FID Copyright statement

Subject: FID Copyright statement
Date: ti 29 loka   1996 - 14:47:37 EET

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Dear list members,

Please find attached the FID Copyright statement: more opposition
to the WIPO proposals.

Chris Groeneveld
Koninklijke Bibliotheek
The National Library of the Netherlands
PO Box 90407
2509 LK Den Haag
The Netherlands

        X-400: C=NL;ADMD@0NET;PRMD=SURF;
        *** mime is okay ***
phone + 31 (0) 70 3140 262 (direct)
        + 31 (0) 70 3140 911 (secretary)
telefax + 31 (0) 70 3140 651

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To: National Members
From: FID General Secretariat
Date: 29 October 1996

RE: FID Copyright Statement

Dear National Member,

At the recent General Assembly meeting in Graz, Austria, on 22 October
1996, the National Member of Sweden (Dr. Frans Lettenstrom) made the
recommendation that FID send an official reply to the World Intellectual
Property Organization (WIPO) in response to the suggested changes in
Copyright Law under the Berne Convention. FID has official observer
status with WIPO. The "Diplomatic Conference on Certain Copyright and
Neighboring Rights Questions" will be held in Geneva from 2-20 December
in Geneva.

The attached recommendation was accepted by the General Assembly. During
the National Members open lunch meeting (24 October 1996), this was
further discussed and the following document will be submitted by FID to
WIPO in response to the suggested changes in the Berne Convention.

Pleased find attached document A 96-29 with the FID response.

Finally, there was a request from the National Members to see whether
there would be any recommendations on whether there would be a
representative who could represent FID at the meeting of WIPO in
December. Recommendations would be greatly appreciated immediately to
the FID General Secretariat.

FID General Secretariat


An FID statement on Copyright
for the Diplomatic Conference 2-20 December 1996, regarding the
proposals from WIPO on adding a protocol to the Berne Convention.

The comments are confined to the proposals related to CRNR/DC/4
concerning the strengthening of the rights and responsibilities of both
the owners and the users of intellectual property in a digital

In the digital age international harmonisation of intellectual property
laws is essential. However, this harmonisation should also aim at
ensuring access to information and knowledge to all. To make this
possible, it is important that the rights and responsibilities of both
owners and users be spelled out with greater precision and clarity.

We want to emphasize the importance of the statements concerning
societal values contained in Note 12.09: "When a high level of
protection is proposed, there is reason to balance such protection
against other important values in society. Among these values are the
interests of education, scientific research, the need of the general
public for information to be available in libraries and the interests of
persons with a handicap that prevents them from using ordinary sources
of information".

The proposals put forward 30 August, 1996 by the Bureau of the World
International Property Organisation (WIPO) are not clear enough. The
implications of Articles 7, 10 and 12 have not been given sufficient
debate either in the WIPO Committee of Experts or nationally.

Article 5 - Collections of Data (Databases)

Many serious issues have been raised concerning the definitions of
compilation and collection in the digital environment. The matter is far
too complex for immediate resolution. More time for sufficient input and
deliberations from concerned parties is needed.

Article 7 - Right of Reproduction

We disagree with the expansion of the definition of the right of
reproduction to include indirect reproduction (Article 7.1) caused by
incidental digitalisation of a work. Such expansion of the definition
could prevent users from reading or browsing material. We are similarly
questioning the proposed limitation in Article 7.2, according to which
"Contracting Parties may limit the right of reproduction in cases where
a temporary reproduction has the sole purpose of making the work
perceptible or where the work is of a transient or incidental nature

It would appear that the limitation would still have to be authorised by
the author or allowed under national legislation. As it cannot be
guaranteed that all nations will implement an exception to authorise
temporary reproduction in the digital environment, there appears to be a
contradiction to the purpose behind the accompanying notes 7.14 and 7.15
which attempt to justify Article 7 by reasoning that the interpretation
of the right of reproduction should be "in fair and reasonable harmony
all over the world". The opposite is likely to be the case.

Article 10 - Right of Communication

Note 10.08 states that the proposal made by the European Community and
its member states received a positive reaction from many Government
members of the Committee. However, according to reports, many other
Government members had reservations.

Note 10.14 indicates that the liability of an Information Service
Provider (ISP) does not occur within the Right of Communication unless a
copy is made available to the public by the ISP.

The consequences of Article 10 are difficult to assess. For example, the
combination of Article 10 and Article 7 seems to make ISPs potentially
liable for the users transmissions.

It is essential that a definition is given on what is "public". It is
not enough to leave it to national interpretation.

Article 12 - Limitations and Exceptions

This article is vital, but lacks precision.

Note 12.09 is of such importance that it should be incorporated in
Article 12. It is not sufficient to keep it as a note.

The exceptions and limitations of the exclusive rights of authors should
be harmonised internationally. Leaving limitations or exceptions to
intellectual property rights to national legislation, will create unfair
and unreasonable disharmony all over the world with respect to the

Article 13 - Obligations concerning Technological measures

We have serious reservations about the way in which the proposed Article
13 is formulated. The definition of "Protection-defeating device"
appears to be so broadly worded that it might encompass even a device
that incorporates a mechanism designed simply to expedite uses that have
been authorized under licence. We do not endorse a proposal that is


There are reasons to believe that the proposals from WIPO will upset the
balance between the protection of rights and responsibilities of both
the owners and the users of intellectual property. Implicitly this means
that the role of society's collectors and dissiminators of knowledge
(such as libraries, archives, museums and other information operators)
might be destroyed.

The very important rights and responsibilities (such as "fair use",
"protection of the public interest" etc) of users of intellectual
property must be protected in the digital environment.

FID recommends that the proposals concerning Articles 5, 7, 10, 12 and
13 should not be voted upon in the Diplomatic Conference in December. A
sufficiently long period (no less than six months) of deliberation and
discussion with the users, especially the library, information and
scholarly communities, must be provided, so that more balanced proposals
can be developed.


==========F=====I======D=======F======I=======D============Ben G. Goedegebuure
Executive Director
International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID)
P.O. Box 90402

Tel.: +31 70 3140671 Fax.: +31 70 3140667 (Preferred!) FID WEB: FID CONGRESS WEB: ==========F======I======D=======F======I=======D=============

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