The Case for Libraries and Archives at WIPO SCCR 26
On the afternoon of day 3 of SCCR 26, the proposed broadcasting treaty is finally "behind" us or at least the negotiations over the proposal are interrupted until next SCCR April 28 to May 2, 2014.
It is now the turn of libraries & archives, and many public interest NGOs are making statements after statements to ensure that the WIPO committee continues to work on limitations and exceptions this time on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives.
The supporters of the broadcasting treaty, some of them copyright holders representatives such as publishers and motion pictures representatives (!?!) are also expressing their opposition to any instrument on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives.
The room is clearly divided but the intellectual argument is being won by the libraries and archives. Here are some of the very strong statements. The first one by the International Council on Archives, the second one by the Karisma Foundation, a Colombian organization, followed by eIFL.net, the Canadian Library Association and finally IFLA.
Intervention on behalf of the Society of American Archivists, North America's largest assembly of professional archivists collectively responsible for billions of copyrighted works:
In more than three decades of managing, collections and helping researchers navigate and respect copyright law, I've witnessed how archival discoveries change people's lives.
UNESCO's universal declaration on archives recognizes this transformative effect by noting, quote, the vital necessity of archives for establishing individual and collective memory, for understanding the past, and for documenting the present to guide future actions.
This is why the declaration calls for archives to be made accessible to everyone. Archivists have always This is why the declaration calls for archives to be made accessible to everyone. Archivists have always been responsible for capturing, preserving and making available the intellectual heritage of human kind, and the records to support human rights. In the 21st century network technology has made it possible to open up this vast heritage to the entire world by removing age old book barriers of time and space and permitting access to these often unpublished out of commerce and personally donated collections.
Yet current law prevents us from using the barrier breaking technology to reach the shared goals of archives and copyright law, that is expanding knowledge and creating new works. We must also support citizen access for accountability heritage and identity. The United States, for instance, has some library and archives exceptions, but they are inadequate and woefully out of date.
We are not clearly permitted to preserve backup copies of digital, digitized materials. We are not permitted to make copies of users of graphic materials. Nor are we able to share the millions of orphaned images, letters and technical reports that the public has entrusted to us. As for fair use, it's often subject to costly litigation leaving too many archives hesitant to put material on-line, that is why these exceptions under discussion are necessary.
As information professionals, archivists take copyright law very seriously, and we spend considerable time guiding users in following the law. But we face two inescapable facts. First, in the 21st century if something is not on-line, it might as well not exist. Second, without appropriate exceptions for orphaned works and cross-border digital delivery archivists are faced with either ignoring the law, or foregoing our mission and renege on our obligation to society. For archives, copyright must progress from its 300-year-old model and move into the digitally interconnected 21st century. The UNESCO declaration mandates that archives be accessible to everyone. But copyright law now disenfranchises anyone not wealthy enough to travel to use the unique treasures in physical archives. To fulfill UNESCO's mandate both archives and copyright must adapt or consign ourselves to irrelevance.
The Karisma Foundation which represents civil society in Colombia:
We represent civil society in Colombia, in order to guide them with the best use of communication and Internet and other means, we work closely with archives and libraries in their digital technologies in order to ensure fundamental rights like access to knowledge and information.
Consequently, we view the copyright from that point of view. I should here like to make clear that as a result of this session, librarians and archivists in Colombia want to make known their concerns. In Colombia libraries and archives are essential for the enjoyment of fundamental rights.
In some areas of the country, libraries are the only place in which one can have access to books and knowledge. But in the current circumstances, they didn't have full legal security in order to fulfill that function, and use a digital technologies. Our law on copyright and in the Andyan decision 351, the only exception is the reproduction of a work for its preservation, and in order to replace it, should it become lost or be destroyed in some way.
We serve communities, and since the fact that a copyright is permanent, has created problems for, in Colombia, for both libraries and archives to hesitate to lend a document to their users.
This of course affects the development, both at the cultural and educational level, and also impeedz innovation, we would like to promote the development of abiding -- binding international instrument which would provide protection and guarantees for libraries and archives. It is extremely important for our foundation to be present here and to be allowed to participate, and where our concerns are heard. It is extremely urgent that the international community look at the guarantees and protection required by libraries and archives in order to pursue their day-to-day work.
Bilateral trade agreements are eroding national copyright law, and we need an increase in protection, which is to the detriment of the fundamental rights of everyone. This treaty would provide guarantees which should be binding in the international system, as are the protection for copyright holders.
eIFL.net, made the case for facilitating library services that are necessary for development and education especially in developing countries:
I'm speaking on behalf of electronic information for libraries, the partners with libraries and library consortia in more than 60 developing and transition countries to enable access to digital information. [...] The Marrakech treaty shows how international intervention can remedy inequalities created by the copyright system, libraries as authorized entities look forward to playing our part in the implementation phase, in order to make a real difference to the lives of print-disabled people in developing and transition countries.
Now we are eager to continue the work plan concerning limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. Our focus on topic 2, the right of reproduction, in document SCCR 26/3 that serves one fundamental goal, to help ordinary people to meet their education leisure and information needs.
We are grateful to Member States for their proposals that enable two activities. A library may copy materials such as a book chapter or a journal, an article in a journal, from its own collection in response to a request from a user.
And, because no library can own every published work, may obtain a copy from another library if necessary.
The system of cooperation is known as interlibrary document supply. In communities where the library is the only source of a broad range of reading materials, because affordable access to books is scarce, the service is imperative for education and development.
