I’ve seen two different sets of legal advice about this. They differ in that one said the charges passed on to the reader should include a marginal contribution to the running of the library and the other said you can charge as much as you think you can get away with. Both were 100% adamant that the user should pay a charge and that this should not be less than the direct cost of supply, plus at least a nominal amount to cover “overhead”.


Having said that, it was always my impression that a large number of NHS libraries, perhaps most, just ignore this. I’m not aware of any ever having been prosecuted for small-scale infractions, though that is not to say it couldn’t happen if an individual publisher or a publisher’s agent got the hump about something.


I’ve always been worried about the legality of the traffic in free ILLs over the lists, and partly for that reason we never participated in this during my time at the BMA, but again I’m not aware of action being taken. Apart from questions of legality, the fatal flaw of the ILL-only list has always seemed to me that it would be like a TV channel that only showed adverts.




Tony McSean

+44 7946 291780


From: UK medical/ health care library community / information workers [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jane Mansfield
Sent: 24 July 2007 10:00
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Copyright charges


Good morning,


We're looking at how much we can reasonably charge our service users for articles obtained for the via library privilege, such as from the BMA, British Library or university libraries within the NULJ scheme.


The Copyright act states that:


persons to whom copies are supplied are required to pay for them a sum not less than the cost (including a contribution to the general expenses of the library) attributable to their production


I'm interested to know how other NHS libraries interpret this.  Do you consider the "cost attributable to their production" to be the invoice charge which the supplying library made to your library service, or do you charge less or more than this?


Also, following the e-mails last week about a JISCmail based ILL mailing list, are we any further forward?  Charging individuals upwards of 7 for each BL request is going to be seriously unpopular here, if that's what it turns out we have to do, so any way of obtaining more of our requests from NHS, rather than Library Privilege, sources would help us to reduce the sting where possible.






Jane Mansfield

Operations Librarian
Professional Library
Lincoln County Hospital

01522 573940
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