GADD, E., 2001. Clearing the way: copyright clearance in UK libraries. LISU Occassional Paper No. 31. Loughborough University
Libraries today face a problem. Their raison d’etre: to provide access to information
for their users is on the one hand being enabled by new technologies and
developments, and on the other is being hindered by copyright restrictions. New
developments in libraries, learning and teaching, such as electronic short loan
collections, computer aided learning packages, distance learning packages and so on,
all seek to provide better educational support for students. However to include readypublished
material in all these services requires copyright clearance.
Quotes such as “Copyright was seen as a major barrier to the scaling up of electronic
short loan”1, and “one of the most taxing concerns for courseware developers…is
to...obtain the legitimate use of existing copyright works to include in new products”2
abound in the library and related literature.
In fact, the current legal and legislative framework makes copyright clearance an
essential library activity.