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Intellectual Property Rights play an important part in many aspects of the National Library of Wales’s work. The Library owns, generates and manages Intellectual Property Rights, and diligent conduct when managing those rights is essential to the Library’s functioning, good reputation, sustainability and the achievement of its core objects, which are 'to collect, preserve and give access to all kinds and forms of recorded knowledge, especially relating to Wales and the Welsh and other Celtic peoples, for the benefit of the public including those engaged in research and learning.'
In striving to achieve its core objects in the most effective way, the Library has an obligation to both rights holders and users. It has an obligation to respect the Intellectual Property Rights that subsist in the collections in its care and it also has a duty to preserve, give access and facilitate the use of those collections. In addition to this, the Library has a responsibility to pursue its own interests in securing the long-term sustainability of activities that enable access and use of collections both physically and digitally. All of these factors influence the Library’s approach to the management of Intellectual Property Rights.
The Intellectual Property Rights Policy relates to all aspects of Library’s work that involve the creation and management of Intellectual Property.
The UK Intellectual Property Office describes ‘Intellectual Property’ as follows:
Intellectual Property results from the expression of an idea. So Intellectual Property might be a brand, an invention, a design, a song or another intellectual creation. It can be owned, bought and sold.
The law provides a framework that grants the owners of Intellectual Property the right to make decisions about the way in which their property is used (‘Intellectual Property Rights’), but it also states the ways in which the property may be used without the owner’s permission (these are called ‘exceptions’).
Some forms of Intellectual Property Rights are more relevant than others to the Library’s work, in particular copyright and database rights. The following is intended as a general introduction to those rights rather than detailed definitions.
‘Copyright’ is the exclusive legal right to control ways in which a work can be used for a given period of time. These rights cover: copying; adaptation; distribution; communication to the public by electronic transmission; the rental or lending of copies to the public; and performance in public. Authors of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works and film directors also have ‘moral rights’ in relation to their work. The ownership and duration of copyright (and the subsistence and duration of moral rights) depend on a number of factors which need to be considered carefully.
‘Database Rights’ arise from substantial investment in obtaining, verifying and presenting the contents of a database. They last 15 years from the end of the calendar year in which the making of the database was completed.
The Intellectual Property Rights Policy describes the Library’s position in relation to the Intellectual Property Rights that it owns, generates and manages in order to achieve its core objects and other related activities. It aims to provide clarity and consistency of approach and to ensure that all members of staff are aware of their responsibilities and obligations. It also informs members of the public how the Library manages both the rights that it generates and those that subsist in its collections, and the steps taken in order to conform with relevant Intellectual Property Rights legislation.
The National Library of Wales is the legal entity which owns the Library’s Intellectual Property and the Board of Trustees are the body ultimately responsible for the Library’s compliance with the law.
All Heads of Section have a responsibility for ensuring compliance with the Policy within their respective sections.
Line Managers are responsible for ensuring that members of staff under their management have received adequate training in relation to Intellectual Property Rights.
All members of staff have a responsibility to adhere to the Intellectual Property Rights Policy.
The Information Compliance Committee will be responsible for formulating and updating the policy, its implementation, and the creation and monitoring of supporting procedures.
The Policy is monitored and reviewed by the Information Compliance Committee and it is approved by the Executive Team.
4.1.1 The Library will comply with all legislation and laws and promote best practice relating to intellectual property and applying to the Library and its activities.
4.1.2 The Library will be prepared to consider exceeding its strict duties and obligations where it concludes that this would be in the interests of establishing good relations with rights holders and users.
4.1.3 The Library aims to facilitate the use of the information that it generates and the collections in its care by displaying clear and accurate rights information and through the use of open licences.
4.1.4 The Library will proceed with due diligence to acquire Intellectual Property Rights and appropriate licences in respect of the collections in its care and its activities in general.
4.2.1 Decisions in relation to acquisitions taken under the Library’s Collection Development Policy shall have regard to the application of the Intellectual Property Rights Policy.
4.2.2 The Library will always seek to include Intellectual Property Rights provisions in contracts and other documents relating to the acquisition of materials for the collections.
4.3.1 Copies of items from the collections supplied to members of the public shall be provided in accordance with the relevant exceptions in copyright law.
