[A2k] SCCR28: Presentation of US paper on objectives and principles for exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu Jul 3 02:39:22 PDT 2014

SCCR28: Presentation of US paper on objectives and principles for
exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives


3 July 2014

On day four of WIPO SCCR28, the United States of America presented its paper
on Objectives and Principles for Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries
and Archives (SCCR/26/8)
the WIPO plenary.

"Let me start by explaining what we mean by an objective or principle. An
objective is a goal or what the Member States are hoping to achieve.
Principles are further elaborations or key considerations to keep in mind
in getting there. Of course, many Member States have already developed
exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives that meet their
specific social, cultural and economic needs. In reviewing these, we
realize that there are a number of shared objectives that form the basis
for these exceptions. While the working document identifies a a list of
specific issues we have organized our objectives and principles into
overarching themes of particular importance to policymakers to enable
libraries and archives to carry out their essential functions.

We think focusing on the intended outcomes at this level is the most
effective way of organizing our thinking.

Yesterday, our Chair recognized that as a committee, in consensus that
Member States should have appropriate limitations and exceptions for
libraries and archives that enable them to carry out their public service
missions, of course, always consistent with their international obligations
including the three-step test.

First is to encourage Member States to adopt exceptions and limitations in
their national laws consistent with the international obligations that
facilitate the public service roll of libraries and archives, maintaining
the balance between the rights of authors and the larger public interest,
particularly education, research, and access to information.

We then move on to specific objectives for library and archival exception,
such as preservation, support for research and human development, including
access and cross cutting relevance.

Our first objective is encouraging Member States to adopt these national
exceptions and limitations. As we foe from our earlier work, the majority
of Member States already possess some library and archive exceptions 128
out of 184 surveys indicating a strong consensus on the importance of this
objective but we know that many others do not or have only limited coverage
in their exceptions and therefore it is essential to develop a consensus on
this at the international level.

The first objective in related principles provide foundational
underpinnings for the other principles and objectives introduced. We then
considered the different areas for which libraries have adopted exceptions,
relying on the work of the SCCR. We won't go into too much detail on two
preservation now because we will be discussing it later, other than to say
that this is an area where we have heard enormous support and as reflected
in Professor Crews's study, at least 72 Member States have developed
exceptions for this purpose. So too is to enable libraries and archives to
carry out their public service role of preserving works.

The next objective, three, enable libraries and archives to carry out the
public service role of advancing research and knowledge, reflects a number
of areas. This objective reflects the roles of libraries and archives in
providing access. We have talked about preservation. This is access to the
works that comprise the cumulative knowledge and heritage of the world's
nations and peoples. In order for libraries and archives to fulfill the
role for the gateway to knowledge, they must be able to provide access to
their materials as appropriate. In this regard, update and tailored
exceptions and limitations establish a framework enabling libraries and
archives to supply copies of certain materials to researchers and other
users directly or through intermediary libraries including the
collaborative process known as interlibrary loan.

We recognize that authors and creators depend on robust library and archive
exception in order to perform research and perform access to work including
those that may not have enjoyed commercial success. Libraries and archives
provide access to their collections in a variety of ways including digital
means. Updated and tailored and limitations establish a framework allowing
libraries and archives to supply materials.

We will also not go into depth on objective four, legal deposit or
encourage the adoption of national legal deposit laws and systems as,
again, this is discussed in the working document.

Since SCCR 23, we have heard about many challenges of preservation and
access in the digital environment which is why we prioritized our fifth
principle which reflects that Member States should enable libraries and
archives to carry out the public service mission in the digital environment.

Digital technologies are changing all aspects of our society, including the
ways in which libraries and archives obtain, preserve and provide access to
their collections. And the libraries and archives have a particularly
critical role in the development of our 21st century knowledge ecosystem.
Accordingly, limitations and exceptions must ensure that these institutions
can continue to carry out their public service mission in the digital
environment, including preserving and providing access to information
developed in digital form and through a network technologies.

Moreover, we note that in the digital era, there's much more pressure on
library and archives for them to make their collections accessible online,
which on a single user basis or broadly by sharing on a website. Library
and archive exceptions should recognize this need for increased digital

The United States recognizes that researchers are using new tools and
methods to support research outputs and appropriate copyright laws and
corollary exceptions and limitations can help to facilitate this activity.

In the same vein, we acknowledge that libraries and archives provide
research collections for the research and the study of increasingly
sophisticated disciplines of all kinds and customized exceptions and
limitations can be a powerful means on building on existing knowledge.

Finally we recognize other general principles, other does not mean that
they are not important. Each could have been its own benefit but we thought
that they were cross cutting or supportive of other objectives. For
example, err types of exceptions -- (No audio) exceptions as well as
general use exceptions should be consistent with Member States
international obligations.

The second principle relates to limitations on liabilities. This is
discussed further in the working document and so I won't go into it in much
depth here, but we do think that libraries and archives and their employees
and agents acting in the scope of their employment should have some
limitations on liability.

The third principle recognizes the stakeholder solution. It it's important
that rate holders have a critical role in both developed and developing
nations where rapidly changing technology requires flexible solutions,
Member States should encourage collaborative and innovative solutions among
all stakeholders.

Our next principle relates to museums. Museums often share many of the same
public service role as libraries and archives and Member States should
consider the extent to which the same or similar exceptions and limitations
should apply to museums when they perform these roles.

The final principle is safeguards for ensuring responsible behaviors by
users of libraries and archival services and we really mean in this one the
users of library services. The specific principle is that libraries and
archives should have adequate safeguards in place. These institutions
provide access to many works for members of public and can play an
important role in providing the nature and extent of their uses.

We appreciate WIPO states' members attention. We believe that they are a
useful tool for continued discussion and we look forward to hearing other
delegates' reactions and comments as we discuss each topic.

Thank you."

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