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British Library Calls for Digital Copyright Action
Sunday, January 1, 2006
The British Library has called for a wide-scale revision of existing copyright law, which, it said, inadequately addresses digital content, putting too much control into the hands of content producers and owners. Lynne Brindley, chief executive of the British Library, took aim at digital rights management (DRM) technology in particular, saying that it allows content producers to prevent legitimate uses of content, such as for academic purposes, for archival efforts, or for making content available to people with disabilities. Calling the problem a global issue, Brindley said that without "a serious updating of copyright law to recognize the changing technological environment, the law becomes an ass." The Open Rights Group supported the library's call for revising copyright law, saying that the current situation "allows publishers to write whatever license they like, which is what is happening now." The British Library also said the question of orphaned works should be addressed--works whose proper copyright owners cannot be located easily or at all.