[A2k] WIPO transcript of US intervention on L&Es for libraries and archives on SCCR 23

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Nov 22 01:47:55 PST 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The document that the United States would like to submit today to the committee is now available outside. It's been available for a few minutes. We apologize it's not available in other languages than English. We regret this very much. It is just a function of our timetable and the short amount of time we were working with. 
The document that the United States is submitting is an effort to crystallize our own statement from the last SCCR in which we elaborated on our own system of exceptions and limitations for libraries and the ideas from that system that we believe apply more broadly and will be of use to other countries working on exceptions and limitations for their own libraries and archives. 
Mr. Chairman, our document is actually arranged in a series of objectives and principles that we think may help the Committee think more clearly and with a greater focus on specific areas or clusters of issues. And I'm going to explain the first objective, which is the overarching objective, of what we believe our effort is. And then turn it over to my colleagues on the United States delegation to further elaborate on the principles and the individual issues we have identified. 
Mr. Chairman, I do want to make clear that although the United States makes this submission today, we of course are willing to engage and discuss other issues that may not be covered by the entirety of our objectives and principles document. The objectives and principles document being submitted by the United States is intended to reflect our own thinking and what we think is the core of what is important in working on exceptions and limitations on libraries and archives. 
The first objective for us is the general overarching objective and that is to encourage Member States to adopt exceptions and limitations in their national laws that facilitate the public service roles 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 believe that's the overarching goal of what the effort in this Committee must be about and with that, Mr. Chairman, I'll turn it over to my colleague, Michelle Wood and to Nancy Weiss to further elaborate on our submission.

>> Thank you. So next we have the general principles that we believe embody our initial broad objective. These principles set out some of the broad roles of limitations and exceptions affecting libraries and in this section these principles are stated quite broadly and then below some of the principles are more targeted towards specific topics. 
So first we have an explanation of the integral role of exceptions and limitations in national copyright systems and how they play a critical role in enabling libraries and archives to meet the needs of the public and to help individuals to achieve their full potential and engage with others.  Then at the same time specific exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives can help those institutions to assist individuals in seeking, receiving and imparting information to participate meaningfully in public life. 

Another broad role for exceptions and limitations is to advance knowledge by preserving and providing access to the world's cultural, artistic and scientific heritage and of course that's an objective or a role in which libraries play a major part. 
Finally, we have noted that it is important to take into account both affirmative protections for authors and exceptions and limitations as part of a balanced copyright system with the goals of encouraging creativity, innovation and learning. 

Now Nancy Weiss will talk about the preservation objective.
>> Thank you, Mr. Chairman, our next objective is to enable libraries and archives to carry out their public service role of preserving works. So we've said libraries and archives undertake important preservation activities utilizing specialised training and techniques, scarce resources and sophisticated technologies and it's their commitments that secure the world's cultural, artistic and scientific heritage for the current and future generations so we want to have this broad objective, something that was discussed yesterday. And think that is something that's common that we can all commit to. Our principles in these areas recognize that again the special role of libraries and archives in carrying out these preservation activities. The flexibility that is necessary for libraries and archives to make copies of published and unpublished works for the purpose of preservation and replacement under appropriate circumstances and also recognizing that the need for preservation exists for materials in a variety of media and formats and often includes migrating materials from obsolete storage formats. 

So again, the overall objective is to enable libraries and archives to carry out their public service role of preservation. 

Our next objective is support for research and human development. And in that it recognizes the role of libraries and archives to support the advancement of research and knowledge providing access to collections and materials for individual use. And our principles in that regard, again, emphasize the access to collections which together are a reflection of our cumulative knowledge. And also recognizes the role of libraries in the development of the Knowledge Society of the 21st Century supporting research, learning, innovation and creative activity, providing access to diverse collections, providing information and services to the general public.  Including disadvantaged communities and underserved communities for those who may not have general access. 

So in this regard reasonable exceptions and limitations can and should establish a framework enabling libraries and archives to supply copies of materials to researchers and other users directly or through an intermediary libraries. Thank you. 
Excuse me. I will continue a little bit. 

The next objective is to encourage the adoption of national legal dpos sit laws and systems. Again legal dpos sit systems within the copyright environment helps develop national collections and also might supplement some of these other goals we've said including preservation particularly if they include many categories of works published in multiple formats we also recognize the roles of libraries and archives in providing access to Government information which helps individuals to understand and participate within their communities. 
And then finally we have another area that we have identified as general principles. That note in addition to specific provisions for libraries and archives, there are other exceptions and limitations within national copyright systems that play an important role in furthering these library and archival services this includes for example in the United States the provision of fair us use. We also want to recognize that national systems can use provisions that enable libraries and archives to meet the needs of their communities giving them limited liability protection for employees and agents that act in good faith or are believed to have acted in accordance with Copyright Law. 

We do want to recognize something that has been discussed in this room. That existing national systems of exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives should be examined to determine if they require updating for the digital era to enable these institutions to continue to carry out their public service roles. 

We also wanted to highlight that multimedias share many of the same public service roles as libraries and archives and -- museums -- and we might want to consider extending exceptions in this area in all situations adequate safeguards should be in place to ensure the lawful and responsible exercise of exceptions and limitations by libraries and archives. 

>> Mr. Chairman, we skipped around a little bit and I apologize for any confusion on that. I also apologize that it's come to our attention that one of our principles in the very last page is missing. So let me elaborate on what Nancy Weiss said. And we will shortly print out for everyone an addendum page to the third page. And then we will revert to the last section, legal deposit. Under the general other principles, because of the different versions we were working with, we apologize sincerely but one of our principles was left out. Rights holders have a critical role in ensuring accessible -- sustainable access to copyrighted works in developed and Developing Countries. Where rapidly changing technology requires flexible solutions Member States should encourage collaborative and innovative solutions among all stakeholders. And we will have that addendum page printed within a matter of minutes. Thank you, Mr. Chair. I revert back now to Michelle Woods to go to the other section, legal deposit. 

>> UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: So the final objective that we have put forward as a specific objective is to encourage the adoption of national legal deposit laws and systems and in our view this objective supports and feeds into the role of libraries and archives of national institutions that develop national collections. And this role can also support the need for preservation of collections on the national level. 
So legal deposit systems can be systems where for instance there are requirements in law for publishers or other authors to submit certain numbers of copies of works to a national institution.  That can often be a national library, although it doesn't necessarily have to be the national library. 

And we did note here that it's important to consider that many categories of work should be covered there. 

In addition, we think it's important to maintain access to essential Government information for countries and libraries and archives play an important role in that function. So copyright restrictions on Government materials should not limit the ability of libraries and archives to receive, preserve and disseminate Government works. Thank you. 

>> CHAIR: May I ask the delegation of the United States whether they have finished or are you going to change speakers? 

>> UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We were just looking for a dramatic pause, Mr. Chairman. Yes, we are finished with our presentation of the short document. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)

thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

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