Copyright Watch: The British Library Claims Copyright Over Scanned Newspaper Pages

By March 5, 2012 Will Carleton
The PPHP featured the British Library’s online British Newspaper Archive when it launched in January. On January 29 Martin Orpen spotted a possible copyright issue over the British Library claiming copyright of scanned images of newspaper pages that are published on the site….. so he and wrote to them for some clarification…
Read on here; whatdotheyknow.comThanks to reader Brenda for letting us know about this one.

Comment from John Balean – I think this point on the link to the  IPO site is key:
But, sometimes significant investment of resources without significant intellectual input can still count as sufficient skill and labour.
Picture libraries (and anyone who has digitised a significant amount) would attest this view. The other point not mentioned (but the complexity of which is illustrated in the detailed services description document supplied by the British Library) is the added value of metadata that was been created to help a user find the image (newspaper) in the first place. It could be argued in this case it is all done by OCR but for Picture Libraries (and all photographers/image creators) most of the metadata added is very carefully (intellectually, creatively and skillfully) thought out. If the British Library simply copied all of their newspapers with no originality all they would be left with is a vast (and useless) pile of numerical filenames.