[A2k] Exchange between Nigeria and USA at SCCR 23 (on libraries and archives)

Thirukumaran Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Nov 22 02:53:44 PST 2011

"NIGERIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman we are struggling with the direction in which we are proceeding. I'm grateful for the clarification you made earlier on. And I join in your optimism, Mr. Chairman, that we are all here trying to achieve the same thing. 

Mr. Chairman. We -- while we look forward to the complementary text that is coming from Ecuador I believe, we join with delegations in thanking the U.S. delegation on coming up with objectives and principles which formalize on the use of libraries and archives and museums in the -- and the universal need to preserve and advance research and education for the benefit of human development. 

Mr. Chairman, my understanding of the proposals of the United States is -- it's to provide for the elaboration of the need for exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives. This delegation  would be interested in having some clarification on whether the distinguished delegation of the United States is intending that these objectives and principles should also complement the text-based work already been taken on this work of the session. 

Mr. Chairman, if that is the understanding, then we work on the initiative and move forward on the work. 

Mr. Chairman it's important on listed in the work of the Committee that we do not abandon the mandates and the objectives and principles without swaiingt them the context of -- situating them the context of appropriate texts to get our work and ensure progress. 

Mr. Chairman, while this delegation is in agreement with other delegations that have drawn attention to the existence of statutory exceptions in many countries, there is no doubt as the rest of us have already shown that there are disparities and difficulties with application of the provisions of in most national laws. Particularly in the digital environment. 

Mr. Chairman, we will, therefore, be happy if the Distinguished Delegates and our friends from the U.S. are able to throw some light on how the submissions that have just been put forward would interface with the proposals already before us. This will certainly help us in formulating further responses with a view to finding a meeting point and a convergence with the existing text to be considered. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

CHAIR: Thank you. I would like to ask the United States whether they would like to give any response to Nigeria? And then after that I'll give the opportunity to Ecuador to supplement or amend the Brazilian proposal. Thank you. 

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The United States is happy to answer the question of our distinguished friend and the delegate of Nigeria. 

For us the idea of drafting text without knowing why you're drafting text is the issue. Too often this Committee looks at text without having clarity of vision of what the objectives are and what we agree upon the objectives are and the edges of where perhaps we do not agree on what the objectives are. 

So for the United States, we believe that engaging in a text discussion is useful. But most useful where we have a full and frank exchange of views on, for example, what do we believe are the principles that are the limits for preservation copying or preservation reproduction by libraries? Which countries believe that such preservation is appropriate when formats are obsolete? How does one measure when formats are obsolete? 

These are the kinds of discussions that are specific and we believe is in the spirit of what many of our colleagues would like to have so that we can actually move toward understanding the kind of norm for the copyright or exception that we would like to formulate and the precise words we should use to best capture the principle we intend. 

So it is not our intent that the principles and objectives replaces discussion -- discussion of text or ideas for text or the actual wording of a norm. But it is our intent that the principles clarify what we want to achieve and we believe sometimes will clarify points where the room has some consensus but not complete consensus on the parameters of the exception. Thank you, Mr. Chair." 


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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