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The legal problems of document supply by libraries: an international perspective

Harald Mueller (Max Planck Institute for Public International Law, Heidelberg, Germany)

Interlending & Document Supply

ISSN: 0264-1615

Article publication date: 30 May 2008




This paper seeks to describe the current copyright environment from an international perspective, particularly as it relates to the supply of document surrogates.


The paper describes the current situation in Canada, Australia, the UK and in particular the current saga of Subito and publishers in Germany. It addresses licences and copyright law generally and the impact of open access. Two specific court cases in Canada and Germany are described and their implications considered.


International copyright is complex and publishers are establishing new restrictions on “fair use” provision through the imposition of licences. National and international laws lag behind in clearly addressing “fair use” in the electronic environment.


The paper is one of the very few that addresses the issue of national and international copyright specifically in relation to document supply.



Mueller, H. (2008), "The legal problems of document supply by libraries: an international perspective", Interlending & Document Supply, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 68-73.



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