The British Library welcomes the publication of the DCMS [Dept. of Culture, Media, and Sport] consultation, “Consultation on the Draft Legal Deposit Libraries (non-print works) Regulations 2013” and the commitment to deliver regulations for non-print legal deposit.
Since the introduction of the 2003 Legal Deposit Libraries Act, the Legal Deposit Libraries have been working with the Government and publishers to implement the necessary regulations to collect material published digitally and on-line, without which information and records of major events of the 21st century continue to be lost to a digital black hole.
Dame Lynne Brindley, Chief Executive of the British Library commented on the publication of the consultation: “These much needed regulations will enable the Legal Deposit Libraries to archive the nation’s digital memory for future generations. We note that micro-businesses, which make-up an estimated 80% of all UK publishers have been excluded from the regulations. This is disappointing as the capture of as much of the nation’s non-print published material as possible will not only provide long-term research benefits but also support micro-businesses as they increasingly make use of the internet for business purposes.”
Internet and social media coverage of the 2011 London riots, the 2009 Parliamentary expenses scandal, and the 2005 London Bombings have already been lost and it has been estimated that less that 1% of all online activity of the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics will be captured.