The original article published in Japanese ( https://current.ndl.go.jp/e2529 )
Current Awareness-E No.441
18 August, 2022
Launch of Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals
On May 19, 2022, the National Diet Library (NDL) launched the “Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals” (hereafter “Individual Transmission Service”). This service allows users to view digitized versions of out-of-print or otherwise difficult-to-obtain materials (hereafter “out-of-print materials”) digitized by the NDL via the Internet. By agreeing to the terms of service, registered users of the NDL residing in Japan can browse out-of-print materials on the National Diet Library Digital Collections.
Among digitized materials, the NDL has released on the Internet digitized materials whose copyrights have been processed. Others have been available from the devices located within the NDL buildings. In January 2014, the NDL launched the “Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Libraries” (hereafter “Library Transmission Service”; see E1540, CA1911) allowing digital data of out-of-print materials to be browsed and copied in libraries approved by the NDL (only browsing is available in some libraries). As of the end of June 2022, approximately 1,380 libraries in Japan and abroad have been approved for Library Transmission Service.
As mentioned, one had to visit the NDL or libraries approved for Library Transmission Service to browse digital data of out-of-print materials. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the beginning of 2020, libraries including the NDL faced closure, making it difficult for users to access out-of-print materials. As the need to access library materials via the Internet became more apparent, there emerged a momentum to amend the Copyright Law. In June 2021, a legislation to partially amend the Copyright Law (Act No. 52, 2021) was promulgated (see E2412 ). With this amendment, the NDL is able to send digitized out-of-print materials to individuals via the Internet, allowing users to browse out-of-print materials even when the libraries are closed or unavailable for various other reasons. There was also an amendment made to allow libraries to send library materials via E-mail (details are omitted in this article).
With coverage by various media, Individual Transmission Service attracted attention prior to its launch. The service was well received. Immediately following the launch on May 19, there was a rapid increase of applications for user registration. By the end of May, in just 10 days, there were more than 190,000 views. As of the end of June 2022, the number of Individual Transmission Service users has reached approximately 33,000. The number of views of Individual Transmission Service in June 2022 was about 350,000. This is more than 300,000, the number of views of Library Transmission Service in FY2021.
The NDL plans to renew the system in December 2022. In January 2023, the NDL plans to begin providing print-out function and to increase the number of materials to be transmitted. We hope that many people will utilize the system.
Written by Kimura Yuka
Digital Information Department
Digital Information Planning Division
Translated by Okada Aya*Notes are not translated and remain in Japanese language.
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