HC Deb 04 July 2003 vol 408 cc702-5
Mr. Mole

I beg to move amendment No. 2, in page 4, line 9, leave out "use" and insert do any of the activities listed in subsection (1A) in relation to".

Mr. Deputy Speaker

With this it will be convenient to discuss the following amendments: Nos. 23 and 3.

No. 4, in page 1, line 11, clause 2, after "of", insert "significant".

No. 5, in page 2, line 2, after "of", insert "significant".

No. 6.

No. 7, in page 2, line 10, leave out from "of" to "thing" in line 11 and insert

any vessel or part of any vessel.". No. 8, in page 2, line 12, leave out "trace or". No. 11.

Mr. Mole

I encourage the House to support amendments Nos. 2 to 8 and 11, and to resist amendment No. 23. Amendments Nos. 2 to 8 address libraries" use of deposited material or clarify what libraries can do with the material that is deposited. They provide that neither libraries nor readers can perform any of the activities listed in subsection (1A) unless regulations are made under subsection (2) allowing them to do so. Amendment No. 3 details the range of activities allowed, subject to regulations, in respect of legally deposited material. The amendment provides that activities that can be authorised are authorised. Those activities include using the material, copying it, adapting an accompanying computer programme and, lending, transferring and disposing of material. Amendments Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 are all consequential upon it.

Amendment No. 7 relates to web harvesting. It provides that material that has been web harvested is covered by the restrictions on use in clause 7, as is any copy that is made of the work originally deposited.

The hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr. Thomas) tabled an amendment that would allow relevant persons to copy material without exception. I understand his concern that the work of librarians and archivists must not be seen to suffer or be hindered by cumbersome legal requirements. That is not the point of the Bill. Although I appreciate the sentiment behind his argument, I conclude that at this stage it is rather premature. What a library can do with the material once it is deposited will be considered prior to regulations being made. It seems pointless now to make exceptions to the activities detailed in amendment No. 3 when the matter will be considered and consulted on in due course.

Amendment No. 11 relates to copyright and makes clear the effect of regulations made under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to exclude the application of provisions of the Copyright Act. It rewrites subsection (3), clarifying the scope of prescribed activities for which regulations under clause 8(2) can be made. It may be necessary to turn off some or all of the copyright exceptions as they apply to non-print legal deposit material, to ensure that deposited material cannot be used without infringing copyright in circumstances where that would not be possible with the same material in other libraries that have had to purchase it.

Mr. Simon Thomas

Amendment No. 23 is a probing amendment so that we can return in the House to an issue that I considered in Committee and on which I think it important to hear the views of the promoter and the Minister. We all accept that the Bill in the form in which we are now considering it is significantly changed from the Bill originally introduced by the hon. Member for Ipswich (Mr. Mole). It has been improved as a result of the process that it has undergone. However, one thing has been lost.

In the original Bill, clause 7(2)(a) stated that it would be right for a deposit library or a person acting on its behalf to copy relevant material for the purposes of preservation. That clause was replaced by new clause 2, which has become clause 7 in the Bill before us. It has been further amended by the hon. Member for Ipswich today. The Bill makes it clear that it is okay for a library to copy material for the purpose of making information available to readers, but there is no specific cover for a librarian or archivist making a copy for archival purposes. There is something to be gained in that respect. We must recognise that not only the content of online or off-line non-print material can be of historic and cultural significance, but its format. Sometimes the way in which the information was made available to the public can also be of interest in the future. Therefore, it is sometimes not only the content that should be given to succeeding generations, but knowledge of how it was made available. The equivalent are the values of different editions of the same book. Later editions of an original publication may have different illustrations or have been put together in a different way to react to the way in which the audience has changed over succeeding generations. That can tell us a lot about how our culture has changed in that period, and the same is true of non-print materials.

I am concerned that the Bill in its current format would make it easy to ensure that information is kept available to the reader, but would not allow a librarian or archivist to ensure that its format is preserved. In other words, preservation is not recognised, despite its inclusion in the long title of the Bill, as a reason for copying in itself.

When I raised that matter in Committee, the then Minister, now the Minister of State, Department for Transport, who has been replaced by the Minister of the year—I welcome her to these proceedings—said that my questions went a little further than that", and added: we will certainly reconsider the matter to see whether things can be further clarified, as we are talking about an important and valuable function."—[Official Report, Standing Committee F, 4 June 2003; c. 2.] He was speaking about the function of preservation. I have tabled the amendment to give the House an opportunity to reflect on what the then Minister said, so that we can reconsider it and further clarify the matter. I wish to be absolutely sure that when librarians and archivists make copies for preservation reasons and archival purposes in their institutions, they are not going outside the remit given to them in the Bill.

Estelle Morris

I listened carefully to the speech of the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr. Thomas). I certainly support my hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich (Mr. Mole) in his belief that the matters that are being raised are covered in our amendments. In the spirit of helpfulness, however, I should like to say that I trust the hon. Gentleman"s judgment on this issue. If he has ongoing fears or reservations in respect of his suggestion that it is not properly covered, will he accept from me an assurance that we will have the chance to discuss it outside the Chamber and reflect on it? If we are persuaded that we have not made appropriate safeguards to ensure that what he says needs to be done is done—I accept that we must preserve such things for future generations—we will take the opportunity to table an amendment in another place. That is not a promise to table an amendment, but given the passion and clarity with which he spoke, I hesitate to say that he should have no fears and that the issue is fully dealt with. I am merely trying to be helpful, because I do not have the background knowledge to know whether there are genuine grounds for his fears. All I can say is that I am assured by our lawyers that his concerns should be covered. If we discuss the matter outside the Chamber, we will be left with an opportunity to table amendments should it be necessary to do so.

That apart, I support the comments and recommendations made by my hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 3, in page 4, line 9, clause 7, at end insert—

"(1A) The activities are—

  1. (a) using the material (whether or not such use necessarily involves the making of a temporary copy of it);
  2. (b) copying the material (other than by making a temporary copy where this is necessary for the purpose of using the material);
  3. (c) in the case of relevant material comprising or containing a computer program or database, adapting it;
  4. (d) lending the material to a third party (other than lending by a deposit library to a reader for use by the reader on library premises controlled by the library);
  5. (e) transferring the material to a third party;
  6. (f) disposing of the material.".

No. 4, in page 4, line 10, leave out "the use by".

No. 5, in page 4, line 11, leave out "of" and insert to do any of the activities listed in subsection (1A) in relation to.

No. 6, in page 4, line 14, at end insert "or copied".

No. 7, in page 4, line 30, at end insert—

  1. "(iii) a copy of a work to which section (Exemption from liability: activities in relation to publications)(6) applies;
  2. (iv) a copy (at any remove) of anything within any of subparagraphs (i) to (iii);".

No. 8, in page 4, line 34, leave out paragraph (d)—[Mr. Mole.]

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