BCA E-book Registration

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CLA VIP Licensing Scheme

Guidelines for Licensees


The purpose of the scheme is:

Who can take out a Licence under the Scheme

The CLA Licence for Organisations providing services to visually-impaired people (the "CLA VIP Licence") is available to Approved Bodies, as defined by the amended Act.

Approved Bodies are educational establishments or not-for-profit bodies, but the CLA VIP Licence is specifically designed for those not-for-profit bodies who make accessible editions for circulation outside their organisation. CLA is making simpler alternative provision (see paragraph 8 below) for educational establishments which only make copies available to their staff and students.

Approved Bodies may also make copies of works not covered by the CLA VIP Licence under Section 31B of the amended Act: see paragraph 4.1 below.

Where these guidelines refer to "you", they mean an Approved Body having taken out the CLA VIP Licence, or a person working for such an Approved Body.

Types of copy that can be made

You may make copies under the CLA VIP Licence in any format that renders them accessible to a person having a visual impairment - this includes, but is not limited to:

There is only one restriction: that no suitable commercial edition is available.

Works Covered

The CLA Licence covers books, journals and periodicals published in the United Kingdom, referred to as UK works in these guidelines; and some foreign works (see paragraph 4.2. below). To the extent that they are included in books, journals and periodicals, it also includes databases (which are not covered by Section 31B of the amended Act).

Excluded Works and Categories

Some works are not covered by the CLA VIP Licence. These are called "excluded works" and CLA publishes a list of them. You may still be able to make accessible copies of excluded works, under the terms of Section 31B of the amended Act, and you must therefore comply with the record-keeping and notification requirements of the amended Act, in particular sub-sections 31C(6) and 31C(7).

Foreign Work

Accessible Copies of works first published in the following countries may also be made under the CLA VIP Licence, but only for circulation within the United Kingdom:

Australia, Canada (including Quebec), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland and works published by those publishers listed on the List of Participating US publishers.

The above list may be amended, periodically by written notice from CLA to the Licensee;

Other Foreign Works

Accessible Copies of works first published in any other country may be made under Section 31B of the Act. They may be circulated only within the UK.

Circulation of Accessible Copies

Accessible Copies of UK works may be circulated, by sale or loan, to any VIP within the European Union.

Accessible Copies of foreign works, and copies of excluded works, may not be circulated outside the UK.

Conditions affecting the making of copies

Copyright legend and acknowledgement

You must include on the copies you make a copyright legend and acknowledgement. This must include the name of the author and the publisher as it appears on the original from which you made the copy, and a copyright statement substantially similar to the following:

This copy is made under the terms of the CLA VIP Licence to be used only by a Visually-Impaired person.

Except as permitted by law, it may not be further copied, nor may it be supplied to any other person, without permission

Charge for supply of licensed copy and licence fee

You may make a charge for the supply of the copy no greater than the cost of production.

There is, for the time being, no licence fee payable to the copyright holder; but authors and publishers reserve the right to introduce charges in the future - for example, should the cost of producing accessible editions fall to the point where they can be made for less than the cost of the original.

Digital manipulation and moral rights

You must make every effort to ensure that the copy you make is as accurate as practicable, consistent with making it accessible. You may add navigational information, and you may make other changes necessary to make the work accessible, provided that these changes do not amount to a derogatory treatment of the work and respect the author's intentions.

Checking whether a suitable commercial edition is available

Neither the CLA VIP Licence nor the Section 31B exception apply if a suitable commercial edition is available. In practice, you are unlikely to want to go to the expense of making an accessible edition if one is already available; your resources could be put to better use making accessible edition of other works, or making works available in other accessible formats which are not commercially-available.

However, it is sometimes difficult to know what is and is not available. One of the purposes of REVEAL is to help locate suitable accessible editions.

In most cases, organisations providing services to VIPs will know the specialist publishers of editions suitable for the impairments of their particular service users and will be in regular contact with them. Regular consultation and co-operation between the commercial and not-for-profit producers of accessible editions is the starting point for finding out.

Publications planned but not yet available

The CLA VIP licence requires you to check whether a suitable accessible edition is planned to be commercially-available. Reasonable enquiry will be sufficient. Whether you then go ahead with making an accessible edition is up to you. Sometimes your service-users will need a copy sooner than the commercial edition is available; in other cases, you may decide that your resources are better directed towards making another work accessible.

Commercial Audiobooks

Not all commercially-produced audiobook editions are necessarily suitable as accessible editions of the full book, since many of them are abridged. However, this is a matter of judgement which you should exercise carefully.

Generally, if it would be a waste of your resources to produce a particular accessible edition because a commercial edition is available, neither the CLA VIP Licence nor Section 31B of the amended Act will permit it.

Notification Scheme

The CLA VIP Licence

The notification requirement of the CLA VIP Licence is satisfied by reporting the copying either to the RNIB NIT scheme (until it is withdrawn in 2004), or to REVEAL. This ensures that the accessible copies will be listed on REVEAL and can be located by other VIPs who might be able to make use of them.

Copying not covered by the CLA VIP Licence

If the copying is carried out under Section 31B of the amended Act, instead of the CLA VIP Licence (for example, if the work is an excluded work), there are strict record-keeping and notification requirements set out in subsections 31C(6) and 31C(7) of the amended Act. It is beyond the scope of these Guidelines to explain these in detail, but they include requirements:

(a) To keep records of the copies made and of the persons to whom they are supplied; and (b) To notify the copyright holder (or a relevant representative body) that the copies have been made.

In addition, the copying should also be notified to REVEAL so that the VI community can benefit from it, but this is not a legal requirement.

Digital Copies

Accessible copies made under the CLA VIP Licence or the Section 31B exception may only be made available to visually-impaired people. Digital copies, in particular, could easily be used to make pirate versions of the original. You must take appropriate and reasonable steps to prevent this.

- make sure your service-users understand their responsibilities. If appropriate, get them to sign an agreement, or provide some other record that they accept the terms on which you make the digital copies available.

- Consider using Digital Rights Management or other technology to restrict access to the digital copies you provide.

Commercially-available eBooks:

In theory, digital formats are universally-accessible, since they can be rendered in any form to suit the sensory preferences of the reader. However, some commercial eBook formats cannot yet be processed by speech synthesis software, or have technical protection systems that prevent such systems being used.

Since CLA's authority from copyright holders only covers books, journals and periodicals produced on paper, the CLA VIP licence does not give you any rights to use commercial eBook editions to make accessible editions. If such commercial editions are not suitable for your service-users, you may however make digital accessible editions from the paper version.

Schools, Colleges etc

If your organisation only makes accessible copies for the use of its own staff and students, and doesn't lend or distribute them to others, you do not need a full CLA VIP Licence. The making of accessible copies for your staff and students will be covered by an extension to the existing CLA photocopying licence held by your school or local authority. The same principles, in terms of what may be copied and checking for the availability of suitable commercial editions, apply; but there is no need to notify REVEAL since the copies made will not become part of the national shared resource of accessible copies. You should, however, ensure that these copies are recorded in any CLA survey or record-keeping exercise.

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