[A2k] SCCR/31 EIFL statement on L&Es for libraries and archives Topic 2
teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Fri Dec 11 04:40:26 PST 2015
Agenda item 6: Limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives
TOPIC 2 RIGHT OF REPRODUCTION AND SAFEGUARDING COPIES
I am speaking on behalf of Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL) that
works with libraries in developing and transition economy countries on
Topic 2 Right of Reproduction and Safeguarding Copies.
An exception to the right of reproduction is a fundamental exception that
enables libraries to carry out their public service role of advancing
research and knowledge.
The proposals by Member States facilitate three situations in which
libraries make copies.
First, a library makes a copy for an end user in response to a specific
request for material in the library’s collection for the purposes of
education, research, or private study.
For example, the library may make the copy when:
1. the item is not available on the open shelves because of its age, size,
format, value or condition, or
2. the library cannot offer public copying facilities because the equipment
is too expensive to maintain, and running costs, such as ink and paper, are
The second reason why a library makes copies is in response to a request
from another library, on behalf of an end user. This has been described by
my colleagues in their statements today. In our interventions at SCCR/27,
libraries demonstrated the clear cross-border dimension of document supply.
The third reason why a library may need to make a copy is for backup
purposes to safeguard against loss or damage. For example, the library has
bought an expensive Handbook that is in much demand by students. To avoid
‘page tearing’ (where pages are literally torn from the book) or losing the
book altogether, the library may wish to make a safeguarding copy to use in
place of the original.
What are the conditions attached to the making of such copies by libraries?
Copies must be possible in analogue and digital forms.
The exception should apply to related rights to allow for different types
of material, including audio-visual materials.
Requests by end users are usually for the purposes of education, research,
or private study. In all cases, the uses are non-commercial.
The copies are made in accordance with international obligations, including
the Berne Convention.
The proposal from the African Group uses the standard of ‘fair practice’.
The WIPO Guide to the Berne Convention explains that fair practice implies
an objective appreciation of what is normally considered admissible, and is
ultimately a matter for the courts. References to fair practice can be
found in several national copyright laws, as well as the Berne Convention.
What is the international dimension of the problem?
According to the Kenneth Crews study, just 11% of countries have an
exception for document supply in their national law, and almost no
countries have addressed the issue of cross-border transfer of content.
Consequently libraries often have to refused requests for information on
copyright or licensing grounds.
An international treaty is required to ensure that libraries can legally
undertake document supply both within a country and cross-border.
In the two other situations, an international approach is required to
ensure that libraries everywhere can perform these basic functions, using
We know from the Crews study that 48% of countries surveyed do not
explicitly allow libraries to make copies for research or study, and that
exceptions in many countries apply only to print formats.
Finally, we thank all member states for their proposals. We welcome the EU
Commission’s Communication on modernising copyright issued yesterday which
proposes that the EU will work towards “removing obstacles to cross-border
access to content and to the circulation of works.” Such work is important
not only within the EU, but needs to be undertaken internationally as well.
Thank you for your attention.
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