcher opts to look at the version in the Archive, a title entry page displays first, providing information about the title, including a link to the publisher's site. A general statement about copyright is included on the title entry page and a link to the publisher's own copyright statement is also provided. As hardware and software changes over time, the Library will take the necessary preservation action to keep publications accessible on new technology platforms. The Library has developed a sophisticated digital archiving system to manage the processes of archiving, storing, preserving and providing access to Web publications. If access to a publication needs to be restricted for some reason (for instance, it is a commercial title, or the contents are culturally sensitive) the Library can ensure that necessary protective measures are put in place. We are happy to discuss this with publishers and copyright owners.

For further information contact:

Director, Digital Archiving. Email: Telephone: 61 2 6262 1140

Last updated 21 January 2004