4.3.2 Where the consent of a rights holder is required in order to supply copies to the public, staff will observe due diligence at all times. Copies may be supplied for certain purposes and in certain circumstances under the exceptions to copyright law. Where this is not the case, the Library shall only supply copies where it is satisfied that the person requesting the copy has provided proof of consent from the rights holder(s) or that the Guidelines for Rights Searches and Assessments have been observed.
4.3.3 The Library’s practice in commercial and educational image licensing will be kept under regular review and kept in line with best practice within the cultural and heritage sector.
4.4.1 Where services or activities of the Library are subject to licence or contract, the Library shall ensure that the terms and conditions of the licence or contract are observed at all times.
4.5.1 The Library does not claim ownership of copyright in digital reproductions. Access to reproductions shall be subject to the same rights as would apply to the work in its original format.
4.5.2 The Library will seek opportunities and support efforts to use and develop its digital collections and the related metadata as a source of information and an educational resource. It will encourage and support others, both through collaboration with individuals and organisations (eg the academic community) and through wider interaction with users (eg crowdsourcing), to use and enrich its digital collections.
4.6.1 The Library will seek to develop revenue models that align with free online access to its digital collections and other resources.
4.7.1 Where Intellectual Property Rights are owned by the Library, the Library will always aim to share those works under a licence that will enable open access and reuse unless there is a business case that it would not be in the best interests of the Library do so or there are legal prohibitions or restrictions on the Library doing so.
4.8.1 In some instances, the current rights holder will be unidentifiable or untraceable after a reasonable search. The Library’s management of such works will be described in more detail in the Guidelines for Rights Searches and Assessments.
4.9.1 The Library will seek and explore opportunities to display digital collections and other content on third party websites and applications.
4.9.2 The Library may also explore opportunities to display its collections and its own Intellectual Property Rights on third party commercial websites with a view to increasing their exposure and generate income provided it does not undermine the Library's interests and in particular the achievement of its core objects.
4.10.1 Projects shall have regard to the Intellectual Property Rights from their preliminary (e.g. preparation of funding application) and planning stages to the close of the project.
4.11.1 The Library shall aim to make the metadata that it generates as widely available as possible for re-use. A decision not to publish metadata under an open licence should be supported by a business case that it would not be in the best interests of the Library do so or there are legal prohibitions or restrictions on the Library doing so.
4.12.1 The Library may assert ownership of Database Rights where there has been a substantial investment in obtaining, verifying or presenting the contents of a database. The Library will aim to provide clear guidance regarding Database Rights on its website, but those wishing to use collections of data (including images) are advised to contact the Library for clarification beforehand and should do so where commercial uses are being contemplated.
4.13.1 All Intellectual Property created by members of staff in the course of their employment by the Library, including but not limited to writing, photographs, videos, slides, software, code and electronic data, shall be the property of the Library. In instances where the definition of 'in the course of employment' is unclear, the onus is upon employees to contact the Human Resources Unit to discuss any rights that they wish to reserve.
4.14.1 All staff members are prohibited from creating or distributing, in physical or digital form, any unauthorised copies of Intellectual Property that is generated, collected, stored or managed by the Library.
4.15.1 Where appropriate, the Library shall seek to ensure that any Intellectual Property generated by volunteers shall be made available under an open licence to enable access and re-use.
4.16.1 When negotiating contracts with suppliers of works, products or services, the Library shall seek to ensure that issues relating to the ownership of Intellectual Property Rights are considered and covered prior to agreement.
4.17.1 This Policy is available to all members of staff on the Library’s internal network and to the general public via the Library’s website.
4.17.2 The Library shall, through the provision of training, resources, consultancy and supervision, aim to ensure that staff members that manage Intellectual Property Rights possess the skills and knowledge that are necessary to fulfil their duties and responsibilities effectively.
4.18.1 Breach of copyright and other Intellectual Property Rights laws may render both the Board of Trustees and individuals liable to both civil and criminal proceedings. The Library will regard wilful or reckless breach of this Policy as a disciplinary offence and such breaches will be subject to the Library’s disciplinary procedures.
4.19.1 The Policy shall be monitored regularly and reviewed annually. A report of the review shall be presented in the Information Compliance Committee’s first meeting in the calendar year.
4.20.1 Enquiries relating to intellectual property rights should be directed to the Library’s Enquiries Team, firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)1970 632933.
Revised: October 2017