Legal Aspects of Digital Preservation

Legal Aspects of Digital Preservation

Thomas Hoeren, Barbara Kolany-Raiser, Silviya Yankova, Martin Hecheltjen and Konstantin Hobel

This important book illustrates the implications of preservation actions on intellectual property rights and data protection. These can include: Potential violation of data protection laws through the storage of personal data, and potential infringement of a copyright-holder’s exclusive right to reproduce and store their copyright protected data. The book considers the scope of protection under both IP and data protection rights, and offers strategies on avoiding potential infringement. Further IT contracting issues and selected existing legal obligations to preserve data are described with a particular emphasis on digital preservation.

Chapter 2: Legal aspects of digital preservation

Thomas Hoeren, Barbara Kolany-Raiser, Silviya Yankova, Martin Hecheltjen and Konstantin Hobel

Subjects: law - academic, information and media law, international commercial law


European Directives as well as national laws and regulations have a large impact on the possibilities of how to use a digital preservation system. Nevertheless, a holistic legal understanding of digital long-term preservation is missing. Some regulations that affect the possibilities of digital preservation systems are obvious. In particular, the laws of data protection and intellectual property rights (IPRs) have to be considered; and, of course, one will need to consider IT contracting issues, such as service level agreements or IPRs licensing in general. But besides these obvious legal issues, a holistic digital preservation system will be affected by many different laws and regulations. Even if the number of European regulations and national laws is finite, it is quite impossible to consider every single law of 28 Member States and analyse their impact on a digital preservation system for business processes, especially if one analyses only abstract processes without a concrete reference to a company, or at least a concrete branch. It is rather necessary to take a closer look at legal problems, while creating a concrete digital preservation system for a concrete company. The aim of this legal analysis of digital preservation systems for business processes is not to give answers to unasked and unknown questions, but to create the awareness that one will need to take a closer look at many legal problems which arise with the creation of a holistic digital preservation system for business processes.

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