Copyright is a central issue when considering document supply electronically because actions seen as simple in themselves are technically complex and raise many legal issues. The basic concepts of copyright law apply whatever the situation but trying to map these on to the electric situation can be difficult. Proposals from the European Commission to change the law will make the provision of document supply services even more difficult. The use of vehicles such as the World Wide Web for delivering documents and information generally while offering exciting opportunities, is full of obstacles. Recent legal cases give little reason for optimism in this area.
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