| Commentary

115 Legal deposit laws in the United Kingdom

| Commentary

115 Legal deposit laws in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the current statutory deposit scheme only covers printed publications. Until 1 February 2004 this scheme was provided by Section 15 of the 1911 Copyright Act1 (the sole un-repealed Section), and imposed two obligations on the publisher of every book which is published in the United Kingdom. First, the publisher was obliged to deliver, at the publisher’s expense, within one month of publication a copy of the book to the British Library Board. Second, the publisher was required to deliver a further copy of the book to each of the remaining deposit libraries if they demanded a copy2. Publishers were liable to a fine for failure to comply with these obligations. On 1 February 2004 the Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003 came into effect and repealed Section 15 of the 1911 Act.

The 2003 Act re-enacted the original provisions in relation to works published in print3 and made provision for the deposit obligations to be extended to works of a prescribed description which are

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