Pedley, Paul. Practical copyright for library and information professionals. London: Facet Publishing, 2015. xxviii, 195 p. ISBN 978-1-78330-061-7. £49.95.

This is not the first book by Paul Pedley that I have reviewed. Each time I am amazed by how usable the printed book can be made. I am not sure where I should place the praise; with the author, the publisher, the editor, the layout designer or someone else, but as it always happens with Paul Pedley’s books, I will praise the author.

First of all, the logical structure of the material is easy to grasp and follow. As it is intended as a reference book for professionals, it follows the logic of information specialist, not that of a lawyer. Thus different legal acts pertaining to a certain professional situation (e.g., making available content on dedicated terminals) will be mixed to explain the pragmatic points important for setting up the service or taking action.

The main parts of the book cover general principles of the copyright, legislative frameworks, permitted acts related to copyrighted works including exceptions, licencing issues, the features of digital copyright, situation of orphan works, compliance with copyright, and finally copyright for those who are working in the corporate sector rather than public.

The text in each chapter is kept short, using a variety of summary techniques, like tables, bulleted lists, and text boxes. Surprisingly, this very structured text does not seem dry or boring. In some cases it becomes intriguiging and even thrilling (read, for example, 3.2.5 Quotation or 5.1.1 Implied licences). The author also provides a variety of examples from the court cases to illustrate the working of different types of legislation. And some of these are little detective stories in themselves.

But the point of the book is not to entertain the reader. It is meant to provide the guidance in the maze of national and international legislation. The achievment of the aim is helped by providing different access points to the content. First of all, a very detailed table of contents is helpful to choosing the required item in the text. In addition to the usual list of figures and tables, there are also tow other lists (called tables) – one of statutes and one of cases – with the references of book pages enabling to find the items of interest. Together with the index at the end of the book and the highlights of particularly useful resources they allow a reader to search the text as effectively as a well constructed website.

The book is mainly based on the UK practices and directed to the British library and information specialists. The author explains his bias at the very beginning in the introductory text. But I would say that this particular book differs from others written by the author, as it introduces enough international and, especially, European context to be equally useful for European information professionals. This context is included not only by the European legal frameworks, but also by cases collected from different countries and small illustrative examples in the text.

The volume is definitely fulfiling its function of keeping the library and information staff informed of the perils and possibilities of copyright legal frameworks and should find place on the desks of library managers on different levels.

Professor Elena Maceviciute
Swedish School of Library and Information Science University of Borås November, 2015