Estonia is the first to legislate the storage of digital source materials of publications and films

The Government approved the draft Legal Deposit Act, which Minister of Culture Indrek Saar submitted to the Government, and handed it over to the Riigikogu today, on 10 December. The draft legislation aims to update the submission, collection, and storage of publications significant to the Estonian Culture. The draft legislation takes into account future digital developments and covers publications regardless of their form and means of distribution.

Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said that the draft Legal Deposit Act is indeed groundbreaking and serves an example to other countries, because it creates a new approach to the national storage of publications. There will be a favourable ground for savings and cooperation in the public sector as well as the private sector, and also creates an opportunity to develop innovative future services. “Estonia as a pioneer in the digital field has started to regulate the storage of digital source materials of publications and films and making them available by law, as well as established the basis for useful mutual cooperation between the state and the private sector. This means that it is no longer necessary to separately digitise publications and films that will be published from 2017, because digital source materials will be handed over together with the completed publication,” Saar confirmed.

For the readers, the key improvement is the improved accessibility of digital information due to computer terminals that will be established in five major libraries. The computer terminals provide the readers with an opportunity to study a majority of legal deposit copies of new publications without any assistance from the library worker. “This change is also important for the visually impaired, since the developments of the digital archives of the National Library of Estonia will create additional opportunities for accessing publications from the Web Library of the Estonian Library for the Blind,” Saar said.

The Legal Deposit Act influences all parties involved in publishing publications and making them available, such as the authors, publishers, printing houses, audiovisual producers, and libraries that receive a legal deposit copy under current law. For the publishers, the greatest change will take place in the number of compulsory legal deposit copies – it will fall from current eight to four.

All legal deposit copies and digital source materials must be handed over to the National Library of Estonia, which forwards them to the following keepers: the National Library of Estonia itself, the Archives Library of the Estonian Literary Museum, Tallinn University Academic Library, and University of Tartu Library. The process of collecting source materials of Estonian films and storing them in the National Archives of Estonia will become more systematic. “Therefore, the draft legislation reduces unnecessary administrative burden and duplication, and saves resources,” the Minister of Culture explained.

The draft Legal Deposit Act will replace the earlier Legal Deposit Act. The Act is scheduled to be enforced from 1 January 2017.

Source: MINISTRY OF CULTURE via Estonian Review

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