Copyright Issues in a Digital Library Environment

Copyright Issues in a Digital Library Environment

Kennedy Arebamen Eiriemiokhale (Kwara State University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3093-0.ch008
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This chapter examines copyright issues in a digital library environment. The author observes that the advent of digital technology has greatly accelerated the dissemination and distribution of information which greatly accelerated the dissemination and distribution of information with great speed and accuracy never seen before. The challenges in creating digital libraries include copyright management, development of appropriate technologies, issues related to storage, architectural and technical challenges, collection development challenges and the challenges of user engagement. The chapter recommends ways of managing orphan works and the roles of digital libraries in open access to knowledge. The author concludes that current developments point to the dominant role of information and communication technology in libraries for improved access to information.
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Information technology enables the reproduction, saving, and distribution of culture, arts, and sciences as well as the recording of the collective memory of humanity. Not only does information technology make almost all kinds of human creativity available in the internet worked public sphere, but also it enables the creation of new forms of art, creative expression, and distribution of knowledge. More often than not, the rapid pace in the evolution of information technology causes friction with law in as much as regulators’ foresightedness could not have ruled to cope with new social trends, socio-political and economic phenomena in the market. Thus, the evolution of information technology is frequently seen as a factor that sets at stake the legal rights of creators and right-holders, as a cause for stricter intellectual property law and legal protection for the initial and subsequent right holders. The instantaneous reaction towards making the law stricter regarding the availability, use and distribution of creative works via the internet networked public sphere in most cases, a hazard to the evolution of digital libraries and repositories.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Orphan Works: Works whose copyright holders are unknown or unable to be located.

Digital Library: A library in which a significant proportion of the resources are available in machine readable format and accessible by means of computers.

Digital Right Management: A term for access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders, and individuals to limit the use of digital content and devices.

Copyright: The exclusive legal rights granted by a government to an author, editor or publisher to publish or distribute copies of literary works within certain limitations.

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