make provision in place of section 15 of the Copyright Act 1911 relating to the
deposit of printed and similar publications, including on and off line
publications; to make provision about the use and preservation of material
deposited; and for connected purposes.
Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—
Duty to deposit
1 Deposit of publications
(1) A person who publishes in the United Kingdom a work to which this Act
applies must at his own expense deliver a copy of it to an address specified
(generally or in a particular case) by any deposit library entitled to delivery
under this section.
(2) If a deposit library other than the authority controlling the Library of Trinity
College, Dublin has not specified an address, the copy is to be delivered to the
(3) In the case of a work published in print, this Act applies to—
(a) a book (including a pamphlet, magazine or newspaper),
(b) a sheet of letterpress or music,
(c) a map, plan, chart or table, and
(d) a part of any such work;
but that is subject to any prescribed exception.
(4) In the case of a work published in a medium other than print, this Act applies
to a work of a prescribed description.
(5) A prescribed description may not include works consisting only of—
(a) a sound recording or film or both, or
(b) such material and other material which is merely incidental to it.
(6) Subject to section 6(2)(h), the obligation under subsection (1) is to deliver a
copy of the work in the medium in which it is published.
(7) In this section, “address” means an address in the United Kingdom or an
2 New and alternative editions
(1) This Act does not apply to a work which is substantially the same as one
already published in the same medium in the United Kingdom.
(2) Where substantially the same work is published in the United Kingdom in
more than one medium—
(a) section 1(1) applies only in relation to its publication in one of those
(b) that medium is to be determined in accordance with regulations made
by the Secretary of State.
(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision as to circumstances
in which works are or are not to be regarded for the purposes of this section as
substantially the same.
(1) This section applies where a person (in this section, “the publisher”) who is
required by or under this Act to deliver anything to an address specified by a
deposit library, or to a deposit library, has failed to comply with that
(2) The library may, in accordance with rules of court, apply to the county court
(or, in Scotland, to the sheriff) for an order requiring the publisher to comply
with the obligation.
(3) If on an application under subsection (2) it appears that—
(a) the publisher is unable to comply with the obligation, or
(b) for any other reason, it is not appropriate to make an order under that
the court or sheriff may instead make an order requiring the publisher to pay
to the library an amount which is not more than the cost of making good the
failure to comply.
4 Printed publications: the British Library
(1) The British Library Board is entitled to delivery under section 1 of a copy of
every work published in print.
(2) The copy must be delivered within one month beginning with the day of
(3) The copy is to be of the same quality as the best copies which, at the time of
delivery, have been produced for publication in the United Kingdom.
(4) The Board must give a receipt in writing (whether sent by electronic or other
5 Printed publications: other libraries
(1) Each deposit library other than the British Library Board is entitled to delivery
under section 1 of a copy of any work published in print which it requests.
(2) A request under this section must be in writing (whether sent by electronic or
(3) A request—
(a) may be made before publication, and
(b) in particular, may relate to all future numbers or parts of an
encyclopaedia, newspaper, magazine or other work.
(4) No request may be made after the end of 12 months beginning with the day of
(5) The copy must be delivered within one month beginning with—
(a) the day of publication, or
(b) if later, the day on which the request is received.
(6) The copy is to be of the same quality as the largest number of copies which, at
the time of delivery, have been produced for publication in the United
6 Regulations: deposit of non-print publications
(1) The Secretary of State may make regulations supplementing sections 1 and 2 as
they apply to works published in media other than print.
(2) Regulations under this section may in particular—
(a) make provision about the time at which or the circumstances in which
any deposit library becomes or ceases to be entitled to delivery under
(b) require the person mentioned in section 1(1) to deliver, with the copy
of the work, a copy of any computer program and any information
necessary in order to access the work, and a copy of any manual and
other material that accompanies the work and is made available to the
(c) require delivery within a time prescribed by reference to publication or
(d) permit or require delivery by electronic means;
(e) where a work is produced for publication in copies of differing quality,
specify the quality of copies to be delivered;
(f) where a work is published or made available to the public in different
formats, provide for the format in which any copy is to be delivered to
be determined in accordance with requirements specified (generally or
in a particular case) by the deposit libraries or any of them;
(g) make provision as to the circumstances in which works published on
line are or are not to be treated as published in the United Kingdom;
(h) specify the medium in which a copy of a work published on line is to
7 Restrictions on activities in relation to non-print publications
(1) Subject to subsection (3), a relevant person may not do any of the activities
listed in subsection (2) in relation to relevant material.
(2) The activities are—
(a) using the material (whether or not such use necessarily involves the
making of a temporary copy of it);
(b) copying the material (other than by making a temporary copy where
this is necessary for the purpose of using the material);
(c) in the case of relevant material comprising or containing a computer
program or database, adapting it;
(d) lending the material to a third party (other than lending by a deposit
library to a reader for use by the reader on library premises controlled
by the library);
(e) transferring the material to a third party;
(f) disposing of the material.
(3) The Secretary of State may by regulations make provision permitting relevant
persons to do any of the activities listed in subsection (2) in relation to relevant
material, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.
(4) Regulations under this section may in particular make provision about—
(a) the purposes for which relevant material may be used or copied;
(b) the time at which or the circumstances in which readers may first use
(c) the description of readers who may use relevant material;
(d) the limitations on the number of readers who may use relevant material
at any one time (whether by limiting the number of terminals in a
deposit library from which readers may at any one time access an
electronic publication or otherwise).
(5) In this section—
(a) “reader” means a person who, for the purposes of research or study and
with the permission of a deposit library, is on library premises
controlled by it;
(b) “relevant material” means—
(i) a copy delivered under section 1 of a work published in a
medium other than print;
(ii) a copy delivered pursuant to regulations under section 6 of a
computer program or material within section 6(2)(b);
(iii) a copy of a work to which section 10(6) applies;
(iv) a copy (at any remove) of anything within any of sub-
paragraphs (i) to (iii);
(c) “relevant person” means—
(i) a deposit library or person acting on its behalf;
(ii) a reader;
(d) references to a deposit library include references to the Faculty of
(6) A contravention of this section is actionable at the suit of a person who suffers
loss as a result of the contravention, subject to the defences and other incidents
applying to actions for breach of statutory duty.