Researchers and librarians have expressed concern after post-Brexit copyright rules forced the British Library to take down a digitised version of the feminist magazine Spare Rib.

On 1 January the UK government repealed the European Union’s orphan works exception, meaning UK-base institutions can no longer digitise copyrighted works for which the rights holder is not known or cannot be found.

David Prosser, RLUK’s Executive Director, commented in Research Fortnight:

‘Any organisation that has been digitising content over the past few years relying on the orphan works exception will have to make the difficult decision to either try and go down the licensing route that the government has put in place – which is rather complex, expensive and time-limited – or they have to do what the British Library has done and take the material down.

It is particularly infuriating that this is happening at exactly the time that a lot of libraries are physically shut and so readers cannot even go into the library to view the physical originals’.

Read the full article in Research Fortnight.