Jinfo BlogCopyright: the way forward

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By Diana Nutting

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Intellectual property is one of the most valuable assets a company owns, and for information professionals there can be a tension between respecting a company’s intellectual ownership of copyright and a need to pass on information to users. The UK’s Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP) has recently published a paper laying out priorities for its copyright work programme. It has put forward six areas as strategic priorities for its work. These are: • the role of the copyright system in fostering creativity and innovation • the ownership and coverage of copyright • rights management techniques and technologies • the relationship between copyright and contract law • possible simplification of the copyright framework • the impact of changing attitudes and practices among consumers. SABIP http://www.sabip.org.uk was set up following a recommendation of the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property. http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/pbr06_gowers_report_755.pdf It is a non-departmental public body which provides strategic independent advice to Government on Intellectual Property policy. The intention of the Board is to examine the strengths and shortcomings of the copyright framework in the context of a rapidly changing environment, to stimulate debate and to commission independent research in these areas. Two other organisations also look at copyright issues on a regular basis. The British Library Business & IP Centre http://www.bl.uk/bipc/protect.html regards itself as the UK’s primary location for information on intellectual property, and runs regular events for businesses in the subject; while the Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals (CILIP) convenes LACA: the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA) http://www.cilip.org.uk/policyadvocacy/copyright/about.htm , which brings together a number of professional organisations and experts representing librarians and archivists to advocate a fair and balanced copyright regime and to lobby about the copyright issues affecting the ability of library, archive and information services to deliver access to knowledge in the digital age.

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