LISC has submitted its response to the draft regulations for the legal deposit arrangements proposed for non-print materials. Giving an overall welcome to this extension of legal deposit, LISC focused specifically on the implications of the regulations for Ireland, where Trinity College Dublin is the Legal Deposit Library for UK print materials. TCD is named as a beneficiary library in the extension of legal deposit to non-print formats in the Legal Deposit Libraries Act, 2003. However, very specific conditions must be met under Irish law regarding legal protections for publishers and Legal Deposit Libraries. TCD has been provisionally named in the draft regulations pending the Secretary of State satisfying himself as to the equivalency of these areas of the laws between the two countries. If these requirements cannot be met the concern is that the valuable resource which the regulations will establish for Legal Deposit Libraries will be lost to the scholarly and research community of the island of Ireland.
LISC is aware that Trinity College is working closely with legal advisors and the Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to ensure that the requirements of the UK Secretary of State are met.
LISC’s response on this issue was as follows:
LISC acknowledges that the absence of information from the Republic of Ireland on its intentions with regard to the legal deposit of non-print materials is an obstacle to the extension of the Regulations to Ireland but we welcome the inclusion of Trinity College Dublin in the draft regulations. However, if the proposed arrangements do not apply to TCD once the regulations come into force we are concerned that this doubly disadvantages a UK home country (Northern Ireland) where there is no legal deposit library and which has historically been reliant on TCD to provide those services for the whole island of Ireland. LISC would also view the exclusion of TCD from e-legal deposit as a great loss for the scholarly and research community throughout Ireland and a situation to be avoided if at all possible.
LISC would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues further and would be happy to assist in any way possible to ensure the optimum outcome with regard to access to these materials.