Tag Archives: the british library

Legal Deposit for Self-Published (And Other) Authors

Yesterday evening, I met up with an old friend (who is also an author) for dinner. Inevitably the conversation touched upon writing and I asked whether my friend had provided print copies of his novel to the British Library and the 5 other libraries as stipulated under Legal Deposit legislation. He was unaware of Legal Deposit as (I believe) are quite a few other authors. I therefore thought it would be helpful to furnish the below information pertaining to Legal Deposit.

In the below extract, the British Library refer to the duty on publishers to furnish copies of publications to the designated libraries. In the case of most (perhaps all) self-published authors (including both my friend and I) this duty does, in practice devolve on us as authors who utilise Print on Demand or (POD) technology.

Introduction to legal deposit

Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. It helps to ensure that the nation’s published output (and thereby its intellectual record and future
published heritage) is collected systematically, to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within
the designated legal deposit libraries.

By law, a copy of every UK print publication must be given to the British Library by its publishers, and to five other major libraries that request it.
This system is called legal deposit and has been a part of English law since 1662.

From 6 April 2013, legal deposit also covers material published digitally and online, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can provide a national archive
of the UK’s non-print published material, such as websites, blogs, e-journals and CD-ROMs.

The Legal Deposit Libraries are:

list of 6 items
• the British Library,
• the National Library of Scotland,
• the National Library of Wales,
• the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford,
• the University Library, Cambridge, and
• the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
list end

The legal deposit system also has benefits for authors and publishers:

list of 5 items
• Deposited publications are made available to users of the deposit libraries on their premises, are preserved for the benefit of future generations, and
become part of the nation’s heritage.
• Publications are recorded in the online catalogues, and become an essential research resource for generations to come.
• Most of the books and new serial titles are listed in the British National Bibliography (BNB), which is used by librarians and the book trade for stock
selection. The BNB is available in a variety of
formats.
• Publishers have at times approached the deposit libraries for copies of their own publications which they no longer have but which have been preserved
through legal deposit.
• Legal deposit supports a cycle of knowledge, whereby deposited works provide inspiration and source material for new books that will eventually achieve
publication.
list end

(Taken from http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/introduction/)

There Is Some Corner Of The British Library Which Is Forever Dalliance

On returning to London on 13 July, one of the first letters I opened was a document from the British Library’s Legal Deposit archive acknowledging receipt of my book, “Dalliance; A Collection Of Poetry and Prose”. As explained in my post of 15 May 2015 (http://newauthoronline.com/2015/05/15/legal-deposit-what-is-it-and-are-you-covered/), since 1662 legislation has required that a copy of every print book published in the UK be deposited in the British Library thereby ensuring the preservation of the written word for future generations. In 2013 this requirement was extended to electronic publications in the UK. Its good to know that in some small way I have contributed to the cultural heritage of these islands (he said smiling modestly)!

Legal Deposit In Canadian Law

On 15 May I published a post entitled, “Legal Deposit, What Is It And Are You Covered, (http://newauthoronline.com/2015/05/15/legal-deposit-what-is-it-and-are-you-covered/). In that post I explained that all books published in the UK must be submitted for archiving to the British Library.

I have been contacted by a Canadian blogger, Lorraine, who has provided a link to a helpful post on her blog regarding the position in Canada, (http://lorrainereguly.com/legal-deposit/). Thank you Lorraine for drawing my attention to your article. In essence the situation in Canada appears to be analogous to that in the UK with authors being obliged to furnish copies of their works to Canada’s equivalent of the British Library.

 

Kevin

Legal Deposit – What Is It And Are You Covered?

A copy of every book published in the United Kingdom must be deposited with the British Library. This includes everything from the latest blockbuster through to the self-published history of the Jo Bloggs family. The British Library’s website provides the following succinct explanation of Legal Deposit:
“Legal deposit has existed in English law since 1662. It helps to ensure that the nation’s published output (and thereby its intellectual record and future
published heritage) is collected systematically, to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within
the designated legal deposit libraries”, (see http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/).
From 6 April 2013 legislation pertaining to electronic publications came into force:
“From 6 April 2013, legal deposit also covers material published electronically, so that the Legal Deposit Libraries can maintain a national collection of
e-journals, e-books, digitally published news, magazines and other types of content.

The Legal Deposit Libraries (Non-Print Works) Regulations 2013 apply to any work published in offline media (on CD-ROM, microform etc.) in the UK, and to
any work published online:

“(a) if it is made available to the public from a website with a domain name which relates to the United Kingdom or to a place within the United Kingdom;
or

(b) it is made available to the public by a person and any of that person’s activities relating to the creation or the publication of the work take place
within the United Kingdom.” (see http://www.bl.uk/aboutus/legaldeposit/websites/faq/ukmaterial/index.html).
I am no legal expert. However my reading of (b) suggests that all UK authors should be providing copies of their electronic publications to the British Library. If you write in the UK this, to me indicates that the legislation applies (due to the activity of writing occurring in the UK). Of course Amazon and other ebook distributors may already be furnishing copies of electronic publications covered by the legislation to the British Library. However, in the case of Amazon at least I am not convinced that this is, in fact the case. Consequently the onus for providing electronic publications to the British Library appears to rest squarely on the shoulders of UK based authors.
Does anyone have any expertise in this field? I suspect that many authors, including myself remain somewhat confused regarding the legislation.

Kevin