Discusses some of the proposed changes to UK copyright law based on the Consultation Document issued in August 2002 which is intended to implement a recent EU (European Union) Directive. One of the biggest changes is the removal of any copying without permission for commercial purposes. Although there is no definition of “commercial” the Directive does state that it refers to an action that is directly or indirectly income generating. This will result in many customers having to pay copyright fees where in the past they have been able to obtain copies without any permission or fee. There will also be many cases where it is not clear whether or not the activity would or would not count as commercial. Libraries will need to ensure that their customers are educated and that their services are compliant with the new legislation. This will often require libraries to purchase a licence to allow them to continue to provide copies to all their customers.
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