page considers legal deposit schemes in continental Europe.
It covers -
Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Under the 1969 Gesetz über die Deutsche Bibliothek
German publishers are required to deposit two copies of
print, microform and physical format electronic publications
with Die Deutsche Bibliothek, ie the national library.
The regime was extended to sound recordings in 1973. Guidelines
for voluntary deposit of online content, under the auspices
of the Task Group on the Electronic Deposit Library, were
issued in 2000. Those guidelines currently rely on item
by item agreements.
Deposit in some Länder (state) libraries is required
under non-federal legislation.
In Austria the 2000 media legislation (PDF) broadens legal
deposit provisions to include physical format electronic
publications but does not cover the deposit of online
and networked digital material. The Austrian Online Archive
project, under the auspices of the Austrian National Library,
is exploring periodic harvesting of publicly available
currently has no Federal legal deposit legislation for
any type of published material. Some cantons have
separate legal deposit legislation, generally covering
only print material.
French regime provides that publishers and printers deposit
copies with the national and provincial libraries: publishers
deposit four copies with the Bibliothèque Nationale,
printers deposit two copies with each of 30 regional libraries
The Loi du 20 juin 1992 relative au dépôt légal
revising the legal deposit legislation, came into force
in 1994. It requires legal deposit of printed, graphic,
photographic, sound, audiovisual and multimedia documents,
whatever the technical means of production, as soon as
they are made accessible to the public by the publication
of a physical carrier.
The legislation does not cover online electronic publications.
Deposit of CD-ROMs has been enforced since 1994. Access
policies restrict networking of those items. France's
legal deposit advisory body, the Conseil scientifique
du dépôt légal (CSDL)
recommended in 2000 that the legislation be extended to
include online content. The French online regime is discussed
in Thomas Drugeon's 2005 A Technical Approach for
the French Web Legal Deposit Project (PDF).
Act on Copyright Deposit of Published Works (here),
in effect from 1998, replaced the 1927 Copyright Deposit
of Printed Matter to Public Libraries Act. The depository
institution is the Royal Library of Denmark. It aims to
cover all published material (including physical format
electronic publications and static internet content) but
does not cover dynamic online electronic documents. Archived
internet content is viewable only on stand-alone devices
in the Library and cannot be copied by users.
A new Legal Deposit law, authorising harvesting of the
net, was passed in December 2004, with effect from 1 July
2005. It covers "materials made public", including
published in physical form, regardless of medium.
made public via electronic communication networks, authorising
harvesting of materials made public on dot-dk domains
and content made public on non-Danish Internet domains
that is aimed at a Danish audience
television and radio programmes, authorising recording
of radio and television programmes broadcast by Danish
broadcasters or broadcasts for a Danish audience by
organisations domiciled outside Denmark
produced for public exhibition and defined as 'Danish'.
pre-2004 regime is discussed in Birgit Henriksen's 1999
paper on Legal Deposit on the Internet: A Case Study
Sweden, Finland and Norway
1993 Legal Deposit Act (here)
covers print, audio-visual and physical format electronic
publications. An earlier Legal Deposit Act, in 1978, also
established the National Archive of Recorded Sound and
Finland's 1980 Legal Deposit Act covers printed
and visual material. It was extended in 1981 to cover sound
recordings. A 2000 report
on revision of the Act called for extension to cover the
legal deposit of physical format and online electronic publications.
Amendments to extend the 1993 coverage to online content
have not progressed. A special decree of 2002 instead
authorises the Royal Library of Sweden to collect Swedish
sites on the net, with public access to that content on
its premises. The decree reflects the library's Kulturarw3
project, launched in 1996, centred on automated harvesting
of those sites.
The latter includes works considered to be 'true' electronic
publications (eg electronic books and newspapers) - subject
to a formal deposit arrangement - and content that would
not involve deposit action by the publisher (ie would be
collected automatically). Printers and publishers are currently
required to provide with six copies of books and journals,
two copies of newspapers and microforms, and two copies
of "audio and visual recordings". Repositories
include the Helsinki University Library and the Turku University
A separate 1984 Act on Archives for Motion-pictures
covers Legal Deposit of motion pictures, films and videos
in the Finnish Film Archive.
In Norway the wide-ranging 1989 Legal Deposit Act
in effect from 1990, covers books and other printed materials,
sound recordings, films and videos, and some digital publications.
Publishers are generally required to provided seven copies
of the publication. Physical format electronic publications
and static internet content is covered by the Act through
inclusion of any works "that can be read, heard,
broadcast or transmitted".
the Netherlands and Belgium
Netherlands, as one of the few countries in the world
without legal deposit legislation, relies on voluntary
arrangements. Deposit is based on individual agreements
with publishers under the auspices of the national publishers
association. Most Dutch printed material is deposited
with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB). A voluntary deposit
scheme for physical format electronic publications such
as CD-ROMs and magnetic disks commenced in 1996.
A 1999 general arrangement (PDF)
for voluntary deposit of electronic publications extended
that scheme to cover online and offline materials. Dynamic
content is in principle covered by the agreement but will
not be sought until technical problems are fully addressed.
Access to electronic deposit publications is available
from KB premises only.
Belgium's Legal Deposit law dates from 1965 and is essentially
concerned with printed works. Amendment is currently under
consideration. The law provides for deposit of a single
copy in the Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België, the
In Spain the 1971 Act
regarding the Instituto Bibliografico Hispanico covers
legal deposit of books, periodicals, sound recordings
and motion pictures in the national repository. Particular
provinces have enacted supplementary legislation.