The Digitisation on Demand service provided by NLW has to abide by copyright law. This page is a brief summary of some of the terms you might hear in relation to copyright and your Digitisation on Demand order. For more information or if you have any questions please contact NLW Enquiries.
Items in Copyright
Most works are automatically protected under copyright law once they have been created. Whether or not copyright will apply to the material you have requested will depend on the type of work, when it was created, and if and when it was published, among other things. As a rule, items in copyright can only be copied and used with permission from the copyright holder.
Unless an exception applies (see ‘Exceptions to copyright’), you will need to demonstrate to the Library that the copyright holder has given permission for their work to be copied and used by you.
For more information on copyright visit the Intellectual Property Office’s website here.
Exceptions to copyright
There are some exceptions to copyright which permit certain uses of works without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.
Under these exceptions, the Library may supply copies of works from the collections for private study or research for a non-commercial purpose. These copies may be supplied under specific terms and conditions and you, as the person requesting the copy, will be required to make a declaration that you will adhere to them.
For more information on copyright exceptions visit the Intellectual Property Office’s website here.
Searching for copyright holders
There are many works in the Library’s collections where it is uncertain whether or not they are in copyright or the identity of the copyright holder is unknown. If a published work was created within the past 130 years, it is possible that it is still in copyright. All unpublished works should be regarded as being in copyright.
Copies of these works can be supplied under the exceptions to copyright, but you will need to undertake a diligent search for the copyright holder if you wish to use the work for purposes that would not be permitted under an exception.
The Intellectual Property Office has published diligent search guidance and this would be a suitable starting point for your search.
Items in the Public Domain
Items in which the copyright has expired are described as ‘public domain’ works. These items will be available to copy in their entirety without the permission of a copyright owner.