LEGAL DEPOSIT LIBRARIES BILL
27. This private member's bill is about the extension
to non-print material of the arrangements for deposit of publications
in certain libraries. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport
(DCMS) has provided a memorandum for the Committee on the delegated
powers. The memorandum is printed at Annex 4 to this Report.
The Delegated Powers
28. There are delegated powers at clauses 1(3)
and (4), 2(2)(b) and (3), 6, 7(3) and (4), 8 (new section 44A(3)
and (4)), 10(5) and (8) and 16. All of the powers except those
at clauses 8 (negative procedure) and 16 (no procedure - commencement
order) are subject to the affirmative procedure. Clauses 11 to
13 set out various conditions subject to which the powers to make
regulations conferred in the bill on the Secretary of State may
be exercised. In particular: clause 11(4) imposes a proportionality
test (costs to publishers/benefit to public) which must be satisfied
before regulations may be made under clauses 1(4), 2 or 6; clause
11(5) imposes a "no unreasonable prejudice to publishers"
test which must be satisfied before regulations may be made under
clauses 1(4), 2, 6, 7, or 10(5); in certain circumstances the
Scottish Ministers or the National Assembly for Wales must either
consent to the making of the regulations (clause 12(1) and (4))
or be consulted before they are made (clause 12(3) and (5)); and
in every case, both the deposit libraries and the publishers must
29. Although in most instances we take the view
that the delegations are appropriate and subject to an appropriate
level of Parliamentary scrutiny, two issues arise to which the
Committee wishes to draw the attention of the House.
30. Clause 1(4) is central to the bill. It enables
regulations by the Secretary of State to specify the non-printed
works to which the Act will apply. The reasons why the works are
not listed in the bill itself are given at paragraphs 5, 6 and
15 of the memorandum from DCMS - essentially, a list would soon
be out of date and a phased implementation is intended in the
light of consultation. Given the affirmative procedure provided
and the other safeguards (set out in paragraph 28 above), we take
the view that the approach adopted is reasonable and appropriate.
CLAUSE 1(5)) OF
7) EXPLAINS THAT
32. Clause 10(1) and (3) provide that deposit
libraries, persons acting on their behalf or publishers are not
liable for damages, or criminally liable, in defamation for certain
things done under the bill. Clause 10(5) and (6) makes special
provision for material "harvested" by a deposit library
from the internet as an alternative to requiring the publisher
to deliver a copy. But again, the provision is limited to defamation.
33. Clause 10(8) enables the Secretary of State
to extend these exemptions applying to defamation to any liability
in damages or any criminal liability described in regulations.
Although we do not think the delegation to be inappropriate in
this instance, we draw attention to the explanation of the need
for the power given in paragraph 30 of the DCMS memorandum. WE
CLAUSE 10(8) IS
34. WE DRAW
31 AND 33 ABOVE.