Sad day for Lithuanian libraries

On December 21, 2011 the Lithuanian Parliament adopted the important amendments to the Lithuanian Copyright Law revising the exceptions for libraries and the disabled persons.

Digitization of works by the libraries and access to digital copies are comprehensively restricted in the new law. Digitizing and using the digital copies of the works is allowed in the libraries (as well as museums and archives) for non-commercial research and personal study purposes only as long as:

1) the digital copies of the work are accessible only internally, on the terminals located in the premises of the library;

2) the work is not publicly available for sale;

3) rights holders have not prohibited such use;

4) the simultaneous access to the digital copy, shall not exceed physical number of “hard copies” of this work held by the library.

5) effective technical protection measures, restricting copying, transfer or external access, shall be employed by the libraries.

All of the above conditions shall be fulfilled by the libraries in order to digitize the work and use of the digital copy.

Things turned out much better for the disabled, though, at least partially due to my own efforts.

With respect to the disabled persons, the rules were relaxed and clarified. Prior to the new amendments the rights of the disabled to access digital works over computer networks was a grey area.

As a result of the new rules, it is now expressly allowed for the organizations of the disabled persons to make digital copies of the work and make them available over computer networks in audiobook and Braille formats, as well as adapted versions for persons with intellect and learning disabilities. Access control (rather than “effective technical protection measures”), restricting access only to the disabled persons, shall be employed by the organizations of the disabled, who want to engage in activities of making works available and accessible to the disabled.

New rules for libraries and disabled persons came into force as of January 10, 2012.

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