Takedown position statement

State Library Victoria, as a member of National and State Libraries Australia (NSLA), has endorsed a position statement on takedown requests.

NSLA libraries have mandated roles to collect and preserve cultural heritage, provide open and equitable access to information, and support the growth of knowledge and ideas. Given these responsibilities, materials provided online will be taken down (or have other access restrictions imposed) only in extraordinary circumstances.

In making collections available online, NSLA libraries act to respect jurisdictional legal considerations. However, NSLA libraries recognise that despite best efforts there may be occasions when material made available online is considered to breach copyright or other relevant law, or contains information that is culturally sensitive.

In terms of copyright infringements, Australia has recently legislated to extend safe harbours protection to include cultural, educational and disability groups where they provide online services to the public. The Copyright Amendment (Service Providers) Act 2018 sets the services and compliance requirements to which safe harbours may apply. As well as being relevant to takedown of material uploaded by third parties, these changes are relevant for those providing public access computers or search services. Further information is available on the Australian Libraries Copyright Committee website.

As a means of promoting a consistent response to takedown requests, NSLA libraries have agreed to take into account the following general principles:

  • The broadest possible online access to collection materials will be provided.
  • Permanent access restrictions, deindexing or takedown will be considered as an exceptional response.
  • Requests for access restrictions, deindexing or takedown will take into account the relationship of the requestor to the material.
  • Requests for access restrictions, deindexing or takedown will take into account specific jurisdictional legislation and related exemptions.
  • Access restrictions or takedown of material made available online should, as far as practical, be openly acknowledged with a statement noting the takedown.
  • As circumstances change, or after a period of time, online material that has been taken down, restricted or deindexed should be reviewed and may be reinstated.

If you have such concerns about online material provided by State Library Victoria, please contact us in writing providing the following:

  • your contact details
  • full description and details of the material
  • full URL of where you found the material
  • if the request relates to copyright, provide proof that you are the rights holder and a statement that you are the rights holder or an authorised representative
  • the reason for your request, including but not limited to copyright law, privacy laws, data protection, obscenity, defamation etc

Send your request to:

The Copyright Officer
State Library Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000
copyright@slv.vic.gov.au

State Library Victoria will acknowledge your takedown request in writing and will make an initial assessment of the request. Access to the online material may be temporarily removed until a final decision is agreed upon.

All possible efforts will be made to resolve takedown requests quickly and to the satisfaction of both parties.