WIPO proposals can be harmful (fwd)

Subject: WIPO proposals can be harmful (fwd)
From: Frode Bakken, TbgBib (frode@tonsberg.folkebibl.no )
Date: ke 31 heinš† 1996 - 14:33:07 EEST

> From frode Wed Jul 31 09:35:32 1996
> Subject: WIPO proposals can be harmful
> WIPO proposals can be harmful.
> Sandy Norman comments on 25th of july on the WIPO proposals
> and comments especially on Emanuella Giavarras message saying that the
> US/EU-proposals are harmful to libraries and users.
> Sandy says:"The EC proposal that the existing treaty language in art.
> 9(of the Berne convention) not be modified does not harm
> the user community as it will still allow exceptions under national laws."
> There can be many very problematic elements in the EU and US proposals.
> During these days the chairman of the WIPO expert committee on a
> possible protocol will present the basic proposal which
> will be the basis for the discussions at the diplomat conference
> in Geneva in december 1996.
> We must hope that Jukka Liedes, the chairman of the expert committee
> will present a proposal which adopts the wide-spread skepticism and criticism
> presented by many governments and NGOs to parts of the EU/US
> proposals.
> If this is not the case and the EU/US proposals will be presented
> as basis for discussions in december, the global library community has a lot
> of work to do.
> First of all the EU/US proposals are very premature because
> nobody at the moment know exactly the realities and
> consequences of the proposals. The formulations are very general
> and already there are discussions and diagreement concerning
> their real content.
> If the proposals end up as the text - a protocol to the Berne
> convention in dec. 96 and with ratification in the different
> member states in 1997-98, we can at least see some very problematic
> elements.
> 1. Browsing
> The proposal of EU is the following:
> "Contracting parties confirm that the permanent or temporary storage
> of a protected work in any electronic medium constitutes a
> reporduction within the meaning of article 9(1) of the
> Berne convention. This includes acts such as uploading and
> downloading of a work to or from the memory of a computer."
> As an example we can refer to the comments of the norwegian
> government delegation at the meeting in Geneva 22.-24.may 96
> The delegation said:
> "The delegation of Norway expressed its support for the
> proposals of the EU and its member states, but raised a question
> relative to the temporary storage of works as an act of
> repreduction. It pointed out that browsing the Internet, and
> thereby downloading works to see what is there, that is,
> ascertain what content is actually there, is an act involving
> temporary storage in the RAM of the computer. It felt that
> this should not require copyright clearance of the works,
> in that it would be a necessary act to inquire as to
> further uses etc., but rather should be something
> permitted by exceptions or limitations."
> Even if it is impossible to have a real analysis of the
> consequences of the wording of the EU proposal, it seems
> evident that the wording is not so clear that all governments
> believe that the proposal implies that "the exceptions of
> article 9 (2) would continue to apply" as Sandy says in her mail.
> Similar wordings have been presented by the US government and
> the Digital future coalition which also has American library
> association as one of its members presented the new US
> government cyberspace copyright bill (NII copyright protection
> act of 1995 - HR 2441) as having the following
> elements:
> The law proposal (which has not yet been accepted by the Congress)
> would
> "make it a copyright violation to simply browse the Net without a
> license from copyright owners
> subject computer system operators - such as on-line services
> and networks at schools and libraries - to potentially crippling e
> liability for the copyright violations of their users,
> even if the operators has no knowledge of such violations
> thwart "distance education" efforts especially vital to rural communities
> and the disabled
> make it illegal to manufacture, import or distribute devices and software
> needed by industry, schools and libraries to make "fair use" of encrypted
> encrypted information by overruling long-standing Supreme court
> precedent".
> It is as we said premature for WIPO to produce a protocol on the
> question of temporary storage "within the meaning of article 9(1)"
> when there is no consensus of the meaning of this wording.
> These proposals can be very harmful to libraries.
> 2. Access to non-copyright material
> We believe that a very important aspect of public access in
> the information society has not been discussed at all in the
> WIPO documents.
> That is the question of the traditional balance between
> the exclusive rights of the rights owners (which ofcourse
> should be there) and the question of access for the public.
> We can see 3 important groups of documents/works in the
> electronic age which will not be liable to copyright
> clearance:
> 1. works where duration time has been exceeded
> in the coming years vast amounts of works electronically
> stored will fall into the free because the duration time
> of copyright of 70 years is out
> This kind of material can then be copied without
> copyright clearance
> 2. Government documents
> In many countries government documents will be out of
> copyright and can already be copied electronically without
> copyright clearance. To a large extent this is very
> valuable material
> 3. works where the rights owner has donated his/her material
> the public domain
> According to for example the norwegian copyright law,
> the rights owner can donate the economic part of the
> copyright to the world public domain.
> In a process where WIPO and governments enforce very
> strict copyright rules for electronic material it is
> very likely to expect that a lot of people in all
> countries will be interested in donating their material.
> They will be more interested in having their material
> read by many people than receiving some remuneration.
> At present we have to see the planned protocol in WIPO
> in connection with the planned electronic copyright management
> systems and at the moment nobody has told how these systems
> will handle the question of material which is out of
> copyright but which is still on the net.
> There are many other aspects of the WIPO proposals. At
> the moment we have concentrated on these two aspects.
> We believe that a lot more discussion is needed and the
> general public must be aware of the proposals.
> In US a lot of public discussion has come thanks
> to the American library association, Digital future
> coalition and other organizations.
> In Europe at the moment few are aware of the possible
> consequences of the proposals and we hope that a public
> debate can come now.
> In addition to material from the Digital future coalition
> on http://www.ari.net/dfc
> there is an excellent article by the US law counsellor
> Thomas Vinje called "A brave new world of technical protection
> systems: Will there still be room for copyright?".
> In a few days EBLIDA/ECUP will be informed about the
> WIPO proposal from Jukka Liedes.
> Then the debate can start.
> Frode Bakken Kristine Abelsnes
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Frode Bakken Email: frode@tonsberg.folkebibl.no
> T|nsberg Public Library Tlf. : +47-33 31 94 85
> Storgt. 16, N-3110 T|nsberg, Norway Fax : +47-33 31 64 75

Frode Bakken                           Email: frode@tonsberg.folkebibl.no
T|nsberg Public Library                Tlf. : +47-33 31 94 85
Storgt. 16, N-3110 T|nsberg, Norway    Fax  : +47-33 31 64 75

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