Workshop in Slovenia Explored Copyright Challenges in Digitizing Contemporary Literary Works

Participants of the workshop in Slovenia

On October 6th, a workshop titled "Practical Experiences in Resolving Copyrights of Contemporary Literary Works" was held at the City Museum in Ljubljana, organized by the National and University Library, Slovenia (NUK). During the workshop, NUK presented its experiences in resolving copyright issues related to contemporary works, which were obtained as part of the European EODOPEN project. The seminar also covered the content and results of the EODOPEN project, for which NUK leads a work package aimed at adapting digitized works for mobile device users and individuals with visual impairments.

On this occasion, we invited Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič, a top expert in the field of intellectual property, especially copyright law, to present some of the basics of copyright management in the field of librarianship, in the cases of digitisation of contemporary works and in the handling of out-of-print and orphan works.

At the international EODOPEN project, the project consortium set the goal of digitizing 15,000 works from the 20th and 21st centuries, many of which are still under copyright protection. Libraries must adhere to the Copyright and Related Rights Act when providing access to these works. Libraries can easily provide online access to public domain works where copyright had expired. However, the challenge arises with works that are still under copyright protection, as it requires resolving copyright issues and negotiations with rights holders, including publishers, authors, and heirs. Currently, as Slovenia doesn’t have Collective Management Organisations, there are two exceptions available to libraries: orphan works and out-of-commerce works, as permitted by law. The practical aspects of resolving copyright during the EODOPEN project were presented by Andreja Hari, who also presented the already established exception for out-of-commerce works in the National Library of Estonia. She presented the topic as partners from Estonia unfortunately could not attend the workshop.

Within the EODOPEN project, in addition to addressing copyright resolution models, there is a segment led by the National Library of Hungary, focusing on the development of a tool for organizational tracking of the copyright status of literary works. Dr. Szabolcs Dancs, the head of this segment, introduced the tool known as RCDT (Right Clearance Documentation Tool) during the meeting.