Essential Law for Information Professionals, Fourth Edition

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Essential Law for Information Professionals offers easy-to-follow practical advice on the law as it affects information management and the fundamental principles underlying practice.
 The seven years since the last edition was published has seen the introduction of important new pieces of legislation as well as relevant legal cases, which have demonstrated how the law has played out in practice. This new, fully up-to-date fourth edition includes examples across a range of legal topics both in the UK and internationally. Each topic is comprehensively covered with an outline of the legal framework, background context and practical examples included. Key topics addressed include
 • library law;• copyright;• legal deposit;• breach of confidence;• contracts and licensing agreements;• data protection;• freedom of information;• human rights;• re-use of public sector information;• defamation;• professional liability;• cybercrime and computer misuse; and• disability discrimination.


List of figures and tables

List of case reports

Table of statutes, etc.

Table of cases


Glossary of terms


1        General law and background

1.2     Court system

1.3     Sources of law

1.4     Legal concepts/terminology

1.5     Conclusions



2          Library law

2.1       Localism Act 2011

2.2       Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

2.3       Sustainable Communities Act 2007 and Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Act 2010

2.4       Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964

2.5       Local byelaws

2.6       Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854

2.7       Library Offences Act 1898

2.8       Prison service instruction: prison library service

2.9       School library service

2.10     Equality Act 2010 (section 149: Public sector equality duty)



3          Copyright

3.1       General principles

3.2       Economic and moral rights

3.3       Legislative framework

3.4       Acts permitted in relation to copyright works          

3.5       Licensing   

3.6     Digital copyright

3.7     Copyright clearance

3.8     Open access

3.9     Ethical and professional issues and conflicts

3.10   Further information




4.         Legal deposit

4.1       Introduction

4.2       General principles

4.3       Enforcement

4.4       Copyright and use of legal deposit material

4.5       Online defamation

4.6       The future

4.7       Further information


5        Breach of confidence

5.1     General principles

5.2     Obligation of confidence and the Freedom of Information Act

5.3     Remedies

5.4     Trade secrets

5.5     Case law on breach of confidence



6        Contracts and licensing agreements

6.1     General principles

6.2     Negotiating licences

6.3     Consortia and standard licences

6.4     Technology solutions

6.5     Use of passwords for licensed products

6.6     Further information



7        Data protection

7.1         Introduction

7.2         General principles

7.3         The six data protection principles

7.4       Accountability

7.5       Processing of personal data         

7.6     Exemptions

7.7     Privacy notices

7.8     Register of fee payers

7.9     Rights of the data subject

7.10   Data breaches

7.11   Data protection impact assessments

7.12   Fines and prosecutions

7.13   Data protection issues for libraries

7.14   Data protection standards

7.15   How to protect your information

7.16   Identity theft

7.17   Further information



8.       Privacy

8.1     General principles

8.2     Obligation of confidence v. breach of privacy 

8.3     Codes of practice

8.4     Injunctions

8.5     Privacy and libraries

8.6     Case law

8.7     Further information


9        Freedom of information

9.1     General principles of freedom of information

9.2     The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) 

9.3     Publication schemes

9.4     Datasets

9.5     Copyright implications of the FOIA

9.6     Freedom of information and library and information professionals

9.7     Freedom of information rights and request procedures

9.8     Exemptions and appeals

9.9     Enforcement

9.10   The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)

9.11   Freedom of information in Scotland

9.12   Freedom of information and data protection 

9.13   European Union documents

9.14   Further information and keeping up to date



10        Human rights

10.1   General principles

10.2   Human rights and data protection

10.3   Human rights and breach of confidence

10.4   Human rights and copyright

10.5   Human rights and freedom of expression

10.6   Summary

10.7   Further information



11      Re-use of public sector information

11.1   Background

11.2   General principles

11.3   Public task

11.4   UK government licensing framework

11.5   Right to data

11.6   Charging

11.7   Complaints procedure

11.8   Further information



12        Defamation

12.1      Introduction

12.2     General principles

12.3     Slander           

12.4     Libel

12.5     Defences to libel

12.6     Remedies

12.7     Defamation and the internet

12.8     Checklist




13      Professional liability

13.1   General principles

13.2   Contract

13.3   Tort (delict in Scotland)

13.4   Liability and electronic information

13.5   Liability for copyright infringement

13.6   Risk management

13.7   Indemnity and insurance



14      Cybersecurity and cybercrime

14.1   Background

14.2   Cybersecurity and cyber essentials

14.3   Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime

14.4   The Computer Misuse Act 1990

14.5   The Network and Information Systems Regulations

14.6   Hacking

14.7   Viruses, worms and Trojans

14.8   Intellectual property infringement

14.9   Pornography

14.10 Fraud

14.11 Denial of service attacks

14.12 Acceptable use policies

14.13 Communications Act 2003



15      Disability discrimination

15.1   General principles

15.2   Copyright and the disability exceptions

15.3   The Right to Read

15.4   Website accessibility

15.5   Further information



16      Other legal issues relevant to librarians

16.1   Introduction

16.2   Police surveillance and libraries

16.3   Cloud computing

16.4   Stocking extremist/controversial literature

16.5   Censorship

16.6   Theft or mutilation of rare books

16.7   Lending of audio books and e-books

16.8   Further information

Paul Pedley

Paul Pedley is a leading expert in information law. He is a Visiting Lecturer at City University, responsible for the Information Law and Policy Module; he has been a member of LACA, the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance since 1998; and is the author of Digital Copyright and Copyright Compliance: Practical Steps to Stay Within the Law, and editor of Managing Digital Rights. He regularly runs training courses on copyright and other legal issues.

Prise for the third edition

"Since the first edition was published in 2003 this has been one of the most essential books on my shelf...If you only purchase one book on law for information professionals, let it be this one...Highly recommended."
— The Electronic Library

"Essential Law is just that – essential reading for any information professional, particularly those with responsibility for compliance in areas such as copyright."