Thursday, July 19, 2012

Copyright law and back up copies

Church Librarians are sometimes asked to make a backup copy  of  a valuable resource, such as a videoreocording so that the original is kept in storage and the copy is circulated. A new provision in Bill C-11 which amends the Canadian Copyright Act  now deals directly with making back-up copies. 

The law states, (in abridged form here)
It is not an infringement of copyright for a person who owns  a copy of a work to
reproduce the source copy  solely for backup purposes in case the source copy is lost, damaged or otherwise rendered and unusable. The source copy must not be an infringing copy and any technological protection measures  (digital locks) on the copy must not  be  circumvented to make the copy.  The back-up copy is not to be given away and must be destroyed immediately after the person ceases to own or have licence to use the source copy. The backup copy becomes source copy if the source copy is lost, damaged or otherwise rendered unusable.
Read the full text here, starting at page 57

As I understand it, it's OK to make a back up copy, but the original is the one that circulates and the back up sits in storage.

A separate section of the Act deals with backup copies of computer programs and is somewhat more restrictive.

(I'm not a lawyer.  See Proverbs 12:15b )

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