Copyright Statement

Subject: Copyright Statement
Date: ma 21 loka   1996 - 20:02:07 EEST

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Dear Emanuelle,

At your request, please find attached the IFLA copyright

With best wishes,
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October 1996
Press Release: For Immediate Release

Position paper on copyright in the electronic environment

The following Position Paper on Copyright in the Electronic Environment was approved
by IFLA's Executive and Professional Boards during the 62nd IFLA Conference in
Beijing, China, 25-31 August 1996.


IFLA recognises that the provision of access to information depends on properly
functioning national and international networks of library and information services.
The development of the digital information infrastructure brings with it unprecedented
opportunities for providing education and entertainment and improving trade and business

Librarians are responsible intermediaries between rights owners and end users. Librarians
respect copyright. Librarians take copyright seriously as it affects all the material held in
libraries. Librarians are in a prime position to facilitate the flow of information within and
between all sectors of the community. Librarians are catalysts for the flow of information
in a community. They educate users about copyright and the use of copyright protected

          IFLA believes that:
          Librarians are crucial to the access to electronic information.
          This role needs to be protected and enhanced.

The following is a position statement on copyright in the electronic environment on behalf
of librarians and information staff worldwide.

Information for all

The benefits of new technologies should be available to all - the public, copyright holders
and librarians. Information should be accessible regardless of format.

Copyright stimulates intellectual activity and should not prevent access to information and
ideas. Ideas residing in information in digital format should not only be available to those
who can pay. Unless librarians and individual end users have clear rights, without
prejudice to the legitimate interests of rights owners, this will create a greater divide
between the information rich and the information poor.

          IFLA believes that:
          In national copyright legislations, exceptions, allowed in the
          Berne Convention and other similar copyright conventions,
          should be revised if necessary to ensure that permitted uses
          apply equally to information in electronic form and to
          information in print.
IFLA believes that:
For copying which exceeds that allowed under such specified exceptions, there should be
administratively simple payment schemes.
For works in digital format, without incurring a charge or seeking permission, library users
should be able to:
read, listen to, or view publicly marketed copyright material privately, on site or remotely;
browse publicly available copyright material;
copy, or have copied for them by a librarian, a reasonable proportion of a digital work in
copyright, for personal or educational use.
Document delivery

In this digital age, users expect to obtain information without delay. With more and more
information available electronically, users expect information to be delivered digitally.
Librarians want to meet the needs of users, but are frustrated by copyright.

          IFLA believes that:
          It should not be seen as an infringement of copyright for
          librarians to make digital copies of copyright works and store
          them temporarily as part of an electronic document delivery


Lending, the activity of making documents available for use for a limited period of time
for non-commercial purposes, is an important part of a librarian's role. Public lending is
essential to culture and education. It should be available to all. Information packaged in all
formats has and will become part of the lending stock. Lending in turn promotes
commercially packaged information and encourages sales. Libraries are, in effect, catalysts
for the sale of information in all of its formats.

Any legal or contractual restraints put on lending would be to the disadvantage of rights
          IFLA believes that:
          The lending of published electronic resources by libraries for
          cultural and educational purposes should not be restricted by
          Legislation should prevent the setting of terms by suppliers of
          published electronic resources which aim to restrict the
          reasonable lending of such resources by librarians.

Preservation and conservation

Libraries collect and preserve information. In fact, the responsibility for preserving
information and culture belongs to the library and information profession. Technology is
essential to this responsibility.

Librarians, along with creators and publishers, are concerned about the long term integrity
of information in all of its formats. For electronic information this integrity will be
difficult without proper archiving.

Librarians should be able, as with printed material, to copy electronic information for
preservation purposes, when it is not commercially available.

          IFLA believes that:
          Legislation should give librarians and archivists permission
          to convert copyright protected texts and images into digital
          format for preservation and conservation related purposes.
          Legislation should also cover the legal deposit of electronic

Effective international control

Access to information, rather than control of information increases use. Indeed, studies
have shown that too much control of information is counter-productive. Copyright
protection should encourage use and and creativity, not inhibit them.

          IFLA believes that: An international agreement on the
          movement of digital intellectual property across national
          boundaries is vital to enable an unrestricted flow of
          Such an agreement must strike a balance between technical
          controls and access for legitimate users.
Sandy Norman, IFLA Copyright Adviser
To receive IFLA Press Releases on a regular basis, contact:
Theresa Stanton, Publications Assistant, IFLA Headquarters, Koninklijke Bibliotheek
Prins Willem-Alexanderhof 5, 2509 LK The Hague, Netherlands
Tel.: +31-70-3141755, Fax: +31-70-3834827, E-mail: /
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