Yet, the Crews study that was mentioned earlier showed that one-third of the Member States surveyed do not have an exceptional owg libraries to -- exception, allowing libraries to make copies of their works for their users, and only 8 percent have a provision for interlibrary document supply.
The ability to make digital copies is highly uncertain, or expressly barred in some cases. At the same time, Mr. Chairman, other states are forging ahead, reforming their copyright laws to boost their digital economy, and the growth of a robust digital society for their citizens.
Unless an international framework establishing basic standards is put in place urgently, inequalities in public knowledge will increase. Nations will increasingly find themselves at a competitive disadvantage, and already disadvantaged societies will fall further behind.
Our goal is that libraries in every part of the world can properly carry out their institutional mandate to facilitate access to knowledge in fulfillment of government, social and educational policies.
We recognize the theory that the international copyright framework provides legal space to ensure meaningful limitations
We recognize the theory that the international copyright framework provides legal space to ensure meaningful limitations and exceptions. But when the reality is different, and the gap between countries is widening, intervention is required to ensure the integration of key public interest concepts into the international framework.
So we are grateful to the Committee for consideration of these important issues, and we look forward to achieving progress on your text-based proposals. Thank you.
CLA represents the interests of approximately 57,000 library staff and thousands of libraries of many kinds across Canada, on a range of public policy issues.
Information policy involves every aspect of the role of libraries in Canadian society, and copyright is critical to the effectiveness of the public interest mandate these community institutions serve. And the returns to the Canadian community from investment and support of libraries have been great. A recent study into the economic benefits of the Toronto public library found that it contributed over $1 billion in economic benefits to the Canadian economy. The study also found that services provided every hour for costs of $656 contributed to, $2,515 worth of services.
Part of this effectiveness is attributable to the solid information policy framework underpinning Part of this effectiveness is attributable to the solid information policy framework underpinning libraries in Canada. CLA is here at WIPO to ensure a basic copyright framework is made available to libraries everywhere, and not just in Canada to deliver essential information services, and so that other communities can benefit from the same societal and economic impacts as we have in Canada. And yet even in Canada, libraries' abilities to achieve the kinds of outcomes demonstrated in the Toronto study are under threat, as increased restrictions such as technology group protection measures and licensing terms and conditions degrade the environment in which we work leaving libraries, changing our role to simple market access intermediaries for publishers.
In this era, when proportions of library collections acquired by license rather than purchase typically run at 75 percent, old models of interlibrary permitted under domestic laws cannot meet the demands for local and international sharing of library resources.
In these circumstances, a legally binding instrument enabling services like interlibrary loan is urgently required to allow libraries and archives to efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the world's population of users.
It's time to move forward with these discussions. The successful conclusion of the Marrakech treaty gives us guidance on some of the issues confronting libraries and archives as well. Take, for instance, article 7 of the Marrakech treaty regarding Technological Protection Mesures. That provides us with a model to move forward on this issue in the working document SCCR 26/3 that you are discussing today. CLA believes that without the ability to override a technical measure in the digital environment, protections for libraries and archives to serve their users will be undermined and this undermines the vital role libraries play in preserving culture and advancing knowledge
On behalf of international federation of library associations (IFLA) and institutions, the international body representing over 750,000 library information professionals and in more than 160 countries:
As the international organization whose mission is dissemination of information, we are proud to have played a active role in informing the drafting of the Marrakech treaty, and as authorized entities will play a critical role in working with Member States, the WIPO Secretariat, rights holders and other NGOs to implement it. But WIPO to ensure its credibility and effectiveness has more to do, to ensure that the rights of all stakeholders, including users, remain a integral part of the international copyright regime.
Copyright is for everyone, for creators, owners, and users.
From the beginning, copyright laws have recognized the role of libraries and archives in achieving the goals of the copyright ecosystem. The first limitation on copyright included in the statute of and nearly 400 years ago required that deposit of copyrighted works in various libraries in the United Kingdom in recognition of the critical and privileged role libraries have always played in the preservation and dissemination of our cultural heritage.
The libraries also play other critical roles in the copyright arena. Those include our role in educating users about permissible uses of copyrighted works, serving as critical enter Meade yairs between -- intermediaries between rights holders, publishers and users mainly, and also our role in educating authors about their own rights.
In a digital world where information is increasingly borderless, however, the immense disparity in national exceptions and limitations for libraries makes it impossible for us competently to fulfill our role as intermediaries between rights holders and users. We support the recommendation by Group B and the U.S. that WIPO update the study on library limitations and exceptions, commissioned from professor Crews in 2008. That study demonstrated how problematic it is to ascertain what libraries can legally do from the patchwork of provisions that exist.
It was discouraging to note that 25 percent or so of the WIPO Member States located almost totally in Africa and Latin America, have either no exceptions for libraries, or such a general exception that it provides little useful guidance for libraries and users.
Libraries cannot serve as fully effective intermediaries in such a rapidly changing international information exchange environment, one in which new forms of research such as text and data mining require new transborder exceptions, until SCCR Member States demonstrate the necessary courage and resolve to clarify and strengthen users' rights, the legally binding instrument as it so add Mirrably did for the visually impaired in Marrakech. Many Member States, African Group, Brazil, Ecuador, Uruguay, India, U.S. have proposed specific text.
These texts must remain the focus of discussion in this body, so that SCCR is prepared as a greed by the General Assembly to submit recommendations on limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives no later than the 28th session of the SCCR now scheduled for July 2014, to enable libraries and archives, working with creators and owners, to realize for everyone the promise of the age of information without borders.