CRKN is pleased to provide the following memorandum, commissioned from law firm Clark Wilson LLP, as a resource to members considering the copyright status of newspapers and their digitization.
CRKN commissioned Clark Wilson to produce this memo as a legal analysis of the risks, if any, of digitizing material contained in a newspaper collection microfilmed by a commercial imaging company for possible inclusion in the Canadiana collection. In the past, CRKN has digitized newspapers in the public domain that have been microfilmed by not-for-profit organizations. The collection under consideration includes at least some newspapers published within the duration of copyright and microfilmed by a for-profit company. CRKN was seeking information on what content from this collection has the potential to be digitized and hosted on the Canadiana site, while minimizing and managing any copyright risks.
With the goal of contributing to capacity building within member institutions who are digitizing and making available newspaper content in their own collections, we hope that this memo provides additional information and considerations. The memo offers a legal analysis (which is specific to one particular collection and factual scenario) for determining the copyright status of materials as well as suggested risk mitigation considerations, both of which may be useful.
Please note that this memo is provided for general information purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Institutions or individuals interested in understanding the copyright status of their own collections are advised to consult their own legal counsel for specific guidance.