Monday, 15 June 2009

LAC Services Advisory Board to meet

On Friday 19 June the Library and Archives Canada Services Advisory Board will meet by teleconference. In common with several of my colleagues I only received the documentation for the meeting today (Monday), and now find it is posted here.

Users may be especially interested in the report on Service Improvements.

As usual I invited you to share your comments for the meeting by posting to this blog.

1 comment:

WJM said...

Interesting that they should be considering copyright as an impediment to digitization.

Not only has LAC been exceptionally meek on the copyright front, LAC was actually complicit in a back-door attempt to extend the term of copyright in archival documents back in 2003. It was done behind closed doors, with no real attempt to meet with or engage the public and those with a legitimate interest in archival use before the legislation was drafted.

(And, needless to say, NONE after it was introduced.)

Had the bill gone through (the "Lucy Maud Montgomery Act" as it was derisively known), it would have prevented millions of pages of work from becoming public domain, as they did on January 1, 2004. Thus was LAC, and posterity, saved from its own complicity, and even duplicity.

I want to see LAC to become more aggressive against copyright term extension, and against copyright expansionism. And I'd go further: LAC should be against Crown copyright (privacy and state secrets have their own sui generis protection, and should not be used as excuses), and LAC should press for further changes to s.7 of the Copyright Act to make the term of copyright in unpublished works the same as for published ones.

LAC should also be pressing the UK to liberalize its rules on unpublished work, which are a major hindrance to international research, esp. given the volume of material in UK archives which is essential for Canadin history.

LAC should take a leadership role amongst other national repositories to resist copyright expansionism.

And LAC should consult its users, not just internal consultants, when it comes to copyright issues. The vile and inaccurate red notices which used to pepper the place with blatantly wrong statements about copyright law seem to be gone, but I dread what will replace them.