May 17, 2022

New Agreement: National Library of Norway’s “Bokhylla” Digital Bookshelf Expands, Database Will Continue to Include Books With a Valid Copyright

From the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO):

The National Library of Norway and Kopinor have signed an agreement on August 28th for the permanent continuation of the digital Bookshelf. As a result, 250 000 books from the entire 20th century will become accessible online.

The Bookshelf ( [English translation] was launched in 2009, and has consisted of 50 000 books from the 1690’s, 1790’s, 1890’s and the 1990’s. Through an agreement with Kopinor, who represents publishers, authors and other rightsholders, the National Library has been able to make books available that are still protected by copyright.

It is this service that is now being expanded and made permanent. Books from the entire twentieth century, as well as the year 2000, are being added to the Bookshelf. When the service is complete in 2017, it will include 250 000 books. The number of books available will more than double already this fall when 60 000 books are added to the service.

The Bookshelf is a free service for everyone with a Norwegian IP address. Books that are protected by copyright, however, are not adapted for downloading or printouts. Authors, other creators and publishers are paid through the collective agreement that has now been entered into. The agreement also allows for individual books to be removed from the Bookshelf at the rightsholder’s request.


”This is an important literary, political commitment which contributes to improve the awareness of literature published in Norwegian. It is important both as a means of promoting Norwegian authors online where the readers are, and as a means of preserving the Norwegian language.” says the National librarian Vigdis Moe Skarstein.

”I am happy that the rightsholders, through Kopinor, have been able to help make such a large portion of our literary heritage accessible.” says Kopinor’s Executive Director Yngve Slettholm. ”The agreement is unique, and an example of a forward thinking model for the management of copyright. The remuneration that will be paid, will go back to the creators and publishers, and thus contribute to the creation and publication of new works.”

From The Norway Post:

Director of Kopinor Yngve Slettholm, the site’s collecting society, remarks that this is not just a unique arrangement in Norway, but internationally. I don’t think anyone else has this type of agreement for the public’s access to books, he says.

See Also: Mechanical Translation of Bokhyall “About” Page

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.